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Nellie Davis
Regional Economic Development Coordinator

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The following links will help you research programs that are available to get your new business off the ground or grow an existing business.

Resources - Business  Business Financing  Wage Subsidy Programs  Business Tax Credit Programs






Deadline Extended

2018 Funding Now Available nditrdbnlogo

Many municipalities in our region have, or are currently , participating in the Building Façade Improvement Program.

The RDBN is pleased to partner with NDIT to ensure that unincorporated communities along Highway 16 will also be eligible.

If you have a business in a commercially zoned building in an electoral area in the RDBN funding is now available for improvements to your building façade. Grants for projects meeting the eligibility criteria are available on a first come– first served basis.

Grants for up to $5,000 are available

View Guidelines

Business Façade Improvement Program 2018 Guidelines

Program Purpose and Goal

The Business Façade Improvement Program provides grant funding to business and property owners to improve retail and commercial building frontages.

Eligible businesses are able to receive a 50% reimbursement up to a maximum of $5,000 to complete exterior improvements such as building façades, signage, murals, architectural features, siding, lighting and awnings.

The goal of this program is to provide an incentive to business owners to improve the look and feel of their business frontages. Vibrant commercial areas have the potential to attract new customers, clients, visitors and potential investors. The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is pleased to deliver this program with funding provided by the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

The Program

These program guidelines are intended to maximize the program benefit for improving aesthetics of commercial areas.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako will provide up to a maximum 50% reimbursement grant up to a maximum of $5,000 per building/ project to improve the facades of commercial buildings.

Each building is eligible for a one time grant only.

Projects must have a minimum total cost of $2,500

Application deadline has been extended from June 30, 2018, to a first come, first served basis. Project must be complete by December 31, 2018.


Eligible Properties

  • Commercially zoned properties along the Highway 16 corridor (within RDBN boundaries) with an operating business on the property. 2018 Program priority will be for Fort Fraser, Endako and Topley. Applications from other unincorporated areas will be considered in 2018 dependent on funding availability.


Eligible Applicants

  • Property owners or business owners (if the applicant is the business owner, the property owner must approve the application in writing and confirm that all improvements are to be paid for by the applicant);
  • Non-profit Societies occupying commercial locations



Eligibility Requirements

  • All property taxes pertaining to the property are fully paid and current;
  • There must be no outstanding building permits, stop work orders, or development permit condition requirements outstanding; and
  • You have not received a previous grant under this program for the subject property.


Ineligible Applicants

  • Residential homes located in the commercial area are not eligible;
  • Municipally owned buildings (even if they have business tenants);
  • Properties outside the specified area (as defined in the community’s program guidelines);
  • Empty buildings or businesses that are not operating (exception if the business is renovating or doing improvements to the building in anticipation of re-opening)
  • Home-based Businesses


Eligible Façade Improvements

Eligible improvements may consist of but are not limited to:

  • Exterior lighting (new but not replacement);
  • Exterior architectural features;
  • Exterior surfaces and details (decorative details, moldings, trims etc.);
  • Windows (only if part of larger enhancements, no stand-alone window replacement);
  • New siding;
  • Façade Painting;
  • Entrances and doorways (only if part of larger enhancements, no stand-alone entrance/doorway replacement);
  • Awnings;
  • Signage;
  • Accessibility improvements (ramps, wider doors etc.) to the outside of the building only AND are part of a larger facade improvement project.



Ineligible Façade Improvements

The following improvements are ineligible:

  • Routine maintenance;
  • Structural repairs;
  • Roofs or Patios
  • Non-permanent fixtures (benches, planters, patios, patio heaters etc.)
  • Landscaping
  • Paving
  • Fencing
  • Interior improvements;
  • Any improvements not visible from the public right of way;
  • Construction of additions, accessory buildings or new buildings;
  • Any improvements that have been started prior to application approval.


Eligible Costs/ Expenses

  • Direct project labor costs
  • Design, architectural or engineering fees (related to facade only);
  • Contractor fees
  • Rental of tools and equipment
  • Project related materials and supplies


Ineligible Costs/ Expenses

  • Staff wages and/or benefits
  • Purchase of construction tools or equipment;
  • Utilities (hydro, gas etc.)
  • Shipping cost
  • GST/PST (must be excluded from calculations)
  • Duties
  • Permit fees
  • Expenses related to improvement to the building façade not visible from the public right of way
  • Façade improvements expenses started prior to application approval.


Design Guidelines

In order to be eligible for this grant, the applicant must submit designs and costing for the project.

Grants for projects meeting eligibility requirements will be awarded on a First come, First eligible basis.

Designs need to clearly outline the proposed improvements to allow the review committee to accurately evaluate the project, and clearly see that the finished product looks like what was intended during the application process.

Building, Sign and/or other permits may be required based on the extent of the improvements to be completed. These requirements are not waived by approval for the Façade Improvement Program, and should be applied for prior to or concurrently with application for this program.

Business Application and Project Approval Process

1) Complete project applications are to be submitted to the RDBN no later than June 30th, 2018 Extended to first come, first served.
2) Completed applications can be submitted by e-mail to, or can be mailed or dropped off at the RDBN office in Burns Lake.
(PO Box 820, 37 3rd Avenue, Burns Lake, BC V0J 1E0)

3) Applications will be reviewed and evaluated by RDBN staff to ensure projects meet the program eligibility criteria. RDBN staff may contact the applicant to discuss the application, if required.

4) Funding will be allocated based on project eligibility and availability of program funds. Funding will be committed on a first-come, first-eligible basis.

5) All applicants will be advised in writing as to whether their application has been approved, denied or approved with any conditions.

6) For successful applications, a Letter of Understanding is sent to the applicant which must be signed by the owner/tenant and a representative of the RDBN.

7) Owner/Tenant acquires any required permits and completes the project.

The Project Review Committee will consist of the Manager of Regional Economic Development and the applicable Electoral Area Director. Applications will be reviewed and a recommendation made to the RDBN Board for final approval. All Eligible Applications will be evaluated using the following ranked criteria:

Does the project for which the funds are being sought meet the applicable Official Community Plan and Bylaw requirements? These can be found on the RDBN website.

Will the project once complete have a noticeable impact on the Highway 16?

Will the renovation offer a noticeable improvement on the Highway 16?


Project Reporting & Business Reimbursement Process

1) Owner/Tenant provides verification of expenses (including invoices or other confirmations of payment) and submits their totals on the provided Expense Reporting Form.

2) Owner/Tenant provides the Certification of Completion on the Expense Reporting Form signed by the applicant or contractor, indicating that all work described in the application/approval and has been paid in full, as well as before and after photos, a business testimonial, and any other supporting documentation.
3) Owner/Tenant provides proof that the improvements have passed final permit inspections (where required) and meets all building standards and codes (where required).

4) RDBN staff verify that the renovations meet the Letter of Understanding requirements and approves reimbursement.

5) Applicant is issued a payment as outlined in the Letter of Understanding.

Please note:
Projects/funding cannot carry over from one calendar year to the next. Approved projects and reporting must be completed before year end — December 31, 2018.

Download fillable form

For up to 50% of the budget for projects that increase the appeal of your business.

Q: Does my business qualify?
A: Give us a call, we can certainly let you know.

Q: What kind of improvements can I make?
A: A complete list can be found in our guidelines, but projects can include new siding, paint, awnings, and other architectural features.

Q: What about accessibility projects, will they qualify?
A: Yes, accessibility projects can qualify for this funding if they are part of a larger improvement project.

If you  have any questions please email