EDA's Local Incentive Program (LIP)

Façade Improvement Grant (FIG)
A matching grant of up to $25,000 to help improve facades of existing buildings and enhance the streetscape.

Eligibility: 

  • Property owners and tenants within the designated geographies
  • Property must be current with City taxes and fees
  • Property may not have outstanding codes violations (unless FIG will be used to rectify violations)
  • Property is identified as commercial, industrial, office, mixed-use, or multi-family residential
  • Property is an existing improvement. New construction is not eligible.
  • Application must be approved by the EDA prior to beginning work
  • FIG is a reimbursement grant based on verifiable evidence of paid expenses in the form of canceled checks or receipts.
  • Applications must be approved by the EDA prior to beginning work.

Permitted Improvements; examples:

  • Contracted labor related to any eligible improvements (including project management fees)
  • Exterior lighting
  • Exterior painting
  • Restoration or architectural details or removal of materials that cover architectural details
  • Repair and/or replacement of windows and exterior doors
  • Roofing (in conjunction with other improvements only)
  • Window and cornice flashing and repair (in conjunction with other improvements only)
  • Up to 15% contingency may be reimbursed, as based on contractor’s estimates

Prohibited Improvements; examples:

  • Billboards
  • Interior improvements
  • Improvements underway or expenses incurred prior to EDA approval
  • Landscaping and plants
  • Mechanical and HVAC systems
  • New construction
  • Signage
  • Security systems (i.e., cameras, window bars, etc.)

Interior Build Out Grant
A matching grant of up to $10,000 to help support business owners and commercial property owners with the rehabilitation of ground floor interior space to create either a vanilla shell space or provide build-out improvements. Improvements must be permanent and stay with the building. 

 Eligibility:

  • Property owners and tenants within the designated geographies.
  • Property must be current with City taxes and fees.
  • Property may not have outstanding codes violations related to the interior.
  • Property is identified as commercial, industrial, office, mixed-use, or multi-family residential.
  • Property is an existing improvement or expansion into the existing first floor space.
  • New construction is not eligible.
  • IBOG is a reimbursement grant based on verifiable evidence of paid expenses in the form of canceled checks or receipts.
  • Applications must be approved by the EDA prior to beginning work. 

Permitted Improvement; examples:

  • Architectural design costs (up to 25%)
  • HVAC system
  • Interior walls
  • Interior plumbing
  • Interior electrical system including lighting
  • Flooring
  • Repair or restoration of architectural detailing
  • Up to 15% contingency may be reimbursed, as based on contractor’s estimates

Prohibited Improvements, examples:

  • Exterior improvements
  • Improvements to interior space above the ground floor
  • Improvements in progress or expenses incurred prior to EDA approval
  • Security systems (e.g., cameras, window bars, etc.)
  • New Construction 

Safety and Security Grant
A grant to assist commercial property owners and tenants with the costs related to improving safety and security measures. Grants are paid as a 100% reimbursement up to $2,000. 

Eligibility:

  • Property owners and tenants within designated geographies
  • Property must be current on all City of Portsmouth taxes and fees
  • Property is zoned for commercial, industrial, office, or mixed-use
  • Applicants have conducted a property evaluation in conjunction with the Portsmouth Police Department (PPD) and/or Portsmouth Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services (PFRES)
  • Installed equipment should be permanent and remain with the building.

Permitted Improvement; examples:

  • Access control systems
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Intrusion or fire detection systems
  • Security lighting
  • Video surveillance
  • Prohibited Improvements; examples:
  • Cyber security software and/or equipment
  • Personal safety items (e.g., weapons, firearms, etc.)
  • Special and/or structural renovations,
  • Temporarily installed systems,
  • Wages for employed or contracted security staff.

Windows of Opportunity Grant
A grant to assist commercial property owners with aesthetically enhancing their street-level retail space using window artwork and effective messaging. Grants are paid as 100% reimbursement up to $2,000. 

Eligibility:

  • Property owners within designated geographies
  • Property must be current on all City of Portsmouth taxes and fees
  • Property is zoned for commercial, industrial, office, or mixed-use