Main Street: Open for Business Grant

About the Grant 

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) with funding from SB21-252 will support efforts by local governments and regional collaborations to engage in small business relief through “Main Street: Open for Business.” This Initiative supports façade improvements and energy efficiency projects for businesses in the state’s traditional downtowns.

  • The program is designed to:
  • increase visual appeal
  • increase sales and revenues in rehabilitated buildings
  • reduce energy consumption and lower utility bills
  • increase job retention/creation

This is a sub-grant program, meaning business and building owners will submit their applications to the Town of Lyons. The Town will then submit them as one application to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). All individual applications must be received by the time the Town submits the application to DOLA. 


Eligible buildings/businesses must be commercial buildings in the traditional downtown district. Preference will be given to businesses established prior to the onset of the pandemic, and commit to remaining open for business for at least 6 months after the project’s completion. 

  • Note: Vacant building modifications would be considered IF all improvements are completed and business will be operational before the close of the grant cycle (June 30, 2022). 
  • Property must remain free of all municipal and county liens, judgments or encumbrances of any kind under the term of the agreement.
  • Ability to demonstrate the metrics of the program: percentage sales increase and energy savings from before and after project. 

Reporting Requirements of Building/Business Owner 

During the project, to the municipality, county, or council of government:

  • Quarterly reports (October, January, April) providing status of the project including percent of project completion, funds distributed (including invoices and proof of payment) and estimated time to completion. A final report of the project, including before and after photos, is due by July 7, 2022.

After project completion, to the Colorado Main Street program (information will aggregated and kept confidential): 

  • For projects that involve energy improvements, businesses will provide 12 months of utility bills before renovations; during 2022-2023, businesses will provide the 12 months of utility bills post-renovations to track energy improvements quarterly (October, January, April, July).
  • For projects that involve facade improvements, businesses will provide simple confidential quarterly reports on percentage of sales increases and number of FT/PT jobs in the year after project completion compared to the same quarters of 2019 and 2020 (October, January, April, July).
  • Building/business owners will provide information on any additional private investment in the building facade or energy efficiency upgrades made during the grant agreement.

Projects Eligible for Reimbursement 

Improvements and/or rehabilitations must comply with all state and local regulations, including obtaining any required building permits and design and/or historic preservation approvals. All project work on historic buildings shall follow the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Structures and applicable local regulations. Businesses are encouraged to work with their local preservation commission (if any), or contact the Colorado Main Street Program’s staff architect for project recommendations, review, and technical assistance related to improvements listed in this document. All eligible expenses must directly relate to facade improvements and energy efficiency.


  • Engineering and design (Note: Project still must be completed within 12 months).
  • Building permits for construction.
  • Examples of Eligible Façade Improvements: *
    • Removal of non-historical false fronts
    • Repair or replacement of windows, doors, and cornices
    • Repair or replacement of façade materials
    • Repair or replacement of character defining architectural features
    • Masonry maintenance including tuck-pointing and gentle cleaning of and paint removal from brick (NOT power-washing of brick)
    • New awnings or canopies
    • Permanent signage for business/building
    • Landscaping and parking area improvements that enhance building aesthetics 
    • Increased access to businesses (doors, windows, sidewalks) through back alleyway activation 
    • Exterior lighting
    • Exterior painting
    • Design and construction costs
    • Exterior access to building (ie. sidewalks, ADA ramps, stairs)
  • Examples of Eligible Energy-Efficiency Upgrades: *  
    • HVAC equipment, particularly electrification
    • Windows, doors and awnings, including restoring inoperable doors/windows to full function
    • Roofing
    • Lighting
    • Insulation. Roof deck insulation must be installed under a new roofing membrane. 
    • Solar panels
    • High efficiency and electric water heaters
    • Energy-efficient lighting (example LEDs)


* EXAMPLES OF INELIGIBLE EXPENSES: Removal of historic elements; replacement of historic elements with non-historic alternatives; power washing or sandblasting of brick; new adobe/stucco/false fronts; painting of unpainted brick or other historic material; topically-applied roofing insulation; fire suppression; electrical panels; rewiring of the building electrical systems not associated with an improvement.

How to Apply 

First Deadline: August 19th, 2021

*This grant has a rolling deadline and we may be able to submit a second application in September depending on fund availability.

Fill out the Main Street: Open for Business application

*The application will require you to submit/upload the documentation listed in the Application and Project Requirements below. 

Application and Project Requirements of Building/Business Owner

  • Current Town of Lyons Business License
  • Must be up-to-date on Sales Tax remittance
  • Completed application, with commitment to implement project, signed by the building and business owner(s).
  • Completed Internal Revenue Service Form 1099. Building owners will be responsible for paying taxes on their award.
  • Compliance with all local design guidelines and local protocol for all building improvements including obtaining any required permits and approval of desired improvements (such as Historic Preservation Commission and/or Design Committee.
  • Photo(s) of the structure showing the current condition.
  • Drawings/sketches of proposed improvements (e.g., replacement of windows, doors,   etc). 
  • Cost estimates for proposed improvements following local procurement guidelines. Cost estimates should be in a line-by-line format for each modification.
  • Building owners shall agree at the time of application to maintain the improved façade for a two-year period of time.
  • Work must be approved by the granted entity before work begins or no funds will be reimbursed. 
  • No funds spent prior to an executed grant agreement will be reimbursed.
  • All project work to be reimbursed must be completed by June 30, 2022.