Sweat Equity grant program for Immokalee businesses.

Immokalee business owners have a new way to renovate store and business exteriors. 

The Immokalee CRA has opened its new Sweat Equity Grant Program to match 50 percent of the costs business owners spend on fixing up store fronts, exterior commercial buildings and aesthetic site improvements. 

All improvements must meet certain criteria (below) and must meet requirements of the community's current land development code, building codes and zoning overlays. Improvements which may correct sited code violoations also qualify if they are combined with other site improvements. 

The new program, along with many other CRA projects and programs are funded each year through a mechanism called Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, which captures Collier County property taxes above the 2000 Fiscal Year property tax value. TIF is a unique tool used to leverage public funds and promote private sector economic activity.

To qualify for the Sweat Equity grant program, businesses must meet these set of standards and criteria:  

  • The Grant is for commercial for-profit business structures that: 1) pay into the CRA tax increment, and 2) which are operating with a valid occupational license within the Immokalee 
  • Community Redevelopment Area, as established by Collier County Ordinance No. 2000-42.
  • The CRA will reimburse 50% of the cost of materials only for external improvements to existing structures, buildings and surrounding property.   
  • Grants will be paid out on a reimbursement basis upon verification by CRA staff that the items identified on material receipts have been used on the property for the purposes outlined on the application.
  • The minimum grant amount under this program shall be $250.00 (minimum $500.00 total material cost).
  • The maximum grant amount under this program shall be $2000.00 (minimum total material cost $4000.00).
  • No monetary value will be placed on the applicants sweat equity. Funds may not be used to cover the cost of labor or personal effort.
  • Funds may not be used to cover any permitting, design and/or inspection fees. 
  • Applicant must perform at least two exterior improvements that have been accepted by the CRA 
  • Advisory Board. Examples include windows/doors, stucco/paint, landscaping/irrigation, awnings/shutters, etc.
  • Grant applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis by CRA staff.
  • Grants applications shall be awarded by the CRA Governing Board upon recommendation by 1) CRA staff, and 2) the CRA Local Advisory Board. 
  • Grants will be considered for award by CRA staff based on funding availability.In order to spread the impact of the program throughout the community, there will be a one-year waiting period between grant awards for each individual property.   
  • All proposed work must be approved via written CRA notice-to-proceed before beginning any work.  
  • Grant funding is not retroactive. Receipts that are dated before application approval date will not be a recognized expenditure. 
  • Applicants are required to request a meeting with CRA staff prior to submittal of application.

Please call the Immokalee CRA office for more information. Questions can be directed in Spanish to Christie Betancourt, 239-867-0025; in Creole to James Sainvilus, 239-867-0026; or in English to Bradley Muckel, 239-867-0027. 

%d bloggers like this: