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Grants to Indiana Commercial Building Owners and Tenants in Eligible Areas for Exterior Renovations

Small Business Facade and Property Improvement Program

GrantWatch ID# 196249
Agency: Foundation

Funding Source
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis
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Geographic Focus
USA: Indiana: Incorporated boundaries of the City of Indianapolis and Marion County.

Important Dates
Deadline: 03/17/23 Midnight Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $20,000 to Indiana commercial and industrial building owners and tenants in eligible locations for exterior renovations and upgrades. Funding is intended to attract new customers and contribute to the beautification of the area. Priority will be given to buildings and businesses owned by minorities. Eligible commercial properties are located in incorporated boundaries of the City of Indianapolis and Marion County. Preference is given to projects located in LISC neighborhoods.

The Small Business Facade and Property Improvement Program provides grants to property and small business owners who are interested in renovating the front exterior. This grant was created to encourage property owners and small businesses to improve the exterior of their buildings and storefronts to attract new customers and beautify the area. These front exterior improvements could include signage, exterior lighting, windows, murals, painting, doors, and/or structural or design changes.

These are the projects that will be prioritized to receive funding:  

  • Minority-owned properties and businesses 
  • Small businesses and property owned by Indianapolis residents 
  • Commercial property or businesses located in LISC neighborhoods. 
  • Façade improvements that incorporate design elements to prevent crime
  • Exterior improvements that can be completed in 6 months.

Exterior improvements not only beautify an area, but intentional design elements can prevent crime and improve the neighborhood's quality of life (e.g. nighttime lighting, windows looking onto streets and parking lots, etc.).

Façade Improvement Grant funds may be requested for art murals on the façade of businesses and buildings. Preference for murals to be completed by local, minority/immigrant/women artists. If you plan to do a mural for your business or commercial property, please connect with Julia Moore, Director of Public Art to discuss your mural plans. 

For information about evaluation criteria, see:


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Any building owner or tenant of a commercial or industrial building located in Marion County is eligible to apply. All applications from building tenants require the signature and approval of the building owner. Minority-owned buildings and businesses will be prioritized for receiving the grant.

All commercial properties in Marion County are eligible (except apartments and buildings used for religious purposes).

Additional Geographic Information:

Click here for a map of the community development corporations (CDC):

Projects that are ineligible for the façade program:
- Residential properties, business based in homes
- Apartment/residential buildings
- Properties outside of Marion County, Indianapolis
- A commercial building that has a primary purpose as a place of worship (or religious-related use) is not eligible.
- Commercial buildings that house establishments related to gambling, casinos, gun stores, adult book stores, etc.

Commercial properties that are vacant and do not have identified an end use (office, retail, etc.) or a tenant (at least a letter of intent) are not going to be as competitive.

Ineligible Improvements: Site improvements such as parking lots, paving, raised planters and planting areas, street trees, detached signage, fencing and railings, roof repairs, and improved pedestrian amenities including sidewalks, or benches are ineligible. These types of improvements can be counted as the building or business owner's contribution, but cannot be reimbursed by the grant.

Grants cannot be used retroactively for building improvements already completed. All related construction and improvements to be supported by the program must occur after the grant has been awarded.

Pre-Application Information
The application deadline for this grant round is March 17, 2023, at midnight.

Before you begin an application, ensure that you have consulted the community development corporation (CDC) that serves your area. CDCs can often provide guidance with the application and typically play a role in the reimbursement process for the grant. Applications submitted without the name/support of a CDC are less likely to receive an award.

During each grant round, the online application remains open for 4-6 weeks. After the application closes, the review committee will review applications and make award decisions over the following 2-3 weeks.

LISC neighborhoods:

Estimated Size of Grant
This is a rebate program where business and property owners receive reimbursement for between 50-90% of the cost of the project in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 for completed work.

Term of Contract
Exterior improvements must be completed within 6-9 months of award. If awarded, the award letter will include deadline for when the work needs to be completed.

Contact Information

Alex Oleson
Assistant Program Officer – Economic Development

If you plan to do a mural for your business or commercial property, please connect with Julia Moore, Director of Public Art, at or 317-631-3301 x 240.

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