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The Small Grant program is intended for exterior projects resulting in significant, visible, aesthetic improvement anywhere in the CARA boundary. Examples of project work include awnings, signage, exterior lighting, associated city fees, and storefront improvements.

Program AllocationTimingCARA FundingOverall Project CostsMinimum Private MatchFees
$25,000

Twice per year: February & September 

$1,250 ‐ $5,000 per property$2,500 and up50% of project costsnone
 Applications due 1/31 and 8/30, respectively.    

Eligible applicants

  • Property owners who can show fee title
  • Business owners who show written evidence that property owner has authorized work for which application is made

Eligible properties

  • Properties must be located within the Central Albany Revitalization Area
  • Qualifying structures include commercial and mixed‐use buildings

Eligible projects

  • Projects that provide significant aesthetic improvement to a property’s exterior are eligible for grant funding including windows, painting, storefronts, awnings, signage, and exterior lighting.
  • Interior or deferred maintenance projects are not eligible.
  • Calculations for total project costs may include permanent building improvements, and other costs such as permits and fees.
The Fine Print
  • CARA can only fund work begun after funding approval by the ARA (any work complete prior to this approval is ineligible for reimbursement.)
  • CARA Programs may not be combined; however applicants may apply for different funding for additional projects, but additional requests may be given lower priority than new projects.
  • Proposed improvements must be approved by the Albany Revitalization Area Agency (ARA) and will be subject to the CARA Design Guidelines. Projects may require approval by the City of Albany Landmarks Advisory Commission or other entities.
  • All programs, except architectural assistance, small grants, and storefront revitalization, would be subject to the new 10% holdback policy.
  • Land‐use, Landmarks Advisory Commission approval, if applicable, must be complete prior to first draw.
  • Applicants should consult with a tax professional to fully understand the tax consequences of agency grants or loans.