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Doing Business

Business Incentives

The Downtown Development Board (DDB) and Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) can assist with matching up available incentives to your business. Together with the Mayor’s Business Assistance Team, we can inform you about any assistance available through the State, City, or the DDB/CRA. It is our goal to see our business community succeed! To learn more about these programs, please contact Kimberley Allonce at 407-246-2102, or by email at Kimberley.Allonce@downtownorlando.com.

DDB/CRA PROGRAMS

In an ongoing effort to support our City's small businesses, Mayor Dyer and the Orlando City Council have modified the City’s transportation impact fee collection criteria for certain qualifying small businesses. For more information, click here.

For a comprehensive list of incentive programs available through the City of Orlando and State of Florida click here.

The Downtown Development Board’s Downtown Events and Meetings Program is designed to support lodging establishments located within the Downtown Development Area and make them more competitive with other meeting hotels within the Orlando area. The program will provide limited grants to lodging establishments to assist them in attracting groups and organizations for overnight stays downtown.

Download application.

The Downtown Commercial and Residential Building Improvement Program can provide grants valued between $15,000 and $120,000 for improvements to buildings made within the downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) boundaries. Building appearance plays an important role in creating the image of downtown. Funding for building façade and/or building stabilization improvements made to properties will encourage reuse of vacant or underutilized properties, improve appearance, and support the long-term viability of downtown Orlando. Over time, the taxable valuation of the improved properties will increase, thus increasing the amount of funds available to revitalize downtown Orlando.

  • Buildings must be located within the CRA. Downtown Commercial and Residential Building Improvement Grants shall only be awarded for properties that contribute to the CRA through the payment of ad valorem taxes.
  • Commercial Buildings located within the North Quarter, Eola, and Central Business District Planning Areas of the CRA shall be eligible for funding for façade improvements of up to $80,000 or 50% of the total façade improvements, whichever is less, or a combination of façade and stabilization improvements up to $100,000 or 50% of the total cost of improvements, whichever is less. Commercial Buildings located within the Parramore Heritage Planning Area of the CRA shall be eligible for funding for façade improvements of up to $100,000 or 50% of the total façade improvements, whichever is less, or a combination of façade and stabilization improvements up to $120,000 or 50% of the total cost of improvements, whichever is less. Only one (1) Grant per property owner or tenant per fiscal year, and only one (1) Grant per property per three-year program term.
  • Single-family, Duplex, Triplex, and Quadruplex Residential Buildings that are owner-occupied and located within the North Quarter, Eola, and Central Business District Planning Areas of the CRA shall be eligible for façade improvements up to $15,000 or 50%, of the total cost of façade improvements, whichever is less. Residential Buildings that are owner-occupied and located within the Parramore Heritage Planning Area of the CRA shall be eligible for funding for façade improvements or a combination of façade and stabilization improvements up to $30,000 or 50% of the total cost of improvements, whichever is less. Residential Buildings that propose only façade improvements shall be eligible for funding up to $15,000 or 50% of the cost of façade improvements, whichever is less. Only one (1) Grant per property owner or tenant per fiscal year, and only one (1) Grant per property per five-year program term.
  • All proposed improvements must meet the requirements of the Appearance Review Board (ARB) or, if a landmark property or located within an historic preservation district, the Historic Preservation Board (HPB), if applicable, as well as all other City Code requirements. Approvals or Certificates issued by the ARB or HPB do not guarantee approval of a Downtown Commercial and Residential Building Improvement Grant.

Guidelines

Download application.

The Minority/Women Entrepreneur Business Assistance (MEBA) Program is a small business assistance program that was established to retain existing minority-owned businesses located within the Target Area, and to attract new minority-owned businesses to this area. The MEBA Program Target Area is generally described as the Parramore area of Downtown, more specifically described as the area bounded on the north by West Colonial Drive, on the west by South Westmoreland Drive, on the south by West Gore Street, and on the east by Interstate-4.

The MEBA Program can provide qualified new and existing businesses (retail and services) within the Target Area with both non-monetary and financial assistance for the following purposes:

  • Business start-up or retention/relocation expenses
  • Purchase of capital equipment
  • Capital improvements
  • Marketing support

To qualify for the MEBA program, each applicant must be a minority or woman and the majority owner of a for-profit new or expanding small business, as defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration with no more than twenty (20) employees, located within the Target Area.

Please note: Submittal of an application does not guarantee funding assistance. Funding is awarded through a competitive process and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Funding is structured as a three-year forgivable loan, and disbursements are made to grantees on a reimbursement basis only. Applicants who have received other business assistance grants from the CRA or City of Orlando (with the exception of facade grants) are not eligible for the MEBA Program. There are additional requirements of this program that must be met. Please refer to the MEBA Program Guidelines for all rules and requirements.

Download application.