Partnerships drive our community. Join us in building the best place and people for your business by investing in Charlotte.
Successful public-private partnerships allow the City of Charlotte to influence key elements of a development project and enhance amenities enjoyed by the whole community.
The Economic Development Department has a strong track record of leveraging private investment to facilitate economic growth and help shape Charlotte. The staff collaborates with a variety of nonprofit agencies to enhance Charlotte’s business climate and support existing businesses.
We continually seek strategic partners to leverage public infrastructure investments on transformative, impactful real estate projects. We go on beyond capital investment bonds and tax increment grants by assigning a project concierge to walk your project through the public approvals process. Let us serves as your go-to team for helping you navigate each city department from planning to permits.
Kick your curb appeal up a notch with a Façade Improvement Grant or elevate your space with an Interior Upfit Grant. Want to capture the power of collaborating with neighboring businesses? Maybe a Business District Organization Grant could help leverage your development’s combined assets to bring in more customers. Our support for your main street business extends beyond funding, as we can also connect you to a myriad of partners to grow your business. We want to help you unlock more funding for business improvements.
The Business District Organization Grant is awarded annually while our other business grants are quarterly.
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The Business Security Grant Program seeks to develop relationships between corridor businesses and community police officers while at the same time reducing the opportunity for crime by helping business and property owners create a safer environment for employees and customers.
The Facade Improvement Grant Program seeks to remove blight by assisting businesses and commercial property owners with improving building appearance and by bringing signs, parking and landscaping into conformance with current codes.
The Business Interior Up-fit Improvement Grant assists commercial property owners and/or commercial tenants with improvements, and renovations to the interior of the business. This Grant seeks to provide an overall revitalization, especially if coupled with the Façade and Security Improvement Grants.
A Brownfield is a vacant or under-utilized property that may be environmentally contaminated and has redevelopment potential. Brownfield redevelopment removes blight, increases the tax base, retains and attracts quality businesses, provides services, brings jobs to the community, and reduces the potential of harm to the community from environmental contamination.
The Brownfield Grant Programs assist business and property owners and infill developers with overcoming the barriers contamination presents for the redevelopment of underutilized Brownfield sites in Charlotte’s distressed business districts and neighborhoods.
The Business District Organization Grant Program (BDOP) is a matching, reimbursement grant program that seeks to support the work of business organizations serving targeted business districts. The City will provide up to $30,000 in reimbursed matching funds per year to qualified business district organizations for eligible expenses, where the City reimburses two-thirds (66.6%) of funds raised and spent for eligible expenses by the organization.
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We are always looking for ways to plug developers into the future of our growing city. Let’s forge transformative partnerships to multiply your investment and anticipate community needs for an inspiring future. Often this funding is used to advance needed public infrastructure, like new roads or water upgrades. These improvements also create jobs and grow the city’s tax base.
Capital Investment Plan
The City of Charlotte’s Capital Investment Plan (CIP) is a long-range investment program designed to develop projects that move Charlotte forward while addressing our community’s infrastructure needs. This tool funds the city’s highest priority projects – those that generate the most benefit and impact to the entire community. Partners making these infrastructure improvements may be reimbursed monthly during construction or after the project is completed using bonds.
Tax Increment Grant
A Tax Increment Grant (TIG) is another financial tool that the City uses to influence key elements of development, while enhancing community benefits. TIG funding is often used in a public-private partnership, which is a collaboration between the government and private sector. A TIG is a reimbursement of incremental ad valorem taxes, typically a partnership between the city, county and private sector. Unlike a CIP-funded project, which can fund a project during construction, TIGs are reimbursed after all development is complete and the project is generating an incremental value. A TIG may also provide gap funding for developments that achieve city goals and objectives, such as affordable and workforce housing, and job creation, but would not be financially feasible without assistance from the city.
Opportunity Zones is a federally run program which promotes inclusive and equitable economic development, affordable housing and job creation. An Opportunity Zone is an area that has historically lacked investment and where new investors in property or businesses may qualify to receive tax incentives. The U.S. Department of Treasury has certified 252 Opportunity Zones in North Carolina and 17 zones in Charlotte.
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An Opportunity Zone is an area that has historically lacked investment and where new investors in property or businesses may qualify to receive tax incentives.
The U.S. Department of Treasury has certified 252 Opportunity Zones in North Carolina and 17 zones in Charlotte. The zones are based on census tracts: small subdivisions of a county or similar entity that act as stable geographic units for presenting statistical data.
Opportunity Zones can help promote inclusive and equitable economic development, affordable housing and job creation.
The City of Charlotte’s role is to:
- Provide information about Opportunity Zone funds to developers, business owners and residents.
- Connect businesses or developments in targeted Opportunity Zones with the investment funds.
- Use existing city programs and incentives to support Opportunity Zone projects that align with community goals and values.
- Target strategic projects in Opportunity Zones that promote economic mobility.
- Reduce the potential negative impact of Opportunity Fund investments.
How are Opportunity Zones a Useful Investment Resource?
Investors with recently realized capital gains invest in local businesses, real estate or development projects through Qualified Opportunity Funds, in exchange for a reduction in their tax obligations.
A Qualified Opportunity Fund is a partnership or corporation for investing in eligible property located in an Opportunity Zone. Investors can defer tax on any prior gains invested in a Qualified Opportunity Fund until the date on which the investment in a fund is sold or exchanged, or Dec. 31, 2026, whichever is earlier.
At least 90% of the investments must be spent on an operating business, equipment or real estate within an Opportunity Zone.
The funds do not provide direct grants, but can provide repayable loans or equity investments. Funds have the potential to direct financing to areas of Charlotte where access to traditional capital is difficult.
How Can Business Owners Use the Opportunity Zone Program?
Existing business owners can benefit from being in an Opportunity Zone in two ways:
Attract new capital: Potential investors can take advantage of the Opportunity Zone tax incentives by investing in a business through a Qualified Opportunity Fund.
Self-investment: A business owner’s capital gains can earn Opportunity Zone tax incentives if the owner invests it back into the business.
How can Property Owners Benefit from Opportunity Zones?
Property owners in Opportunity Zones can benefit by attracting new investors or tenants. Property owners who own land within an Opportunity Zone and are willing to sell may find their property is highly sought by investors or potential buyers. Property owners may also benefit through businesses that rent space on their property and can attract and acquire investment resources from Qualified Opportunity Funds.