Main Street Challenge Grant
Iowa’s downtowns are prospering with an expanding number of business, residential, and cultural investments. To continue this momentum, the Iowa Economic Development Authority has created the Main Street Challenge Grant for bricks and mortar projects.
Main Street Iowa communities, including Burlington, may apply for the Main Street Challenge Grant. Eligible projects must be within the downtown district. They can include building rehabilitations, facade improvements, new construction, or reuse projects. Plans will be locally judged on preservation standards, architectural significance, and impact on the community.
The maximum dollar amount to be awarded is $100,000 with a minimum award of $25,000 per project. A minimum 1:1 match is required. Other federal or state grant program awards may not be used to satisfy the cash match for the project/property. Main Street organizations may apply on behalf of one project/property.
UPDATE: 2020 Main Street Challenge Grant Recipient
2020 Main Street Challenge Winner, De Luxe Aesthetics, has moved into their new space at 506 Jefferson St. Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority awarded Downtown Partners, Inc. the 2020 Main Street Challenge Grant in the amount of $75,000 for the De Luxe Aesthetics's project. The grant dollars supported the renovation of De Luxe's new location, which included upper-story renovations and façade improvements.
Design Assistance Program
Since Burlington is a Main Street community, downtown property owners are eligible for design assistance from Main Street Iowa at no cost and no obligation. The Main Street Iowa design consultant works with property owners to develop maintenance plans and façade upgrades for buildings in the downtown district. Along with architectural renderings of possible improvements, the owner receives suggestions regarding signage, awnings, paint colors, and appropriate care. For more information, download the application and call Downtown Partners at 319-752-6365 about scheduling a design visit.
Additional grants and loan programs for building improvement may become available throughout the year.
Heritage Trust Historic Preservation Grant
The local non-profit Heritage Trust has established a Historic Preservation Grant for exterior preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation projects within the city of Burlington for properties that are at least 50 years or older. It can provide up to $5,000 in 1:1 matching funds. The Heritage Trust Grant Committee reviews grant applications in February and August and selects which projects to fund.