The Helena Business Improvement District (HBID) Façade Improvement Grant (FIG) program is designed to promote the improvement of commercial and multi-use properties in the Business Improvement District by helping property owners upgrade, rehabilitate, and preserve the facades of eligible structures in Historic Downtown Helena. The FIG program aims to make revitalization efforts affordable by providing matching grant funds up to $5000.
Application deadline is April 15 annually. The application has been re-opened for FY23. New application deadline is September 15.
We award end of April beginning of May annually.
Guidelines for Improvements
|Summary of Project Applicants|
|Project Estimates||$ 547,103.95|
|Requested Amount||$ 91,623.00|
|Total Awarded||$ 44,983.00|
|Total Available||$ 47,500.00|
The work of the façade program has seen national and international recognition.
- World Community Development Conference, Dundee, Scotland (June 2019)
- National Main Street Conference, Seattle, WA (March 2019)
- Montana Association of Planners, Chico Hot Spring, MT (September 2019)
- Community Development Society (2019)
- Community Development Journal publication (online version published November 1, 2020) Read it Beyond the Facade layering downtown spillover investment.
Additional articles on the program:
2021 Awarded Grants
In 2021, we recieved four applicants and we were able to award three for a total of $10,000.
Colwell Building – 62 S Last Chance Gulch
Before: No awning which caused ice buildup and accessiblity issues
After: Installed awning
The Garage – 334 Jackson St.
Before: Older paint with no awning
After: Brighter paint complimenting the surroundings and a Louvers Trellis awning to protect from sun, rain, and snow.
Dunphy Block Awnings – 38 S Last Chance Gulch
Before: Torn and faded awning
After: Brown sunbrella shade fabric matching the old style with the fabric updated and cleaned
2020 Awarded Grants
In 2020, four applicants applied for our grant and we were able to award three.
Dowling Architects – 734 N. Last Chance Gulch
Before: Unused historic building in need of a facelift
After: Updated siding, foundation, roof, awnings, windows, garage doors
Boston Block LLC – 25 S Last Chance Gulch (Lasso the Moon)
Before: 20 year old awning showing its age, torn and tattered
After: Matching awnings addressing ongoing safety issues
Western Gold LLC – 406 N Last Chance Gulch
Before: blank canvas wall hiding a previously artistically painted mural
After: Local artist and muralist creates a fun, identifiable marker
2019 Awarded Grants
In 2019, five applicants applied for our grant and three were awarded but only two agreed to the terms and conditions of their award letter.
Union Market Block – 101 E 6th Ave
Before: Worn paint, in need of an update.
After: Fresh, vibrant paint brings the building to life.
The Base Camp – 5 E Broadway St
Before: A dated, canvas awning hangs at the entrance.
After: A Galvanized awning provides a crisp look to the building.
2018 Awarded Grants
In 2018, seven applicants applied for our grant and three were successfully awarded.
KOHRS BLOCK – 324 & 326 Fuller Ave
Before: Badly dated, uninviting 1960’s facade hides the building’s original character.
After: Original masonry is revealed, and the new storefront opens the space up to light and views.
THE PAINTED POT – 333 N Last Chance Gulch
Before: Tired awning and dated paint leave the entrance tired looking.
After: A bright and lively new look for an old favorite. New awning not shown.
SAGE & OATS TRADING POST – 330 North Jackson
Before: A plain exterior that is drab and easy to miss.
After: Inviting new awnings, updated lighting, flower boxes, and fresh paint make for a remarkable transformation!