The Sign Depot

class="tag"Posts Tagged ‘grant’


Grants and Funding for Municipal Signs and Business Facade Upgrades

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

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

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 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.



Business Sign Grants And Funds

Investing In Local Businesses

Many businesses are looking for economical ways to raise awareness of their company in hopes to increase profits.  Mashable suggests that brick and motar businesses should act like startups when it comes to funding.  That is one of the many approaches that businesses should look at when it comes to their finances.  Another way is to look into grants and funds that the local area has to offer.  Many City Halls and Business Improvement Associations offer Facade Grant Programs to revitalize areas in their communities.

Facade Grants And Funds

Many Facade Upgrade programs see business signage as a big part of improving storefronts and streetscapes. They will want to know that you are working with a professional sign maker before the approval process can begin.

Steps To Sign Up For A  Business Sign Upgrade

There are several steps in acquiring approval for a Facade Grant.  These are some starting points to find out how much your business qualifies for when it comes to funds and grants.

  • Talk to an expert sign maker about what type of sign you will want to have placed on your storefront
  • Let them know if they should request the sign permit or if you will be taking the task on yourself
  • Contact the administrator of the grant/fund program to find out about any stipulations and/or timelines you need to meet

Although this may seem like a big task to undertake, a grant can take your business from this

to this

Business Sign Upgrade - The Sportslink - The Sign Depot

You can read more about this Business Sign Project on our post about giving Downtown Kitchener A Facelift

Below are list of 10 areas in Ontario that are offering Facade Upgrade Grants.  If you think your company qualifies for a new business sign, be sure to Contact Us and we can help start the process!

Custom Business Signs – UPDATING DOWNTOWN

Custom Business Signs – UPDATING DOWNTOWN

Façade Grant Program For The City Of Kitchener’s Downtown Core

For the past few years The City Of Kitchener has been making changes to create a new streetscape.  Wider sidewalks, and better lighting are just a couple of ways they are creating a new look for the downtown core.  Many business owners are taking notice and relocating their shops to the area.  Others are upgrading existing buildings to match the surroundings.  The City Of Kitchener has created a Façade Grant Program to assist business owners with this transition.

We’ve been involved with three of these Grant recipients GLOSS, THE SILVER SPOON, and THE SPORTSLINK.  Each of these store changed their entrances to best reflect their unique businesses, and people are taking notice of their custom business signs.

The Feedback

Judy Horn,  of Silverspoon Chocolates, had this to say

Just wanted to let you know we love the teapot. There isn’t a day that  goes by without someone commenting on it. It has really made a  difference to our visibility on the street. Thanks again to Amos and  Peter and everyone else who worked on the sign and tea pot. We are  really pleased with the way it turned out.

Now her Artistic Feature Teapot is featured in the news where they had this to say about her business storefront

Bright red paint, big windows and the hanging teapot sign make it one of the most inviting spaces along the main street.

Teapot Sign - Custom Business Sign - The Sign Depot

That’s what it’s all about.  Inviting people to the area, welcoming them into the shops and creating a pleasant place to be. To find out more about how to start planning your custom business sign updates, take a look at our post on Sign Permits, Sign Regulations and Variances then contact us to get started on your company’s new custom business signs.