USA Niagara Development Corporation Grant Program

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The USA Niagara Grant Program is an economic incentive program that will help create jobs and encourage businesses to invest in new development projects in downtown Niagara Falls.

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The grant program is designed to encourage business activity that would not occur without public sector investment and provides financial assistance to projects that will create or retain jobs. USA Niagara will consider projects that demonstrate the ability to deliver a viable project including the following elements:

  • Site Control.
  • Eligible costs include site acquisition, demolition/renovations, remediation of existing structures, new construction and build-out, and new equipment purchases.
  • Projects must be consistent with any existing local or regional comprehensive plan, building on efforts to redevelop downtown into a vibrant tourism destination.
  • Project costs incurred prior to project approval by USA Niagara may not be reimbursed.
  • The Program will generally fund no more than $100,000 of eligible project costs. Project cost must be a minimum of $25,000.
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Funds must be used within the USA Niagara Development District.

Major criteria to be considered by USA Niagara in evaluating project proposals include:

  • The extent and nature of job creation or retention resulting from project.
  • Highest priority in project selection will be given to those projects that USA Niagara determines will result in the most long-term private sector job creation and /or retention and / or the creation of tourism and eco-tourism related development.
  • Whether the project promotes economic reuse through demolition and redevelopment of an available site.
  • Impact of the project on tourism activity within the development district.
  • Likelihood that the project costs reflects accurate market conditions.
  • Likelihood that the project will actually be undertaken and completed within the timeframe stated by the applicant. Factors to be evaluated in this regard include but are not limited to:
    • Appropriateness of financing structure and presence of existing funding commitments within proposed funding mix
    • Status of required permits
    • Environmental assessments of proposed project
    • Viability of the project as proposed; will the project be financially viable (e.g., will adequate revenues be available to meet ongoing costs?)
    • Equity investment in the project
    • Effect of the proposed project on other USA Niagara initiatives

Applications for proposed development and/or building rehabilitation under the Grant Program must conform to USAN's established Urban Design Standards. These include design requirements for issues such as siting of buildings, parking lot treatments, architectural features, materials, and facade rehabilitation standards.  A full copy of the Urban Design Standards can be downloaded here

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How to Apply

Applications will be made available after qualifying applicants attest to the viability and quality of their projects. You may contact the USA Niagara Development Corporation offices at (716) 284-2556.

Grant applicants are requested to provide the following information:

  • Description of project. Business Plan (for new businesses).
  • Number of full-time and part-time employees created or retained by project.
  • Budget describing the sources and uses of funds.
  • Site control information.
  • Renderings of project.
  • Intent to participate in City facade grant program (architectural assistance may be available).