Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Main Street Iowa (MSI) Challenge Grant

Grants to Iowa Communities for Construction
Projects and Infrastructure Improvements in Eligible Areas

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

Main Street Iowa (MSI) and Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA)

Deadline Date:

09/21/18 11:59 PM


Request a Grant Writer

Grants ranging from $15,000 to $75,000 to Iowa communities for construction projects to improve infrastructure in designated areas. Funding is intended to improve the economic and physical health of participating cities and districts.

The primary goals of the MSI Challenge grant are:

a. Stimulate appropriate building rehab of significant commercial historic buildings in Main Street districts.
b. Stimulate appropriate infill development in downtown districts
c. Create a positive climate for additional investment – public and private
d. Support local revitalization efforts.
e. Demonstrate “Main Street at work” in the local community
f. Provide local Main Street programs with an exclusive financial incentive program
g. Create additional jobs and business growth

These goals will be achieved through:

a. Quality historic property rehabilitation
b. Creating downtown housing – particularly upper floor housing
c. Creating unique business locations
d. Context sensitive infill development
e. Strategic investment by IEDA into key local projects
f. Research and utilization of appropriate available financial resources/programs
g. Creating local job and business opportunities

Eligible Projects:

Rehabilitation and/or restoration of significant commercial propertieswithin the designated Main Street district. This can include, but is not limited to:

- Façade improvements (Front, rear and side)
- Upper floor interior rehabilitation
- Structural repairs/improvements
- Code compliance
- First floor interior rehabilitation
- Energy efficiency/sustainability improvements
- Single specific phase of a large rehab. The project must have a specific defined focus and clearly identifiable scope of work including start/end dates and milestones for completion.

Compatible New Construction including building additions with first floor commercial and upper floor(s) commercial or residential within the designated Main Street district. Razing of an existing structure to allow for new construction will not be considered an eligible use of funds.

Multiple properties committed to a mutually agreed upon improvement or series of improvements located within the designated Main Street district. All multiple properties applications must be connected by a common need or issue that defines the scope/type of proposed project. For instance, a series of rear entrances visible from a parking lot; the removal of inappropriate slipcovers/siding materials and façade restoration for a number of buildings, multiple upper floor rehabilitations, etc. Multiple properties are not required to be contiguous. However, close physical proximity does improve the project impact within the district. Multiple property projects may include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Installation of an elevator and common hallway linking several buildings;
- Sprinkling of multiple properties with a central master control room.
- Handicapped accessibility improvements serving multiple buildings/storefronts like a common ramp or lift.
- Energy efficiency/sustainability upgrades like green roofs for multiple buildings, geo-thermal well fields, etc.
- Improvements to the facades (front or rear) of a highly visible group or block of buildings;
- Upper floor rehabilitation for a number of properties.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184005

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum awards for this grant round will be $75,000. Minimum grants will be no less than $15,000.

EACH structure included as part of a MULTIPLE PROPERTIES application must meet the individual minimum project investment threshold ($15,000 grant/$30,000 minimum total investment.) For example this applies to multiple façade improvements, upper floor rehabs or energy efficiency/sustainability improvements. It does not apply if the project is a large, single investment that impacts a number of properties like a common elevator or fire suppression system.

Term of Contract:

Once contracts are finalized and signed by all parties, and all designs are finalized and approved, a project may begin construction. This is possibly as early as December 1st following award announcements. Projects may not commence without approval from Main Street Iowa and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.

Grantee and all Grant Beneficiaries agree, to the best of their ability, to complete designated projects within 24 months of award notification or show just cause for the delay.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Main Street Iowa communities with current contracts who are meeting all contractual obligations including National Main Street Accreditation once within the past three years will be considered eligible for the Main Street Grant funds. Eligible projects must be within the designated Main Street district.

Only the Main Street organization in participating communities may submit applications on behalf of local projects, properties and businesses. Awards will be made to the applicant Main Street organization, hereafter referred to as the Grantee, for disbursements to locally designated grant beneficiaries.

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: 09/21/2018 11:59 PM

Programs considering a Multiple Properties application are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to discuss your application with Main Street Iowa Staff before submission.

A dollar for dollar (1:1) CASH match is required for ALL projects. In kind contributions, while important, cannot be used to meet match requirements for any project.

Plans must meet all local code requirements and comply with the defined Iowa Green Streets criteria of IEDA. See Supporting Documents below for Iowa Green Streets Criteria.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register online:

Online application login:

Tim Reinders
Phone: 515-725-3077 x

Grant Coverage Areas:

A map showing the 52 eligible Main Street Iowa programs is available at:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Iowa