The Dubuque Main Street (DMS) Board of Directors is pleased to announce four programs to help economic vitality in downtown Dubuque. The programs include two grants, a low interest loan, and a credit support loan program.
A façade grant, offered by DMS, will provide up to $2,500 for upgrades to building fronts that preserve historical integrity. This includes projects like windows, brick work, signage, or doors. This grant requires a 50/50 match from the applicant and can be supplemented by a similar grant from the City’s Economic Development Department. City of Dubuque Economic Development Director, Jill Connors said, “the preservation of our downtown is not only a beautification effort, it also adds to our quality of live and attracts and retains talent in our community.”
The Swap Grant was provided to Dubuque Main Street from Dubuque County. It will provide up to 13 $10,000 grants for renovations to the interior of downtown mixed-use buildings that preserve historical integrity. This includes projects like floors, ceilings, walls, permanent fixtures, and/or HVAC. Half of these funds are earmarked for the Central Avenue Corridor. This grant also requires a 50/50 match from the applicant.
Dubuque Main Street’s Economic Vitality Committee has helped create a Loan Pool Program with six area financial institutions for acquisition and/or renovation of buildings in downtown Dubuque. “The Board of Directors and several local financial institutions are excited to offer a great Loan Program highlighted by a really competitive rate. Dubuque Main Street has seen a tremendous amount of success with this program over the years to help encourage acquisition and improvements to properties in our downtown offering new retail spaces and living spaces for the community,” said DMS Board President, Jeff Vaassen. These loans have a five-year fixed interest rate based off the current Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines Advance Rate plus 1.00%. The minimum loan amount is $50,000 with a maximum of $500,000. Participating financial institutions include Dubuque Bank & Trust, Dupaco Community Credit Union, Fidelity Bank & Trust, MidWestOne Bank, Premier Bank, and US Bank.
The fourth program is a collaboration between Dubuque Initiatives, Dubuque Main Street, and local financial institution partners. “There are entrepreneurial individuals in our community who are ready to start a business and support the Dubuque Main Street area though job creation, tasteful façade improvements, and to deliver quality products and services that will elevate the overall downtown experience. However, some may lack adequate capital to receive traditional financing. This tool should help give an opportunity to more individuals and bridge that gap,” said Nick Patrum, DMS Treasurer. It is a credit support program created for first floor buildouts intended to support low down payments and bridge collateral shortfalls. Applicants are required to submit a well drafted business plan, with their application and are only required to put 25% of the project cost down in cash. Loans are underwritten and issued by the DMS financial institution partner and 50% of the loan is guaranteed by Dubuque Initiatives. Special consideration will be given to buildings in the 1700-1900 block of Central Avenue.
All four programs are offered only to buildings in Dubuque Main Street’s 10 designated districts. A map of the districts, and the applications, can be found at www.dubuquemainstreet.org. For more information on these programs, please contact DMS Executive Director, Danielle Jacobs, at 563-588-4400. A special luncheon on these programs, along with other housing incentive programs, is being planned for May 31, 2023 at the Grand River Conference Center in Dubuque.