Façade & Site Improvement Matching Grant

The Town of Harrisburg is offering a Façade and Site Improvement Matching Grant in association with initiatives set forth by the Economic Development Market Analysis, 2015. The intent of the grant program is to encourage property owners and existing businesses to improve the appearance of their buildings and provide an incentive for new businesses to locate in Harrisburg.


Award Amounts

Applicants are eligible to receive up to 50% of project costs up to $20,000, depending on the scope of the project. The award is limited to 50% of the total eligible costs of a project.  Applicants are responsible for the other 50% of the project cost. This is a reimbursement program; applicants must complete and pay for the total project cost or total private match prior to receiving a reimbursement from this grant.


Eligible applicants

All properties within Harrisburg Town limits are eligible.

Applicants may be property owners or business owners. Any Town of Harrisburg elected official, staff, or their spouse or family member is ineligible for the grant.

Ineligible applicants include adult businesses, gambling including sweepstakes and cyber/internet cafes, and new construction projects intended for these purposes. No home-based businesses or new construction projects are eligible.

All real property taxes must be paid in full and the applicant must be current on their water & sewer account and any Town fees. Any identified code violations must be addressed and resolved prior to payment of grant funds.

Properties that have been previously awarded grant funds from the Town are not eligible to apply for additional funding unless the improvements are for another project not previously reimbursed by the Town, or the new project is deemed to make significant improvements to the property, or more than three years have passed since the last grant award was received for a similar project.


Eligible Improvements

Improvements include but are not limited to:

  • Replacement or repairing of brickwork, plaster or wood siding, including painting, cleaning and repainting.
  • Replacing, repairing, or relocating storefronts, doors, windows, including the removal of extraneous elements or inappropriate or incompatible exterior finishes or materials.
  • Change of exterior lighting, or additional exterior lighting
  • Repairs, addition or installation of awnings
  • Installation or improvement of permanently installed signage. Also, signage must be a permanent installed feature of the façade and may not be portable or removable
  • Landscape improvements


Ineligible Improvements

  • New construction
  • Interior improvements
  • Equipment or inventory
  • Deferred maintenance
  • Functional improvements that do not improve the aesthetics of the property
  • Architectural or engineering fees associated with project planning and design
  • Projects completed prior to the approval of the application
  • Any projects not meeting building codes, local ordinances or other applicable regulations
  • Any projects not visible from the primary street


Application Process

Applicants should submit the Preliminary Application along with:

  • Two color photographs that show existing building conditions
  • Detailed sketches or drawings of the proposed improvements (including placement, color, dimensions and materials)
  • Two bids on contractor letterhead

Click here for the Preliminary Application

Submit the completed Preliminary Application to:

  • Harrisburg Planning & Zoning
  • Email: jwatkins@harrisburgnc.org
  • Mailing address: PO Box 100, Harrisburg, NC 28075
  • Physical address: 4100 Main Street, Planning & Zoning Suite, Harrisburg, NC 28075

Applications will be accepted on a rolling/monthly basis. Applications received after May 31 will be considered for the subsequent fiscal year beginning July 1.

An inter-departmental team of town staff reviews the preliminary applications and determines which projects merit further consideration. The review team reserves the right to suggest modifications to plans and will contact the applicant to review the scope of work.

Qualified applicants will be contacted by staff and required to complete a full application, including the following information:

  • Final design plans and an outline and description of proposed improvements, including a materials list
  • Professional design sketch or rendering of the proposed improvements, if needed for certain types of improvements
  • Finalized line item budget or cost estimates from a licensed construction professionals
  • Proof that taxes are paid and current
  • Proof of current property and casualty insurance
  • Evidence that contractors are licensed, bonded and/or insured
  • Accurate color samples (required for painting approvals)
  • Material samples that indicate quality of finishes
  • Letter from bank, or bank statement, that shows applicant has sufficient funding to cover full project costs
  • Sign and notarized applicant affirmation, including confirmation that you are not a Town elected official, staff or their spouse or family member

The staff review team makes a recommendation to Harrisburg Economic Development Committee for approval. Grant award decisions will be based on, among other things, the following criteria:

  • Impact to the front-facing façade of the proposed building (quality design is valued)
  • Degree of which project meets design standards
  • Benefit to small business owners
  • Support of minority, veteran or women-owned enterprises
  • Support of Harrisburg businesses as vendors

The Harrisburg Economic Development Committee will review the application and recommend it to the Harrisburg Town Council within 30 days of receiving the completed application. The applicant will be contacted after final recommendation and review.

Upon approval, the Town enters into a grant contract with the applicant setting forth the scope of work as approved by the review team, payment terms and other requirements. Proof of payment and project completion are required for reimbursement. Costs incurred prior to the signed contract date are not eligible. Applicants must notify the Town if the scope of work, budget or contractor chosen has changed from what was approved by Town Council.


Applicant must obtain all necessary permits for the project.  All contractors working on the project must be licensed and registered with the State of North Carolina.


Staff will be permitted to inspect the project to ensure conformance with the grant contract.


This grant program is subject to funding availability and policy may be updated as necessary.  Approved projects should be completed within 90 days or funds may not be guaranteed.

For more information, please call 704-455-0709 or email jwatkins@harrisburgnc.org.