Downtown Recovery Program

Program summary

The Downtown Recovery Program provides grants to small, independently-owned downtown businesses that experienced property damage in 2020 due to recent civil unrest.

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

Priority will be given to applicants who are people of color, immigrants, women, the disabled, veterans and any other underrepresented groups.

Businesses who apply should meet the following criteria:

  • Ownership/management that meet one or more of the following:
    • A business with at least 50% of the owners residing in Dane County.
    • A business with at least 50% of key managers living in Dane County, and where said managers independently control purchasing decisions, managers make independent decisions regarding the name and look of the business, including marketing, advertising, logo design and branding decisions.  Managers make independent decisions regarding business procedures, practices, policies.
    • A business that is headquartered in and registered to a Dane County address. 
  • Occupy a storefront, retail, or commercial space physically located within the City of Madison downtown.
  • Have experienced more than $500 in damages in 2020
  • Be in compliance with all local, state, and federal taxes (or on an approved payment plan)
  • Employ 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, including the owner(s)
  • Earn less than $750,000 in annual revenues (gross sales and receipts)

Grant Terms

  • Grants may be up to $12,000 per business location, but are limited to the lesser of the insurance deductible or the actual cost of the building repair.
  • Recipient shall provide documentation that contractors have been paid, or the insurance deductible has been paid.  Adequacy of such evidence is at the discretion of the City.
  • Grants must be matched dollar for dollar by non-City sources.

Eligible Expenses

  • Eligible expenses are limited to exterior repair to commercial structures, including, but not limited to, the repair or replacement of damaged windows, doors, signage, lighting, and exterior façade items, the cleaning of exterior façade surfaces, the repair and cleaning of interior spaces, fixtures, furniture, and costs associated with boarding-up facades.
  • Exclusions: Loss of business, payroll, and related operating costs (including rent, taxes, special assessments, and utilities) are not eligible for reimbursement.
  • The City will subtract the amount of reimbursement received by the business for repair or insurance deductible costs through any other program (internal or external to the City) from the total cost of the repairs or insurance deductible used in the City’s calculation of support through the Recovery Program.


  • The program will be administered by the Department of Planning, Community, and Economic Development (DPCED).
  • The Application requires documentation that repairs have been made and either the contractor(s) or insurance company deductible has been paid.
  • Authorization is granted to staff to approve each grant without further Council action.
  • Each grant will be processed as a Purchase Order billed against this program account and not a contract.  Therefore, standard City contract requirements will not apply to these grant recipients. 
  • Applications will be processed in the order they are received, as long as funding is available.

Program Summary

Program Summary





Tom Otto

Phone: 608-243-0178


Last Updated: 09/17/2020