Business Improvement Grant

Black River Falls Downtown Association Business Improvement Grant Program


As a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Program, the Downtown Association makes these grants available to business and property owners for the purpose of promoting the historic character of our downtown. Our mission of downtown revitalization recognizes the importance of maintaining and enhancing the historic qualities of downtown. Grants awarded through this program are intended to encourage property improvements which further this mission.

Applicants are advised that the Association is not obligated to consider requests for work undertaken prior to approval of the grant proposal.


  • Grants are to be used for exterior rehabilitation to existing commercial buildings within the Black River Falls Downtown Business Improvement District.
  • Rehabilitations or improvements are to be in accordance with the Association's Design Guidelines and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Compliance will be determined by the Association's Design Review Committee.
  • Grants will provide a dollar for dollar match of business or property owner project funding up to a maximum of $1000 per project for facade improvements and $500 per project for signs and signage. Only one grant may be applied per assessed address per year.
  • A limited amount of funding is available under this program, and the Design Review Committee reserves the right to make awards of limited funds based on the relative merits and positive impacts of the projects. If several projects are under consideration at one time, grant applications will be considered in order that they are received in the Downtown Association office.
  • Building owners or their tenants may apply; tenant applicants are required to submit written evidence of building owner approval with their application.
  • Limited design assistance is available from the State Main Street office; design reference materials-including text and slide presentations-are also available in the Downtown association office for your review. Applicants are encouraged to consult with Downtown Association Board as their designs are developed.
  • The Black River Falls Downtown Association will not use race, sex, age, or religion as grounds for refusing a grant to an eligible applicant.

Examples of Eligible Activities: 
Eligible improvements include but are not limited to:

  • Painting
  • Building cleaning
  • Door and window replacement or alteration
  • Tuckpointing or other masonry repair
  • Materials and labor, and professional design assistance
  • Awnings
  • Exterior signs
  • Window signs
  • Lighting used in conjunction with new or existing signage


Grant Application Procedure

  1. Complete the grant application form available at the Downtown Association office and attach two copies of the proposed business design, along with a sheet detailing the cost of the project. Grant proposal may be delivered in person or mailed to the Downtown Association office.
  2. If the proposal conforms to all local ordinances and all aspects of the project and application are acceptable, the Design Review Committee will approve the application. Should the committee require further information or alterations to the proposal, the applicant will be contacted by the Downtown Association Board.
  3. Once the application is accepted and formally approved by the Design Review Committee, any changes in the facade or sign project specifications must be approved by the Downtown Board. The manager may refer such change proposals to the Design Review Committee as needed.
    *Deviations from an approved project plan may disqualify the applicant from receiving grant funding.
  4. The applicant and the Downtown Association Board will conduct a final inspection upon completion of the project. Grant monies will only be disbursed after such inspection and sign-off by manager on grant application form and after submittal to the Downtown Association Office of paid receipts for the work.

Return completed application forms and materials to:

Black River Falls Downtown Association 

132 Main Street 

P.O. Box 27 

Black River Falls, WI 54615