Retail & Professional Services Grant (RPSG)

Application Guidelines
  • Applications must be typewritten or printed legibly.
  • Applications must contain all requested information within the application as well as all requested attachments to be considered complete. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Applications not selected for funding during the review cycle in which they were submitted may be resubmitted for consideration during the next available submission period.
  • Applications will be accepted in-person or by mail only and will not be accepted by fax or email.
Business Requirements
  • The project property must be a street level, retail business, restaurant or a certain professional or personal services business such as a childcare center or beauty salon.
  • The applicant must be the owner of the property or have a fully signed lease and approval from the property owner supporting the improvements to be made. (Provide a written letter of permission). The business must be open at least 5 days a week, 8 hours a day.
  • Proposed projects must be within: the 9th Street Commercial Corridor, the Downtown Development Tier (including Parrish Street), the Community Development Area (CDA) outside the Downtown Development Tier; including targeted corridors or targeted areas beyond the CDA or targeted areas outside the CDA. To determine whether a project is within an eligible geographic location, use the mapping tool.
  • Your business can not be a church or religious organization, a government agency or office, a business or private club that excludes minors as patrons, or a residential project.
Financial Information Required
  • A copy of the lease agreement.
  • Business plan for applicant with at least 1st year of operating budget and/or a capital improvement budget. For greater explanation about financial information to include view Appendix A (PDF).
Eligible Expenses for Grant
  • Funds granted must be spent on interior or exterior improvements which will remain on the property and be used for the business.
  • Funds will be awarded up to $20,000 on 1:1 matching basis with funds provided by the applicant. Only funds spent on work performed after City approval of the grant are eligible to be reimbursed. The maximum incentive per business or address shall not exceed $2,500 for the signage portion of a grant.
  • Eligible expenses include but are not limited to:
  • Awnings
  • Built-in display furnishings and shelving
  • Coolers
  • Demolition
  • Electrical
  • Exterior painting
  • Facades
  • Flooring
  • Grease traps
  • HVAC
  • Installation of walls
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Marquees, and related exterior lighting and electrical fixtures

  • Masonry repair and cleaning
  • Mill work
  • Package and labeling equipment and similar items
  • Plumbing
  • Point of sale equipment
  • Property improvements, including paving and similar items
  • Restoration, repair, or replacement of windows, doors, exterior walls, chimneys, or other architectural elements
  • Security systems
  • Signs
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Telephone systems
Timelines / Disbursement of Funds
  • OEWD will review completed applications based on select evaluation criteria including the viability of the project and the need for public funds. All efforts will be made to evaluate and determine funding requests and to provide notification to applicants within 45 days after the submission deadline.
  • Projects would need to be completed no later than 12 months after City approval.
  • Funds will be disbursed by cost reimbursement upon completion of project and submission of appropriate documentation, such as: copies of cancelled checks, credit card receipts, detailed invoices, and etc. proving compliance with relevant compliance guidelines.
  • Funding of any application is subject to availability.
Application Submission
OEWD is not currently taking applications for Retail and Professional Services Grants.

Grant applications including attachments must be completed and returned to:
The Office of Economic and Workforce Development
807 E Main Street
Suite 5-100
Durham, NC 27701

For projects within the  Downtown Development Tier, call 919-560-4965.
For projects outside the Downtown Development Tier, contact: Reginald Jones

Application Assistance
Applications will be accepted in-person or by mail only and will not be accepted by fax or email. Technical assistance regarding the grant will be provided up to one week before the grant submission deadline. All questions related to the grant should be submitted in writing.