Incentives for businesses

The Economic Development Incentive Program is an aggressive incentive package to encourage development in Historic Downtown Wilson’s Central Business District. In order to stimulate interest with property owners, developers, investors and business owners, the Wilson Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) offers a pro-active tool box.

Rent Incentive Grant Program

Grant Awards up to $6,000 for 1 year (12 months) or up to $8,400 for 2 years (24 months) to “Pedestrian Oriented Businesses” renting commercial space in the Central Business District.

A “Pedestrian Oriented Businesses” is the type of business that generates positive foot traffic downtown, such as restaurant, deli, coffee shop, tea house, café, retail shop, art gallery, art supply store, toy store, pet store, pet supply store, comic book store, hobby shop, antique store, furniture store, flower shop, garden center, home and hearth store, clothing store, fabric store, shoe store, kitchen store, entertainment venue, tavern/pub, pet store, book store, bike shop, jewelry store, dance studio, yoga/pilates studio, antique store, gift shop, salon, day spa, barber shop, candy store, ice cream shop, bakery, grocery/market, specialty food store, etc.

Application must be made which includes a business plan, marketing plan, pro forma statements, profit and loss statements, personal financial statements, funding sources, lease, and building square footage.

Owner Occupied Building Incentive Grant Program

Grant Awards of up to $8,400 for a purchasing a building in the Central Business District and opening a “Pedestrian Oriented Business” in that building. 

Application must be made which includes a business plan, marketing plan, pro forma statements, profit and loss, statements, personal financial statements, funding sources, lease, and deed of ownership.

Façade Grant Program

Grant Awards of up to $10,000 to improve building facades in the Central Business District. These matching grants shall not exceed 50 percent of the approved project cost and no award shall exceed $10,000. Secretary of Interiors Design Guidelines must be followed.

Application must be made pre-construction including: current photo of the building, historic photo of the building (if available), design sketches, and estimates of proposed work.

Other Assistance

Downtown staff is available to assist in making application to the state and other entities for incentives such as Historic Preservation Tax Credits, New Market Tax Credits, Mill Rehab Tax Credits and Film Tax Credits.

Please feel free to contact us for more information and for assistance in locating your business in Historic Downtown Wilson.  

Larissa Harper - Downtown Business Specialist