INCENTIVE PROGRAM PURPOSE
The incentive programs offered by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are intended to provide funding to new businesses or existing businesses within the DDA District to assist with significant permanent modifications of commercial properties.
The goal is to attract the desired mix of uses to the Downtown including retail; for profit and not for profit Arts and Cultural facilities; unique restaurants and boutiques, and service orientated industries to better serve our downtown community.
The Business Incentive Grant program offered by the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority (DDA) provides funding to new businesses or existing businesses within the DDA District to assist with significant, permanent modifications to existing Downtown buildings. Through this program, the DDA encourages major tenant improvements necessary for successful tenancy of commercial spaces. The goal of this program is to attract the desired mix of uses to the Downtown and assist with the rehabilitation of commercial properties.
West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority District
Please click here for DDA Boundary Map.
Clematis Street for “active uses” such as retail and arts-based businesses as defined by the Americans for the Arts.
Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts reports provide a research-based
approach to understanding the scope and economic importance of the arts in the United States. The creative industries are composed of arts businesses that range from nonprofit museums, symphonies, and theaters to for-profit film, architecture, and design companies. Arts businesses and the creative people they employ stimulate innovation, strengthen America's competitiveness in the global marketplace, and play an important role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy.
Businesses NOT eligible for Business and Façade incentives:
Financial services (State and Federal)
National brands in any category
Tattoo parlors / Body Piercing/Body Art Shops
Smoking products and accessories, vape shops
Medical Marijuana dispensaries, CBD products
Nightclubs and Bars / Liquor Stores
Any Business with outstanding code enforcement violations or debt to the City
Any Buildings with outstanding code enforcement violations or debt to the City, specific to the individual space the tenant is applying for funding for leasehold improvements
Any Business that is not permitted by city code
Up to 25% of Total Improvement Cost for Leasehold Improvements (must stay with building)
*Maximum allowable amount not to exceed $75,000 (Incentive Boundary)
If awarded a Business Incentive program grant the reimbursement terms are:
- 100% paid upon completion of qualifying leasehold improvements (as determined by City of West Palm Beach officials), proof of paid invoices for the improvements and Business Tax Receipt, occupies the space and opens for business. (Subject to West Palm Beach DDA Grants Review Committee and Board Approval)
Annual funding for this program is limited, therefore, it is administered on a first come, first serve basis until program funds are exhausted.
Recipients of a grant for leasehold improvements shall obtain within six (6) months of award approval, all required permits with the City of West Palm Beach and shall maintain all required permits active and current with the City of West Palm Beach.
If a leasehold improvement project is not completed within twenty-four (24) months of award approval, the grant award shall be automatically revoked and the recipients will be required to make a presentation to the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority Board in order to re-petition for the grant award.
- The Business Incentive Grant Program is available to tenants, owner-occupied, and new businesses relocating or existing business owners who plan to make significant leasehold improvements to buildings within the DDA district.
- Incentives avaible to business located on the ground floor only.
- The grant shall not exceed 25% of the total project cost up to a maximum of $75,000
- 100% paid upon completion of qualifying leasehold improvements (as determined by City of West Palm Beach officials), proof of paid invoices for the improvements and Business Tax Receipt, occupies the space and opens for business. (Subject to West Palm Beach DDA Approval)
- All applications must include appropriate documentation; Inadequately documented applications may be rejected.
- If the applicant is receiving funds from the City/CRA, for Interior leashold imporvements, the applicant is not elligible to receive additional funds from the DDA.
- Applications with a potential $50,000 or more award will be reviewed by the DDA Board in the order they are received. The DDA Board must find that:
- The project significantly improves the property and improvements are permanent (i.e. – cannot be removed from the building)
- The project encourages uses as defined by the Merchandise Mix Plan.
- Grants will no longer be approved once all allocated funds are exhausted.
- Grant applications will not be considered if construction/renovations have commenced prior to written confirmation from the DDA.
The applicant will receive notification detailing all of the terms and conditions of the grant, including, but not limited to the amount of the grant; the approved uses for the proceeds; any reporting requirements to be met by the applicant; and any conditions required to be met prior to closing. The processing and approval of projects may take up to 12 weeks.
ELIGIBILITY AND APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS
- Application Fee/Background Screening - $94.74 per applicant paid upon submission of application, to complete a background check. Each owner/applicant must complete the application and submit the fee.
- There must be no liens or taxes due on the property and/or the individual project space
- A copy of proof of ownership interest in the property must be submitted with application.
- A cover letter with a scope of the project, benefits of the property improvements for the community, and statement of amount requested.
Application must include:
- Resume for each property owner
- List of credit and banking references
- Detailed statement relative to needs to be met by the grant
- Drawings, plans and specifications
- Specific budget breakdown
- Photograph of current building conditions
- Potential lessee(s) for space if applicable
Additional information may be requested by the DDA (Staff or Board); Inadequately documented applications will not be reviewed. Be sure to include all necessary documents.
BUSINESS INCENTIVE GRANT APPLICATION
- Before filling out this Application Form, thoroughly read the PROGRAM SUMMARY & APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS document for this program.
- Only one application can be utilized for one project.
- Do not leave spaces blank. Put N/A if it does not apply.
- In the event that the DDA requests additional information, it must be submitted in a timely manner.
- The processing and approval of projects may take up to 12 weeks.
Inadequately documented applications will not be reviewed.
Be sure to include all necessary documentation.
For additional information contact:
Teneka James - Feaman, Associate Executive Director
West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority
300 Clematis Street, Suite 200
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Note: Business Incentive Guidelines have been updated as of 02.21.23