The Sign Depot
 

Grants and Funding for Municipal Signs and Business Facade Upgrades

Posted by Lisa on 3/8/2019


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Your Sign Wish Might Be Granted

Over the years we have created many signs that were covered by Facade Upgrade programs, Community Improvement Plans, Tourism Grants and Sustainability Funds. These programs are often run through funding of a province, city, town or municipality. Occasionally the private sector offers grants as well if your project falls within their specifications. Below are explanations of these terms and examples of sign projects that we have been a part of because of the funding available at that time.

Facade Upgrade Programs

We have created several signs for clients through the City of Kitchener Facade Grant Program, but the most dramatic transformation of them all was the changes to the exterior of The Sports Link.

Business Sign Upgrade - The Sportslink - The Sign Depot

This beautification grant was created to revitalize the look of the Downtown Kitchener business core.

Community Improvement Plans

Community Improvement Plans, otherwise known as a CIP, often includes funding for signage. This year the Township of Mapleton is running a CIP and we are excited to see what it brings to the area.

Last year the City of Waterloo offered a CIP for members of the UpTown Waterloo BIA. For those not familiar with the term BIA, it refers to Business Improvement Area.

This year the City of Waterloo CIP includes the following projects

  • intended to improve the appearance of the streetscape and buildings, while conserving heritage properties
  • additional grant of up to $5,000 is available per building if the property is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act

In fact, Rachel March the City of Waterloo’s Economic Development Coordinator had this to say

The City has a CIP study area that is slightly larger than the Uptown BIA area (see general program requirements link on the CIP page near the top). The CIP study area is the catchment area for the grants, rather than the uptown BIA area.  However, for 2019 the Uptown BIA is offering to double the available grants to applicants who are BIA members for their Façade Improvement works.  For example, normally the maximum FIG available is $10,000 (or $15,000 if you are a corner property).  In order to receive this, you would have to spend at least $20,000 (or $30,000).  The BIA bump up will double the grant to $20,000 and $30,000, however the applicant will have to spend $40,000 and $60,000 in façade improvements to receive this. 

Info for this year’s City of Waterloo CIP can be found at https://www.waterloo.ca/en/government/uptown-community-improvement-plan.aspx#Facade-improvement-grant

To further our knowledge about the Facade Improvement Grant in Waterloo Ontario we attended an information session.  Below is a summary of what you can apply for during their SPRING application intake.

For the specifics regarding signs for this program, please email us sales@sign-depot.on.ca

PLEASE NOTE the deadline for applying for the Spring intake is in May 2019

 

We have also learned that the Downtown Cambridge BIA has launched a Signage and Decorative Lighting Improvement Grant.

In order to qualify for a Signage & Decorative Lighting Improvement Grant:

• Applicants must be a recognized BIA Member (Associate Members and other businesses do not qualify).

• Applicants may be eligible for one signage grant per storefront.

• Qualifying applicants may be eligible for a one-time grant of up to a maximum of $1,500 for a maximum of half (50%) of the value of an eligible signage and/or decorative lighting improvement.

• Projects must not have commenced prior to the awarding of the requested grant.

• Projects must be completed within six (6) months of the date of the signed grant application

• Eligible project costs must be actual cash outlay to third parties acting at arm’s length and which can be documented through original invoices or proofs of payment.

• Projects must demonstrate a contribution to the overall quality of the streetscape of the community.

• Signage projects must be permanently attached to the building facade.

For all the info about this grant visit https://www.downtowncambridgebia.ca/applications and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the download links

Tourism Grants

Last year we assisted the Municipality of East Ferris with their roadside signs.  They received funding for this sign project through a Tourism Northern Ontario grant, and this year through Destination Northern Ontario partnership, they are adding additional signage.

East Ferris - municipal signs - The Sign Depot

Sustainability Funds

The City of Waterloo Park Services received funding for upgrades at Waterloo Park through the #TDCommonGround Sustainability Fund which included a new Pedestrian Entrance.

Steps to #StepUpYourSignage

As mentioned in post for 2019 projects, here at The Sign Depot we want you to #StepUpYourSignage and the financial assistance of a grant or fund could make it even easier.  Here are 3 things to look for when deciding to advertise your business with custom signs.

  1. Is there sign grant or financial assistance fund available?
  2. Does your sign project fall within the parameters of the funding program?
  3. Does it also include coverage for the required sign permits?

Once you have the above questions answered, then we suggest you file your sign grant application right away.  Often these opportunities will only accept a certain amount of applicants and they must be granted within an allotted time frame.  After you have applied and been approved for your funding ,our sign experts are here to help make your sign wishes come true.

               

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