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Business Facade Grant Program


The City of Fairfax Business Facade Grant Program is designed to stimulate private investment in high-quality building improvements that contribute to the overall strength and community vitality of our local business economy. The Economic Development Authority (EDA) establishes funding to assist private business owners in their efforts to make facade improvements to enhance the visual aesthetics of the community.

Program Guidelines:

  1. The EDA funding will work on a calendar year basis to provide assistance to eligible applicants and projects.
  2. $25,000 of assistance will be allocated for the first year with future annual amounts determined by the EDA.
  3. Program grants are up $5,000 match. A minimum of 50% match for funding is required.
  4. An applicant may only be awarded one grant per building per 12 month period.
  5. All work must be done on the front of the building as it faces a street.
  6. All work must be completed within 150 days of approval.
  7. Approved projects must comply with zoning and building code permitting.

Applications must have:

  1. Scope of the repair or replacement.
  2. Detail of work to be completed (plans and specifications) – may include drawings, renderings, written detail of work including colors, designs, and other aspects.
  3. Photo of existing building (may be emailed as attachment).
  4. Timeline for project.
  5. If work is to be done by property owner, only materials are grant eligible.
  6. If tenant is the applicant, written letter of support and authorization from building owner indicating they support the project and has reviewed the terms and conditions of the program.

*** The EDA highly recommends and looks favorably on the use of local contractors ***

Eligible Applicants:

  1. Grants will be made available to owners of a commercial building located within the corporate limits of the City of Fairfax, Minnesota.
  2. Property taxes must be current.
  3. Utility bills must be current.
  4. There shall not be any debts in arrears to the City when the approval letter is issued.

Eligible Project Costs:

  1. Awnings & canopies
  2. Masonry work
  3. Windows
  4. Doors
  5. Entryways & thresholds
  6. Painting
  7. Carpentry
  8. Siding
  9. Signs
  10. Permanent landscaping
  11. Restoration/rehabilitation of architectural features and other exterior aspects
  12. Other related work as approved and consistent with the above

Ineligible Project Costs:

  1. Any interior work
  2. New construction and building additions
  3. Acquisition
  4. Improvements not visible from public areas
  5. Parking lots
  6. Painting and siding (except if allowable above)
  7. Roofs (except if allowable above)
  8. Plants and other movable, non-permanent landscaping features
  9. Improvements already completed or in progress at time of application
  10. Routine building maintenance
  11. Properties that are primarily residential
  12. Security systems
  13. Personal property
  14. Interior window coverings
  15. Equipment
  16. Any improvements not visible from the public right-of-way
  17. Inventory or working capital
  18. Any work completed before receiving approval from the EDA

Application Review:

The EDA will review applications on a first come, first served basis. The grant application review process involves examination of application including plans and specifications of the project by the EDA, who will make the final decision on grant awards. Applicants will be notified, in writing, of their award/rejection after final decision is made.


The Facade Grant Program is a Reimbursement style program. This means the EDA will not release awarded funds until the project is completed and the following have been submitted:

  1. Evidence of paid invoices to contractors or materials vendor for the project.
  2. Report of Building Inspector indicating approval of completion, if applicable.
  3. A photograph of the building when the project is completed.
Once these are received and accepted in good order a check for reimbursement will be issued to the applicant.