Aurora Downtown Offers BIG Grants to Help Businesses Open

All Spoked Up, Aurora

All Spoked Up opened a second location in downtown Aurora thanks to a grant offered by Aurora Downtown, an organization that serves downtown’s businesses and property owners.

In 2015, Aurora Downtown, downtown’s organization of business and property owners, successfully helped to open four new storefronts by offering grants to businesses that wished to locate in downtown Aurora.

Encouraged by the success of the grant program’s first year, Aurora Downtown’s Business Attraction and Retention Committee is once again offering grants to businesses locating in the area that Aurora Downtown serves.

The goal of the Business Incentive Grant Program (BIG) is to incentivize desired independently-owned for-profit businesses to locate or grow in downtown Aurora’s Special Service Area.

Desired businesses include restaurants, bakeries, pubs, cafes, small grocers; hobby, music, clothing, shoe, and book stores; florists; and creative arts including artists studios, performing arts spaces, and the culinary arts; pet supply stores; exercise studios; and specialty furniture stores.

The BIG program offers a grant for 30 percent of eligible expenses not to exceed $10,000 for independently-owned businesses to downtown Aurora that fall within the desired use category.

Grants are available for projects that bring new business into Aurora or allow an existing business to expand in a significant way that will benefit downtown. Examples of acceptable projects for an existing business are landscaping to allow for more outdoor seating at restaurants, purchase of equipment that expands the services offered by a business, interior remodeling that allows a business to offer new goods and services or improve the experience of customers.

Grant money is not available for inventory, payroll, deferred maintenance, or other routine expenses.

The business owner must provide the following documentation:

  • Business plan including detailed financial forecast
  • Project overview including summarizing the project, explaining how the project will benefit downtown Aurora, and detailed expenses
  • Property owner’s agreement
  • For an existing business – two years of financial statements
  • For a new business – funding breakdown / bank statements, two years of personal tax returns

Eligible applicants will be interviewed by Aurora Downtown’s Business Attraction and Retention Committee. Once interviews are completed, the committee will make its final decision.

BIG may be disbursed as a lump sum upon documented completion of the project. Alternatively, BIG may have partial disbursements upon documented completion of predetermined project milestones.

Grants are provided on a first come first served basis and are dependent upon funds being available.

For more information, contact Cadence Peterson at (630) 256-3170 or cadence@auroradowntown.org.

View the application HERE.