Mayor Andre Dickens announced the launch of a new $3.5 million grant program to support local small businesses in Atlanta. Through the Commercial Property Improvement Grant program (CPIG), small business owners are eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000 for exterior and interior enhancements to their business.
The CPIG program is the second initiative that United Way of Greater Atlanta and Invest Atlanta have rolled out as a part of the Atlanta Open for Business Fund, supported by Wells Fargo. The fund is made possible by a $20 million donation from Wells Fargo to help the owners of Atlanta small businesses own more of their businesses’ assets—including property and equipment—and fund physical upgrades to their facilities.
“Atlanta’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the primary job creators in our communities,” said Mayor Andre Dickens. “Providing funding assistance for capital improvements and the purchasing of assets affords small businesses the breathing room needed to grow, become more resilient and provide more hiring opportunities. The CPIG is not just an investment in our business community—it is an investment in our people.”
Awardees must provide a match of at least 10 percent of the grant award and hold a current City of Atlanta business license. Commercial properties must be smaller than 15,000 square feet and at least 10 years old. Small businesses who own or rent their commercial property are eligible to apply. Businesses that lease space must have a minimum of one year remaining on their lease and document approval from the property owner.
“Thanks to Wells Fargo, this program will make another investment in Atlanta’s small business community, providing grant dollars to help small businesses make improvements to their properties that can help increase business and weather economic uncertainties,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “Ultimately, we want to ensure that more businesses in the city, including those in disinvested areas, have the resources they need to prosper.”
“The Commercial Property Improvement Grant program will help small businesses across the City of Atlanta upgrade their properties to stay competitive in the marketplace so they continue to convert increased income into wealth,” said Milton Little, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Atlanta.
Grants are intended for improvements that will visually enhance property and meet the following guidelines:
- Exterior improvements can include painting, lighting, windows, doors, signage, etc.
- Interior improvements should significantly enhance the customer and employee experience, such as flooring, walls and ceiling upgrades, HVAC, water heater, plumbing, electrical, and other systems repairs, etc.
Grant awardees will be selected by Invest Atlanta with a focus on supporting equitable economic development in the city and creating opportunities for more minority-owned small businesses to build wealth and prosper.
Invest Atlanta’s Community Development team will host a live webinar on the Commercial Property Improvement Grant, part of the Atlanta Open for Business fund on Aug. 9, 2022, at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. To register for the webinar, visit www.investatlanta.com/events. To learn more about and apply for Commercial Property Improvement Grants, small business owners should visit www.investatlanta.com/cpig.
Earlier this year in June, United Way and Invest Atlanta successfully launched the Atlanta Recovery Loan Program (ARLP) that provides 3 percent interest loans to small businesses interested in acquiring property and other business assets.
United Way and Invest Atlanta will distribute the Atlanta Open for Business Fund as a mix of grants and loan programs with a focus on Black-owned and other diverse-owned businesses.