Aurora Downtown offers small business grants in SSA #One

Aurora Downtown’s Business Attraction and Retention (BAR) Committee is excited to offer a variety of grants established to support businesses, property owners, and initiatives taking place in Special Service Area (SSA) #One.

Applications are accepted and reviewed at the BAR meeting following the submission deadline. There are three grant application deadlines annually: March 1, June 1, and September 1. Applicants will be notified of a decision within 90 days of receiving the application. 

The Aurora Downtown BAR Committee will provide grants that align within these three identified areas:

  • Marketing Grant – Applicant may apply for up to $2,500 to support a marketing initiative to promote your business – website, events, marketing collateral, etc. or to help support a specific community event.
  • Program Grant – Applicant may apply for up to $5,000 to support a new series or initiative that attracts new visitors to the SSA. Possible projects could include an art exhibit, program series. 
  • Building Grant – Applicant may apply for up to $10,000 to support permanent improvements on the exterior or interior of a space, and signage. Support will be considered for projects that improve the state of the building and may not be for repairs or preventative maintenance. 

Interested applicants should submit a letter of application describing the project in its entirety and fill out the accompanied application. In your letter, discuss how the event, program, or improvements add something new, create a new draw, or attract a new market to the SSA. For event and program support, please identify what your deliverable will be and examine what makes the event or program innovative. For building grants, please discuss steps you have already taken. Please identify other sources of funding secured for your project.

The letter should also examine the potential economic impact the project will have on the community and how you would use the funds. Lastly, please identify your goal(s) for the event, program, or project; and how you will measure success. 

Completed applications will consist of: 

  • Grant Cover Sheet (click button below)
  • Letter of Application (2 pages max)
  • Project Budget (1 page) 
  • Supporting Materials (4 pages max)
    • Please include any additional materials that could support your application such as renderings, quotes, etc. *not required* 

Completed applications should be emailed to

*Grants are reimbursable by submitting paid receipts within six months of grant being awarded*

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