DMI offers business funding options

Terry RogersBusiness, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

New and existing business can apply for grant and loan funding from DMI. They also offer facade funds and paint options.

As a Main Street accredited organization, Downtown Milford Inc.’s mission is to help create a vital downtown area. This goal is achieved by having vibrant businesses downtown with a focus on retail and restaurants. One of the options DMI offers in order to attract new businesses and to support existing businesses are several funding opportunities.

“Our goal is to create a downtown that is beautiful and encourages people to visit,” Janne Collins, Executive Director of DMI said. “All of our committees have separate focuses, but they also overlap in several areas in order to help grow our downtown into one residents can be proud of while also encouraging visitors to come see what we have to offer. We even have small business grants, but we rarely have anyone apply for them.”

One of these grants is known as the “Five for Free” program. Business owners who need to paint either the interior or exterior of their downtown business can receive five gallons of paint for free from DMI. The program is a partnership that is a first come, first served way for new and existing homeowners to give their business a facelift. Anyone interested can visit to apply online.

“We also have a revolving loan fund,” Collins said. “We can provide a loan for a capital need for up to $5,000. This is also for both new and existing businesses. Not only do we offer a loan program, we can also work with new and existing businesses to help them find funding opportunities at the county, state and federal level. One of the links on our website will take business owners to where they can find hundreds of grant opportunities available.”

Another way that DMI works to keep downtown looking beautiful is through their Sign, Awning and Façade Enhancement Matching Grant.

“Business owners who want to improve the outside of their business by adding signage, an awning or enhancing their façade in some way are eligible for a grant of up to $500,” Collins said. “This is a matching grant which means the business must spend equal to the amount granted.”

Like other Main Street organizations, the façade grant matching funds must be in actual expenditures and cannot be “sweat equity.” Façade improvements may include power washing, brick cleaning, removal of historically inaccurate additions to the façade or other types of updates to the exterior. Sign projects may include a new sign or repair of a damaged sign. Door replacement, restoration of historically accurate materials, updates to windows and more may also qualify for the grant.

To learn more about funding opportunities through DMI or to apply for any of the loans and grants available, contact [email protected] or visit their website at, click on Resources and choose “Economic Development.

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