BIG Program

As an effort to increase interest and investment into existing buildings and to recruit new business in Gainesville, the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation is proud to present its Business Improvement Grant (BIG) Program.

The BIG Program provides financial assistance for building/business owners to make exterior improvements in the Central Area Commercial District (CA) of Gainesville, Texas (see zoning map).


To help business owners and buildings in the CA district transform into a vibrant, thriving area of Gainesville.


The Gainesville Economic Development Corporation aims to invest $75,000 into Downtown Revitalization efforts in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Additional Details

A business owner may receive financial assistance from the BIG Program for one building per fiscal year (October 1 to September 30). Financial assistance will be reviewed, approved and awarded at the sole discretion of the GEDC Board of Directors. Funding will be disbursed as a reimbursement after the applicant submits paid receipts for the completed project and a certificate of occupancy is issued for the building for commercial use.

Grants are available for up to 50% reimbursement with a maximum reimbursement of $7,500. Projects must meet a minimum of $2,500 to qualify (i.e., the project total is $2,500 and the BIG Program reimbursement would equal $1,250). Grants may not be used for the refinance of existing loans, working capital or for purchase of inventory or interior projects. Grant applicants must secure their portion of the project cost before the start of the improvements and submit written documentation to the GEDC.

All projects shall be completed by local contractors who meet all licensing requirements and shall comply with all applicable building codes of the City of Gainesville. Out of town contractors shall only be considered if the project applied for financial assistance cannot be completed by local contractors. Project owners and/or contractors shall acquire all necessary permits; grant proceeds may not be used for permitting costs.

Eligible Improvements

Complete façade rehabilitation

Replacement of window panes, window frames, broken storefront glass, and doors

Exterior treatments, such as brick, tile, stucco, stone, wood or siding

Exterior lighting

Exterior signage

Permits for permanent signage must be secured from the City of Gainesville

Addition or replacement of canopies or window awnings or window treatments such as tint

Addition or replacement of ADA compliant entry-ways/access

Restoration of historic or significant architectural features

Roof repair

Only in conjunction with other improvements that do not exceed more than 80% of total requested grant

Ineligible improvements: New commercial construction; murals/street art; parking lots/allotments; interior remodeling or renovation; fencing; burglar bars; landscaping/outdoor seating/benches/pots/planters; alarm system/security of building/cameras; construction that has been performed or placed under contract prior to approval of project application; purchase or replacement of tools or equipment; electricity or plumbing; insurance; pest control treatments; construction permits; clean up costs.

Application Process

Applicant completes application (online and paper formats available) and submits all materials to GEDC. GEDC Staff review all submissions.

If approved by GEDC staff, Applicant presents to GEDC Board of Directors. Presentations will be made at GEDC monthly board meetings.

Application will be reviewed and granted in 30 days from presentation.

Approval of the application is at the sole discretion of the GEDC Board of Directors. Approval is not guaranteed.

Should the application be rejected, the GEDC may suggest changes or improvements. If the applicant complies with the changes, the grant can be reconsidered at the next meeting.

Ready to Get Started?

Contact the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation with questions!

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