Business Improvement Grant

Grant Application

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT GRANT POLICY AND GUIDELINES

Program Overview

The Bellmead Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) introduces the Bellmead Business Improvement Grant Program as a way to stimulate commercial investment in the City of Bellmead. This program is sponsored, funded, and monitored by the Bellmead Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors who may amend, adjust, or eliminate this program at any time.

Program Goal

The Business Improvement Grant Program is intended to enhance the economic development of the City of Bellmead by offering matching grant funds for façade or exterior improvements to the building, sign improvements, landscaping, or other exterior property improvements. This will promote economic development within the city and assist the attractiveness of our business districts in hopes that it will attract more business and in return, more jobs for the citizens of Bellmead.

Scope of Program

This program is limited to businesses in the City of Bellmead. The Bellmead Economic Development Corporation has budgeted $100,000 in 2012 for the Business Improvement Grant Program. The grant award decisions of the Bellmead Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors are final.

Type of Improvements allowed by Grant

Façade Improvement – Improvements to visible areas of the storefronts sides or back including but not limited to painting, awning, stucco, reconstruction, or remodeling.

Sign Improvement – New signs and/or renovation or removal of existing signs.

Property Improvement – Items such as but not limited to landscaping, park benches and lighting.

Grant Award
The BEDC will match the cash investment to improve the business as specified above in the Scope of Program.  The maximum size of the Grant award shall be $5,000.

Eligibility
Any existing or new business opening in existing structures in the City of Bellmead shall be eligible for this program. This grant may not be used in conjunction with any other grant, loan, or program from the Bellmead Economic Development Corp.
Guidelines

(A) – Proof of applicant’s ownership of the subject business or businesses, or proof that the owner of such property has approved the application for such grant funds, shall be required.

(B) – The owner of a business to be operated within a leased facility and the owner of such leased facility must apply jointly for the program. Copies of a lease agreement and proof of ownership of the leased facility shall be required.

(C) – The applicant shall provide 2 cost estimates from 2 separate contractors/suppliers of all proposed improvements.

(D) – The applicant shall provide “before” photos of the building/property that is proposed to be improved/renovated.

(E) – The applicant shall provide a copy of building/construction plans.

(F) – A business may apply for one (1) grant set forth herein.

(G) – The maximum amount of funding available to any one business establishment shall be $5,000.

(H) – All grants are paid directly to the applicant and will only be funded after completion of the project (or phase of a project) in accordance with drawings and specifications approved by the Bellmead Economic Development Corporation (the “BEDC”). Photographs of the completed work shall also be required.

(I) – Grants are a cash match for funds disbursed by the applicant and are not to exceed the limits set forth in the Type and Amount of Grant Section above. In-kind contributions may not be used as any part of the applicant’s match. Only cash matches of the applicant’s expenditures may be used.

(J) – The applicant shall be obligated to make the improvements in accordance with the application submitted to and approved by the BEDC Board of Directors or designee. Thereafter, any modifications must first receive the written approval. Failure to obtain such written approval prior to making any such modifications shall render the applicant ineligible to receive grant funding.

(K) – The applicant shall be responsible for all applicable permits related to the improvement project, and failure to obtain the required permits shall render the applicant ineligible to receive grant funding.

(L) – The improvements, as presented in the application, must be completed in their entirety. Failure to complete all of the stated improvements may render the applicant ineligible to receive grant funding.

(M) – Upon approval of a grant application, and during the construction of the improvements, a representative or representatives of the BEDC shall have the right, at all reasonable times, to have access to and inspect the work in progress.

(N) – The applicant shall not begin any improvements prior to receiving written approval of grant funding from the BEDC or their designee.

(O) – The applicant must begin the improvements within 60 days and complete the project within a maximum of 12 months of receiving written approval from the BEDC. Failure to start or complete the improvements within the required time periods may result in the loss of the grant funds allocated for the project.

(P) – The applicant must agree to remain in business and to not sell or assign such business to another person or entity for a period of twelve (12) months from the date of the funding of the grant.

(Q) – Approval of all applications shall be with the understanding and agreement that, in the event the business (applicant) fails to remain open, or the business or property is sold or transferred, within twelve (12) months after the funding of the grant, the applicant shall be considered in default of its obligations under the grant, and shall be required to reimburse the BEDC the grant money received, in accordance with the requirements.

(R) – The applicant, or a branch, division or department of the applicant, shall comply with Chapter 2264, Texas Government Code as added by Act 2007, 80th Leg. R.S., Ch. 853, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007. In the event the applicant, or a branch, division, or department of the applicant, is convicted of a violation under 8 U.S.C. Section 1324a(f), the applicant shall repay the amounts previously paid to or otherwise granted to applicant by the BEDC pursuant to this grant program, and also in accordance with the other terms provided herein.

(S) – The applicant must agree that, in the event of default of its obligations, the BEDC has the right to reimbursement for all attorney’s fees and court costs, which may be incurred as a result of any legal action required to seek reimbursement of any grant funding received by applicant.

Application and Approval

(A) – Applications filed with the BEDC will be reviewed within two weeks of receipt.  A response shall be made within four weeks of receipt.  Generally a response should be received within one week.

(B) – Applications must be made on a form provided by the BEDC, which shall be made available at the Bellmead City Offices located at 3015 Bellmead Dr, Bellmead, Texas and online at Bellmead.com or BellmeadEDC.com.

(C) – All applications must be approved by the Board of Directors of the BEDC or their authorized designee.

(D) – An applicant shall be notified in writing of the BEDC’s decision to approve or disapprove the application.

(E) – The BEDC may award grant funds to an applicant, with certain provisions, conditions, or other requirements the BEDC deems necessary or appropriate.

Funding of Grant

(A) – Upon written notification to the BEDC by the applicant that a project (or phase) has been completed, an inspection by a BEDC representative or representatives shall be made to confirm that such project has been completed in accordance with the application, and / or any approved modifications thereto. Such notification shall include, but not be limited to, documentation of paid receipts for materials, labor, permits, inspection reports, or any other item that the BEDC may reasonably deem necessary for determining the project’s completion.

(B) – Within fifteen (15) days following a BEDC inspection and the presentation of the receipts by the applicant, if a determination is made by the BEDC’s representative that the project has not been completed in accordance with the application, or any approved modifications thereof, the BEDC shall issue a letter to the applicant indicating all areas of non-compliance. The applicant shall then have sixty (60) days beyond any expiration periods, from the date of the BEDC letter, to make the modifications necessary to bring the project into compliance. Failure to complete such modifications within said sixty (60) day period may be deemed a default of applicant’s obligations under the grant.

(C) – Available funding: The BEDC has budgeted $100,000 to fund this grant program. Grant applications received after the available funding has been exhausted will not be considered.

(D) – If the subject business is sold, transferred, or relocated within a six (6) month period after funding approval is received, the applicant shall be required to reimburse the BEDC for 100% of the grant amount received. Thereafter, until the twelve (12) month anniversary date of such approval, the applicant shall be required to reimburse the BEDC for 50% of the grant amount received if the subject business is sold, transferred or relocated.

(E) – Payments due by the applicant/owner must be paid in full within thirty (30) days after the date of written notification by the BEDC that the applicant/owner is in default of any of the funding requirements set forth herein. The form of such payment shall be a cashier’s check or money order, made payable to Bellmead Economic Development Corporation.

Notice

(A) –The BEDC deliver a copy of these guidelines to any applicant for review. Delivery hereof does not constitute an offer of a Business Improvement Grant to the Applicant.

(B) – The laws of the State of Texas shall govern the interpretation, validity, performance, and enforcement of this Business Improvement Grant Program, and venue for any lawsuit or other proceeding involving this program shall be in McLennan County, TX.  If any provision of this Grant is held to be invalid or unenforceable, the validity and enforceability of the remaining provisions shall not be affected thereby.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF RECEIPT OF GUIDELINES AND CRITERIA FOR THE BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT GRANT PROGRAM

The undersigned acknowledges and agrees to abide by and be subject to the terms and conditions of the Business Improvement Grant Program as described herein.

Applicant / Property Owner: _____________________________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________________

Phone Number: ________________________________________________________________

Signature: ____________________________________________________ Date: ___________