Fund Details
BIG Program Grants 2019


Thank you for your interest in the BIG Grant Programs. We encourage you to read the guidelines thoroughly and contact Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) and/or City of Brownsville’s Downtown District Manager to set up an appointment to discuss your project and grant process. Contact information is below.

The Downtown Brownsville Business Improvement and Growth (BIG) Programs are grants offered by the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC), in partnership with the City of Brownsville and Main Street Brownsville, to provide financial support to commercial property owners and tenants to make quality exterior and interior improvements to their commercial buildings and property in downtown Brownsville.

BIG Grants offers four (4) different financial reimbursement assistance programs to businesses that would like to expand their existing operations or want to relocate or expand their operations in the designated Downtown Brownsville corridor.

A.  Exterior Façade Improvement Grant: 50/50 match. Maximum grant amount $15,000.
To provide financial assistance to property owners or business tenants within the designated BIG Grant corridor, seeking to improve the exterior of the building to make it more visually appealing, bring them back into productive use, and bring back original appearance when possible. Façade is defined as the front exterior of a building and other exteriors sides when they are emphasized.

Removal or restoration of existing facades (front, back and other exterior sides), exterior lighting fixtures attached to structure, replacing roofing, flashing, windows, exterior doors, paint, cleaning and wall repairs, replacing and exposing transom windows, replacing drain spouts, replacement or removal of canopies or awnings, landscaping, banisters/balconies/posts, preservation of ghost signs.

Interior Capital Improvement Grant: 50/50 match. Maximum grant amount $15,000.
To provide financial assistance to property owners or business tenants within the designated BIG Grant corridor, seeking to bring building or property up to code and/or significant interior capital improvements.

Replacing electrical wiring, plumbing, or other city and state codes, removal of false ceilings and other non-historic elements, masonry repair, foundation stabilization, asbestos and lead abatements, fire sprinkler or fire alarm system, ADA compliance, rehabilitation needed to restore or maintain structural stability of the building and other permanent interior fixtures.

Sign Improvement Grant Program: 50/50 match. Maximum grant amount $2,500.
To provide financial assistance to property owners or business tenants within the designated BIG Grant corridor, seeking removal or replacement of signs the comply to City’s ordinance, will be integrated into the architecture of the building, and additional signage on canopies, awnings, front entrances and windows.

New signs and/or major renovations or removal of existing signs. Business logo & lettering on window area, doors, awnings or canopies, and entryways.


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

Cori Peña, Administrator of Grants and Contracts 
Email: | Phone: (956) 545-0438 

For more information about the Brownsville Main Street Program, downtown tax credits, alternations to historic properties, and/or the permitting process, contact:

City of Brownsville | Planning and Development Services Department

1034 E. Levee Street, 2nd Floor, Brownsville, TX 78520
Main Phone: (956) 548-6150 

Miriam C. Suarez, Downtown District Manager 
Email:  | Phone: (956) 548-6156


Eligibility Requirements:

  1. The application may come from the property owner or the tenant. If the application comes from the tenant, the tenant must include a letter from the property owner supporting the application and agreeing to the conditions of the grant. The tenant must produce a lease or other documentation showing the term of the lease.

  2. Must actively pay property taxes on proposed project’s property maintaining a current account status. Note: For property owners with property tax exemption status, provide tax exemption certificate and/or document.

  3. Must obtain and provide proof of no current code enforcement actions pending against the property that would not be mitigated by the BIG grant.

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;
  • Proof of ownership (property owner as applicant) or property owner giving consent for improvements (tenant only);
  • Certified Tax Certificate;
  • Conceptual rendering and/or construction drawing;
  • Estimates of proposed improvements (itemized work estimates) with construction quotes;
  • Approved color samples of paint, fabric, sign materials, etc.; and
  • Digital photos of the property and the areas that needs improvements.
2.  Applicant may apply for exterior, interior and sign improvements in their single application.

3.  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 2nd Thursday 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:

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