Fund Details
Downtown Brownsville Rent Subsidy Grant Program

Description:

BIG Downtown Brownsville Rent Subsidy Grant: Maximum grant amount $7,800

The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) is providing rental assistance for up to 12 months for eligible businesses that choose to locate in the historic Downtown Brownsville Area (see Exhibit A). Additionally, BCIC may provide assistance for existing businesses to expand their gross rentable space. In every case, the Board reserves the right to deny Applicants at its sole discretion. Funding is subject to availability of resources and to the applicant business’s potential to strengthen, compliment and diversify the existing business makeup, as determined solely at the discretion of the BCIC Board.

Any eligible business may apply for assistance and grants, but those falling into the following categories may be given greater consideration.
·  Restaurants, coffee shops, specialty food & entertainment
·  Artisan shops
·  Upscale apparel/accessories, footwear
·  Electronics – computers, phones, digital equipment
·  Specialty retail: toys, sporting goods, transportation
·  Home furnishings and appliances
·  Visual and performing arts, galleries

For a new business, applicants are required to submit a completed application form, a copy of an executed lease between the applicant and property owner, a business plan and a proposed budget, financials and marketing plan.

For the expansion of an existing business, the application for rental assistance should include a minimum a completed application form and profit and loss statement. Rental assistance application for a business not related or similar to the existing business is required to submit a full, new business application package.

Eligible applicants may be awarded rental assistance up to 50% of the monthly lease amount for the first six months, not to exceed $800 per month, and for month seven through 12, payments will be at 30%, not to exceed $500 per month. The maximum eligible rental assistance amount per business is $7,800.

Rental assistance will be reimbursed monthly directly to the tenant once proof of payment has been made and only after the business has received Use Permit. Reimbursement will be made within 10 business days once tenant submits proof of rent payment and includes a paid receipt from the landlord.


Deadlines:
Applications are due at 12:00 p.m. on the last Friday of the month to be considered for review at the next scheduled BIG Advisory Committee meeting (second Thursday of each month). BCIC staff will then have two (2) weeks from the meeting date to notify applicant if there are concerns, questions and/or comments for changes, alternations, or adjustments to proposed project. If the advisory committee makes recommendations to approve application as is, the recommendation will be presented at the next scheduled BCIC board meeting to approve project funding. BCIC staff has two (2) weeks from the BCIC Board meeting date to notify Applicant of funding award. If denied, the applicant has 30 days to appeal the decision to the BCIC Board of Directors.




Eligibility Requirements:

Eligible applicants may be awarded rental assistance up to 50% of the monthly lease amount for the first six months, not to exceed $800 per month, and for month seven through 12, payments will be at 30%, not to exceed $500 per month. The maximum eligible rental assistance amount per business is $7,800.

Any eligible business may apply for assistance and grants, but those falling into the following categories above will be given higher consideration.


ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: 
a.  A signed two- year lease agreement.
b.  Business open at least six days a week, minimum of eight (8) hours a day, and open past 6:00 p.m.
c.  Arrange a meeting with a business advisor from either Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Women’s Business Center of the RGV, or UTRGV Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center to establish or review a Business Plan Executive Summary and a One Year Business Pro Forma.
d.  Provide financial information related to the startup and operation of the business.
e.  Attend training and workshop opportunities that deal with a variety of topics that will help your business succeed.

This grant is intended for new businesses that are about to open the business to the public or an existing business that has plans to expand their gross rentable space. No grant will be awarded to an applicant that has a current business open at the lease property.








Additional Information:

1.  The application must be completed in its entirety and include all requested documentation listed on the application including but not limited:
  • Copy of the lease agreement;
  • W 9 Form;
  • Assume Name Certificate (dba);
  • Business Plan Executive Summary;
  • One-Year Operating Pro Forma; and
  • Previous two (2) years of personal or business tax returns
2.  Applications are accepted monthly. The deadline to apply is 12:00 p.m. the last Friday of each month to be reviewed at the next scheduled BIG Advisory Committee meeting (typically held monthly every 2ndThursday at 12 p.m. in at the BCIC office). Applications received after the due date, will be reviewed the following month’s meeting.

Contact Information:


BIG Grant Programs:
Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC)
500 E. Saint Charles, Brownsville, TX 78520
Main Phone: (956) 545-0353
Website: http://bcic.us

·  Cori Peña, Administrator of Grants and Contracts
Email: cpena@bcic.us  | Phone: (956) 545-0438


Contact any of the following Business Advisor below to schedule your appointment to discuss your business plan and operating proforma that is required with the application.

Business Advisors:
·  UTRGV Small Business Development Center
Website: https://www.utrgv.edu/sbdc/ | Phone: (956) 665-7535

·  UTRGV Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center
Website: https://www.utrgv.edu/ecc/ | Phone: (956) 882-4119

·  Women’s Business Center of Rio Grande Valley
Website: https://joinwbc.com/ | (956) 542-5322


Contact Information:

For questions about this application, please contact Cori Pena at cpena@bcic.us
Begin Accepting Applications Date:
3/03/2019
Deadline Date (CST Time Zone):
9/27/2019 12:00 PM