The Delray Beach CRA offers numerous funding assistance programs for the Delray Beach community and the goal for these many funding programs is to support redevelopment projects and improvements throughout the CRA District. The programs are put in place to encourage economic activity and growth of the existing businesses in the City, as well as bring new and thriving businesses to the Delray Beach community.
One of the most notable funding programs of this past 2020-2021 fiscal year featured Premier Virtual, an online virtual job and career platform company. That team was awarded funding through two of the CRA’s programs: Site Development Assistance to help with the cost of renovating a commercial space, and Rent Subsidy to help offset the costs of operations as they plan for growth. The total funding amount for the Site Development Assistance and Rent Subsidy was $36,400 and $6,000, respectively.
“The funding programs directly benefit local businesses, and through the success of these businesses the Delray Beach community,” said Rachelle Eloizin, Community Liaison for the CRA. “Many of the projects bring with them opportunities to engage the community with new job creation and increased business activity throughout the district. A few of the programs are designed to offset costs for local businesses’ improvement expenses.”
For example, the Site Development Assistance Program offers partial reimbursement of the cost of interior and exterior improvements like electrical upgrades, new flooring, painting, plumbing, etc. The Rent Subsidy Program assists new businesses with partial monthly rent assistance for up to 12 months during the first 18 months of operating in Delray Beach. These programs directly benefited Premier Virtual, among other local businesses in the District.
Other programs like the Historic Façade Improvement Program encourage the historic preservation of buildings in Delray Beach by offering up to $50,000 toward the exterior restoration of a historic structure for commercial use. This is a great way to honor our past but also make way for the future and meet our growing City’s needs!
“The renovation of an existing commercial space within the CRA District for this thriving business is a great example of the types of projects we encourage and continue to support,” Eloizin said. “Premier Virtual is a top-ranked virtual event platform and has already had a significant impact in Delray Beach through its job creation and partnering with organizations to host virtual job fairs. In a world that is becoming increasingly digital and web-based, this is a great concept that will hopefully help job candidates find their ideal position, and companies find their ideal team members!”
Some of the funding programs that will be offered in 2022 aim to benefit redevelopment projects, commercial property improvements, and businesses in the CRA District, and include the Site Development Assistance Program, the Paint-Up and Signage Program, the Rent Subsidy Program, and the COVID-19 Let’s Keep It Clean Grant Program, just to name a few.
“These programs help further the CRA mission by encouraging positive economic activity and growth within the CRA District. We recognize that starting a new business or expanding an existing one is no small task and can be very costly to our small business community,” Eloizin said. “Through these funding assistance programs, the CRA hopes to retain as well as attract businesses by helping to offset some of the costs required to maintain, improve, and start a business in the City of Delray Beach.”
During this current fiscal year, 2021-2022, the CRA has allocated $850,000 in economic development funding assistance for eligible businesses. Because the total amount of funding available can change from year to year, the CRA team highly encourages local business owners to take full advantage of these funding programs.
It’s also important to note that all businesses in the CRA district aren’t eligible for all programs so the CRA team encourages anyone who may be interested to review the Funding Assistance Programs on the CRA website and contact their office by phone at (561) 276-8640 once they are ready to apply or have any additional questions.
The Delray Beach CRA looks forward to another excellent year of funding and assisting our amazing local businesses!