The purpose of the City of Cape Canaveral Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is to promote the revitalization and redevelopment of properties located within the CRA District in a manner that will vastly improve the economic and social conditions of the City of Cape Canaveral. (See Figure 1 - CRA Boundary in the dark brown area).
Small business success is a key component of a successful and vibrant CRA District. Therefore, in an effort to increase local business awareness, economic productivity, and aesthetics within Cape Canaveral, the City is launching a Small Business Sign Assistance program to incentivize certain small business owners to improve business signage by replacing existing older and outdated signage with more modern signage that is not only more aesthetically attractive for the residents and visitors of a small beachside community, but to increase the brand exposure of small businesses to improve the chances of new customer acquisition and repeat business. This includes the removal of old signage and the design, production and installation of new signage; or substantial renovation of existing signage, including the installation of modern sign lighting, in compliance with current City codes. In furtherance of implementing this Program, the CRA has allocated $25,000 in CRA funding during the 2020/21 Fiscal Year for purposes of awarding a number of matching grants to be expended solely on the installation of new small business signage within the CRA District. Subject to the terms and conditions of the Program, Grant awards will be considered on a first come, first served basis based on a completed application, with reimbursement up to 50 percent of the cost of the new signage, and a maximum allocation up to $5,000 per applicant and property. The City will begin accepting applications for this program on Monday, January 4, 2021.
Figure 1: CRA Boundary
Small Business Eligibility
Small Business Eligibility:
Applicants must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a grant award:
1. The Applicant must be a for-profit business that employs 25 or fewer full-time employees, including the owner(s) and excluding franchises and national chains.
- Full-time employee means a person who is scheduled to work 35 or more hours per week
- If the small business owner does not own the subject property, the property owner must join as a co-applicant granting permission for the new signage to be constructed and maintained on the property.
3. The Applicant must be incorporated in Florida.
4. The Applicant must be registered to do business in Florida and in good standing with the Secretary of State, and must have a current City business tax receipt and such other applicable federal, state and local licenses.
5. The subject property must be current on local ad valorem taxes and assessments.
6. The Applicant must not employ illegal workers and must provide proof of enrollment in E-Verify pursuant to Section 448.095, Florida Statutes.
Application for funding must adhere to the following steps:
- Pre-application Meeting: Qualified applicants must schedule a pre-application meeting with CRA staff prior to submitting an application. Applicants will be provided with the program review criteria detailed in the City Code and any applicable program documents. The CRA office is located in the Community and Economic Development Department in City Hall at 100 Polk Avenue, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920. Pre-application appointments are available Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
- Application Submission: Within ten (10) business days of application submittal, CRA Staff will review the application for deficiencies/completeness and will contact the Applicant if additional information is required to complete the application. A resubmitted application will be considered a new application for purposes of determining order of receipt by the City. Only applications deemed complete by the City will be deemed submitted for determining eligibility based on first come, first served.
- Development Review Committee (DRC) Review: Within ten (10) days of receiving a completed application, CRA Staff will evaluate the application according to the program review criteria detailed in the City Code and program documentation and forward the application to the DRC with any Staff comments. A copy of Staff comments will be provided to the Applicant.
- Scheduling of DRC Meeting: The DRC shall publicly notice and convene a public meeting to hear and consider all new applications on a monthly basis, unless there are no applications or Program funding has been exhausted for the fiscal year to consider.
- Notification of DRC Meeting: The DRC meeting will be publically noticed and held in accordance with applicable law.
- Holding DRC Meeting: The DRC shall meet to consider each new application and shall determine by majority vote whether each application is approved or denied, with or without conditions; until such a time as all grant award reimbursement monies have been obligated on a first come, first served basis. The priority given and level of grant funding awarded by the DRC regarding any completed application will be determined using one or more of the following applicable factors:
- Complete replacement of existing ground signage greater than 10 years old.
- New signage over the renovation of existing signage.
- The aesthetic impact on the community including whether the proposed new sign will improve aesthetics along a high traffic major arterial or collector road.
- The scheduled completion date of the new signage.
- New signage that promises a greater economic impact or incorporate more modern and aesthetic improvements to the subject property.
- New multi-tenant ground signage that reduces and replaces (consolidates) existing individual tenant signage.
- New signage which address the safety or security of the public, customers or employees.
- New signage which make access to the property more convenient for customers or employees.
- New signage which will prevent, diminish or eliminate a blighted condition or unnecessary light pollution.
- New signage which reflects a greater proportion of private funds to be utilized over those funds being provided by the CRA under the Program.
- The size of the small business and the demonstrated need for grant funding.
- The number of years in business at the location to demonstrate economic stability.
- Consistency and compliance with the Program requirements, CRA Plan and applicable City Codes.
8. Permit Application and Site Inspection: Upon approval of the award by the DRC, the Applicant shall expeditiously proceed with permitting and construction of the new signage in order to complete the objectives of the Program. After notification of approval, an application shall be deemed eligible for grant award reimbursement in accordance with the Program and the applicant must submit for the necessary building permit (no fee required) within 45 days of receiving the notification of award. Projects will become ineligible for grant award reimbursement if work is begun prior to receiving a City building permit. After obtaining a City building permit, the Applicant must contact the Building Department to schedule progress inspections in accordance with the terms of the building permit. A final inspection approval by the City Building Official or designee is required when the permitted work is complete. A project will become ineligible for grant award reimbursement if the building permit does not receive an approved final inspection by the City Building Official prior to its expiration.
General CRA Incentive Program Requirements
- The FY 20/21 Grant Award Program only applies to on premise permanent signage affixed to a building or ground authorized by City Code. Temporary and off-premise signage is not eligible for reimbursement.
- Only completed applications, including all supporting documentation, will be reviewed and acted upon by the DRC.
- The Applicant must include the owner of real property located within the Cape Canaveral CRA, or his/her authorized designee. Tenants may be authorized by written consent of the property owner.
- Only real property located within the City of Cape Canaveral CRA is eligible for the grant award program.
- In order to be eligible for consideration, the property shall have no outstanding property taxes (City or County) or active City code enforcement actions.
- Each application shall include a minimum of three (3) cost estimates for the proposed work (such as a bid from a vendor/contractor).
- Funds will be allocated on a first come, first served matching basis subject to the Program review factors and applicable City Codes.
- Only one grant award per structure or property every five years shall be considered for approval.
- An Applicant must contribute at least 50% towards the total cost of the eligible signage improvement, and the Applicant’s contribution shall not be from insurance proceeds An Applicant shall incur all initial project costs (through completion of the project). Grant award reimbursements are only issued after the project has been completed in accordance with the grant award approval.
- Expenses must be related to direct labor, equipment, or materials associated with the eligible project improvements. Proof of all final expenses must be provided to CRA Staff for verification within (5) days of final permit inspection approval. An Applicant shall submit original receipts for all eligible expenses to CRA Staff. CRA Staff will review submitted expense receipts for compliance with program grant award requirements. In no case shall project grant award reimbursement exceed 50% of the verified cost of improvements or the maximum grant award amount approved, whichever is lower.
- Within 60 days of verification of expenses, the CRA shall distribute its grant award reimbursement to the Applicant.
- Changes to the scope of work or any term or condition of an awarded grant must be approved by CRA Staff, in writing, in advance of any extra cost incurred or extra work taking place. Failure to seek such approval and/or proceeding with unapproved changes constitutes a breach of the Program requirements and shall subject the grant award to cancellation, as determined by CRA Staff, subject to appellate review by the CRA Board.
- The maximum grant per property is $5,000 on a one-to-one (public to private fund) matching basis. No guarantee or expectation of maximum grant award is implied. CRA Staff may approve partial grant awards for any Project.
- CRA Staff and/or the DRC may attach and/or impose additional conditions of approval as deemed prudent and necessary in fulfillment of any grant award program. All Project applications must meet, or by completion of a Project meet all applicable City codes, land use/zoning, building and fire codes.
- The project improvement, which is the subject of grant award reimbursement, must be completed by appropriately licensed and insured professionals.
- The Applicant shall have 45 days to submit a completed application for the necessary building permit after receiving notification of award. Should the applicant fail to submit an application within 45 days, the award will be deemed automatically forfeited.
- Applicants must receive a building permit within ninety (90) days from the date the CRA approves the grant or the grant award will automatically expire. Upon written request of the applicant, an extension may be granted under extenuating circumstances.
- Project completion must be within three (3) months of the issuance of a building permit. Upon written request of the Applicant, an extension may be granted under extenuating circumstances.
- Grant award reimbursement will only be approved upon issuance of a Finding of Project Completion by CRA Staff. An Applicant shall submit the following documentation for CRA Staff review:
20. If an existing sign is damaged and the owner of the sign has filed or is eligible to file an insurance claim seeking recovery of insurance proceeds due to the damage, the replacement or renovation of the damaged sign is ineligible under the Program.