Business Improvement Program

The Business Improvement Program gives an incentive to local business owners to improve their facade and appearances. It can also be used to introduce new features and amenities that create interest, improve accessibility, enhance safety, and increase vibrancy, transforming places into spaces where people want to spend time.

The program grants 20% to approved improvement costs, to a maximum of $20,000.

General Program Guidelines

  • Funding is first-come, first-served. Grants are provided as reimbursements.
  • Projects must receive Council approval.
  • All projects must be completed within 12 months of receiving approval.

For the first year of the program, grants will target businesses in the hamlet of Lac La Biche (along Main Street between 100 & 103 Street) and the hamlet of Plamondon (along 100 Street and 101 Avenue).

The program will be extended to all businesses in Lac La Biche County in the second year, provided businesses meet the other eligibility criteria.

There are several categories under which applicants can be considered for funding. In all cases, eligible projects will be reimbursed for up to 20% of project costs, to a maximum of $20,000.

Facade Improvements Grant

Examples of eligible work and costs under this grant include:

  • Facade cleaning and power washing;
  • Painting and cladding; 
  • New or restored exterior architectural features;
  • New or restored masonry and brickwork;
  • New windows and doors;
  • Establishing new or reconfigured entrances or storefronts;
  • New or replacement of awnings and canopies;
  • New or replacement accessibility features, including ramps, handrails, and automatic;
  • New or upgraded exterior lighting;
  • New signage; and
  • Flower pots, window boxes, hanging baskets, or similar items.

Interior Improvements Grant

Examples of eligible work and costs under this grant include:

  • Reconfiguring an existing business;
  • Fire safety upgrades;
  • Electrical upgrades;
  • Plumbing upgrades;
  • HVAC/ventilation upgrades;
  • Energy efficiency upgrades, including new doors and windows; and
  • General updates to the interior, including drywall, painting, flooring, finishes, and more.

Patio Grant

Examples of eligible work and costs under this grant include:

  • Paving and decking;
  • Patio partitions, decorative fencing, and screening;
  • Weather protection, including awnings and canopies;
  • Patio furniture, heaters, and misting systems;
  • Planters and containers, including landscaping;
  • Exterior lighting, including string lighting or other lighting;
  • Patio signage;
  • Seasonal or modular structures for patios;
  • Temporary boardwalks to divert pedestrian traffic around a patio; and
  • Features that provide barrier-free access.

Beautification & Murals Grant

Examples of eligible work and costs under this grant include:

  • Storefront merchandise displays and platforms;
  • Storefront treatments to window glass, including window graphics (no vinyl wraps);
  • Storefront lighting, such as holiday string lighting;
  • Temporary artwork and installations in storefront windows;
  • Seasonal planters, hanging baskets, and similar items;
  • A-board signs;
  • Replacement panels in a fascia sign;
  • Benches or similar seating and bike racks;
  • Artist fees, including design and labour;
  • Artist travel and accommodation fees (discretionary); and
  • Site preparation, including rubbish removal.

Premises Improvement Grant

Examples of eligible work and costs under this grant include:

  • New or replacement sidewalks, pathways, or hard surfaces;
  • Parking lot resurfacing and line painting;
  • Repair, replacement, or improvements to driveways;
  • Site grading and drainage improvements;
  • Erosion control measures;
  • Fences;
  • Handrails or guardrails for accessibility;
  • Low-impact development or 'green' infrastructure components;
  • Soft landscaping (such as FireSmart);
  • Benches and waste/recycling bins;
  • Lighting; and
  • Artwork.

There are four steps to follow to receive Business Improvement Program funding.

  1. Apply online, providing your name, contact information, and business.
    • County staff will set up a pre-application meeting with you to go over your project.
    • If your project seems like it fits within the program, you will be asked to provide more documentation, including a brief description of your project and photos.
    • You will be asked to apply for development permits if your project requires them.
  2. Get approved.
    • Your project will be presented to Council for review and approval.
    • If they approve the project, there may be conditions that you have to follow. This will be outlined in an agreement that you will have to sign.
  3. Build.
  4. Receive your grant.
    • Take after photos of your project to demonstrate the work was completed. Submit receipts to show the work was completed.
    • County staff may conduct a site visit and ask for other documentation before you receive your grant.