Small business owners in San Diego whose buildings are in need of a facelift can get some help from the city with the Storefront Improvement Program (SIP).
The SIP takes old, ugly storefronts and revitalizes them into fantastic, inviting looking storefronts. The City of San Diego provides financial incentives as well as design assistance to business owners who want to spruce up their storefronts.
Not just any business can take advantage of the SIP. There are a few criteria you have to meet. If you want to apply for the SIP, your business must:
- be a small business with 25 or fewer employees,
- be located in the City of San Diego and
- have a current Business Tax Certificate.
There are also some exclusions from the program:
- national franchises,
- large office buildings in excess of 80,000-square-feet,
- residential rental buildings (apartments),
- home-based businesses,
- structures not facing the public right-of-way,
- government owned and occupied buildings,
- churches and other religious institutions.
- properties that have received an SIP rebate within the last five years and
- projects that have already begun or completed renovations/construction.
With the SIP, you can repair or replace:
- tile or other decorative material, and
You can also use the SIP rebate for removal of security bars and altering your signage so it complies with city building codes.
If you do get an SIP, you have to follow these parameters for the design of your new storefront:
- The new design must respect the original features of the building including the use of color and suitable materials.
- You must limit additional signage by incorporating it into the building’s design.
- You should use suitable landscaping that will aid in the preservation of community scale and character.
The City of San Diego offers three different SIP rebate options:
- Standard Projects: reimburses the applicant for one-half of the eligible construction costs up to a maximum of $8,000.
- Historic Projects: reimburses the applicant for two-thirds of the eligible construction costs up to a maximum of $12,000. (Historic photos showing the property as it will be restored to must be submitted.)
- Multiple Tenant Commercial Projects: reimburses property owners with a commercial building that leases to multiple small business tenants one-half of the eligible construction costs up to a maximum of $16,000. (Each qualified tenant must have their own street-facing entrance.)
San Diego’s Storefront Improvement Program can be a great way for small businesses in San Diego to give their unsightly storefronts a makeover. You can apply for the San Diego Storefront Improvement Program here.[Main photo courtesy of Allan Ferguson on Flickr]