The City of Bakersfield is announcing competitive grants for property and/or business owners within the Downtown EOA for site improvements and business expansion.
Donor Name: City of Bakersfield
Type of Grant: Grant
Size of the Grant: $75,000 to $99,999
City of Bakersfield’s Economic Opportunity Area (EOA) Plan supports business growth, development, entrepreneurship, and innovation. The EOA Plan is a locally initiated program that uses tax increment financing and local sales tax revenue to promote economic growth and development investment within specific geographic areas of Bakersfield.
The City of Bakersfield Economic Opportunity Area incentive programs offer financial assistance to property and business owners in specific geographic regions of the City. Your business property must be within the borders of the Downtown EOA area to be eligible for funding assistance in this program.
The City has allocated $400,000 for the 23/24 fiscal year in funding. The grant request amount depends on the job creation thresholds as shown below:
- $5,000: 1
- $5,000 to $20,000: 2
- $20,000 to $35,000: 3
- $35,000 to $50,000: 4
- $50,000 to $75,000: 5
- $75,000 to $99,999: 6
The grant can fund Facade Improvements (exterior building improvements); Site Enhancements (nonstructural improvements); and Tenant Improvements (publicly visible interior improvements).
- Exterior Façade Improvements
- The project must include exterior improvements that are visible to the public and improve the property. All exterior improvements, made possible by the receipt of grant funds, shall remain with the property on which the improvements were originally constructed. The grantee may request permission from the ECD Director to remove or relocate the exterior improvements.
- Site/Property Enhancements
- The project includes site enhancements to improve aspects to a property not related to the structure that add curb appeal and value to the property. All site improvements, made possible by the receipt of grant funds, shall remain with the property on which the improvements were originally constructed. The grantee may request permission from the ECD Director to remove or relocate the site improvements.
- Rehabilitation/Tenant Improvements
- This project must include “high-visibility interior improvements” defined as improvements that are associated with areas visible from the exterior of the building and/or are areas normally occupied by customers (i.e. dining room, lobbies, salesfloors, etc.). Tenant improvements are not required to remain with the property.
This is for business relocation to or expansion within the Downtown EOA. The applicant must either take ownership of the new location or enter at minimum a three-year lease. Assistance also includes a rent reimbursement to assist businesses during the critical first year of operation at the new location. The total costs must be more than five thousand dollars ($5,000). Note: this is an incentive that is separate from the requirements of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Properties Acquisition Policies Act or the California Relocation Act. The grant helps with the initial costs associated with relocating, opening a new or expanding a business in the Downtown EOA area. Eligible activities include:
- Property acquisition costs
- Real estate fees
- Rent/lease reimbursement (1st year only)
- New business permit fee
- Moving costs (no labor)
- New furniture/equipment (no installation costs)
- New hire payroll (1st year only)
Improvements shall conform to all City of Bakersfield Codes, Ordinances, Permits, Site Plan Review, and applicable Design Guidelines. It recommends consultation with the City’s Building, Planning and Public Works Departments before completing your application.
- As grant recipient, you have sole responsibility for choosing and hiring the contractor, and the acceptance of the materials used, the work performed, and quality of workmanship of the property improvements. All Contractors funded with grant funds must have an appropriate and valid California Contractor’s license and a current City of Bakersfield Business Tax Certificate.
- Contractors must comply with the California Labor Code, including but not limited to requirements regarding hours of labor, nondiscrimination, payroll records, apprentices, worker’s compensation, and prevailing wages, when required.
- To ensure efficient use of program funds, when the proposed activity is construction related, applications must be submitted with at least three construction bids/estimates.
- Activities under this grant may be subject to California prevailing wages. Generally, any public works project involving construction, alteration, demolition, installation maintenance, or repair work done under contract and paid for in whole or in part with public funds (i.e. local tax revenue), is subject to prevailing wage. However, public works projects for new construction, alteration, installation, demolition or repair projects, prevailing wages are not required to be paid for projects of $25,000 or less, or $15,000 or less when the project is for maintenance work.
- Applicants must have no active investigations or pending violations of City codes or criminal investigations.
- New construction projects and buildings occupied by the following types of businesses are ineligible for funding: gun stores, pawn shops, check cashing businesses, liquor stores, Adult Entertainment Businesses cigarette stores, video game and gambling establishments.
- Business owners who are tenants of a building (minimum three-year lease) must provide written consent from the building owner for all proposed improvements. In addition, the grant application must be signed by the property owner.
- To be eligible for a grant you must be:
For more information, visit City of Bakersfield.