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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 Mercedes Blanca at 407.246.3625, or by email at Mercedes.Blanca@downtownorlando.com.
The Retail Stimulus Program
The Retail Stimulus Program is a highly competitive financial assistance program that was established to attract desirable new retail uses and encourage high-quality interior build-out of retail space. The Downtown Orlando Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has created the program to diversify and expand the retail offerings within Downtown. This program requires both property owner and prospective tenant participation.
The Retail Stimulus Program has several requirements to determine the eligibility of interested businesses. All of the following requirements must be met in order to meet minimum eligibility requirements for this program:
Location: To qualify for this program, an interested business must be interested in locating in one of the following Program Areas:
|Orange Avenue||Jefferson St. to Anderson St.|
|Parramore Avenue||Church St. to Anderson St.|
|Church Street||Parramore Ave. to Magnolia Ave.|
|Magnolia Avenue||Livingston St. to Anderson St.|
|Central Boulevard||Parramore Ave. to Summerlin Ave.|
|Eola Drive||Pine St. to Church St.|
Retail Type: The Retail Stimulus Program is also limited to new businesses within the CRA. Existing business relocations, expansions, and remodeling projects are not eligible under this program. In addition, only Eligible Retail Uses (see table below) will be considered for this Program. A use identified as Non-Eligible Retail Uses will not be eligible under this program.
|Eligible Retail Uses||Non-Eligible Retail Uses|
|Apparel (women, men, and children)||Financial services (banking, insurance, real estate, check cashing, etc.|
|Shoes||Dry cleaners, alteration shops, etc.|
|Cosmetics/body care/fragrance||Wholesale Retailers|
|Book Store||Convenience Markets|
|Entertainment (Arcades/Gaming)||Consumer services (i.e. beauty salons/tanning, check cashing, florists, photocopies, dry cleaning, photography studios, etc.)|
|Home Accessories||Copy/signage shops|
|Music/Video Store||Health spas, gyms, medi-spas, etc.|
|Gift/Card/Stationary Shop||Tattoo parlors|
Gourmet / Specialty foods
Take-out Food Services
|Cell-Phone and Phone Service Retailers|
Eligible Improvements: The Retail Stimulus Program funding can only be used for capital improvements for tenant space build-out. Funds cannot be used for non-fixed equipment or inventory. Generally acceptable improvements are those that can be used by a future tenant in the same leased premises and remain in the space upon vacation of the premises by the Applicant, including electrical, HVAC, mechanical, plumbing, dry wall, feature walls, flooring, windows and doors, lighting, etc.
Property Owner Participation: The property owner must sign the application and be a party to the funding agreement, if funding is granted by the CRA. As part of the application, the property owner is required to provide the prospective tenant with a tenant improvement allowance for build-out of the tenant space. Funding from the Retail Stimulus Program will match that allowance, up to the greater of $25 per square foot or $50,000.
Please note: Submittal of an application does not guarantee funding assistance. Funds are awarded through a competitive process and 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 are not eligible for the Retail Stimulus Program. There are additional requirements of this program that must be met. Please refer to the CRA Retail Stimulus Program Guidelines for all rules and requirements.
The Minority/Women Entrepreneur Business Assistance (MEBA) Program
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.
City and State Programs
In an ongoing effort to support our City’s small businesses, Mayor Dyer and the Orlando City Council have waived the collection of change-in-use transportation impact fees for small businesses for a period of one year (expires April 25, 2012). For more information, please visit the following website :
For a comprehensive list of incentive programs available through the City of Orlando and State of Florida, please visit the following website:
Downtown Facade & Building Stabilization Program 2012
Downtown Facade & Building Stabilization Program Application
CRA Planning Areas
Downtown Facade & Building Stabilization Program - Owners Affidavit
Retail Stimulus Program
Retail Stimulus Program - Application
CRA Retail District Streets
Retail Stimulus FAQ
MEBA Guidelines 2012
MEBA Application 2012
MEBA Target Area Map