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Business Improvement Loan

The City of Lethbridge’s Business Improvement Loan provides interest-free loans up to $20,000 for downtown businesses to improve the appearance and/or function of their business, with interest paid for by the Heart of Our City Committee. Approved loan requests are paid out in monthly installments.

Apply for a Business Improvement Loan

If you are a downtown business owner who wants to apply for a Business Improvement Loan, please follow these steps:

  1. Complete an Application for Credit Form and a Loan and Grant Proposal Form. You can pick up these forms from the Downtown Business Revitalization Zone (BRZ) Office, located at 310 6 St. S. or from Community Futures Lethbridge Region (CFLR), located at 2626 South Parkside Dr.
  2. Contact the BRZ Community Director to set up a meeting to present your application
  3. Once approved by the BRZ, forward your application via email to CFLR, who will contact you to set up an appointment within 10 working days to proceed
  4. Once approved by CFLR, you will receive a cheque within 5 working days
  5. If your loan request is approved, the CFLR will provide you with signage to display at your business acknowledging the community’s involvement in the project for the term of the loan

Eligibility criteria

Types of business improvements that are eligible for coverage under the Business Improvement Loan include:

  • Addition of patio areas and permanent landscaping elements
  • Building of ramps or other structures and removal of barriers to access for people with disabilities and mobility challenges
  • Business equipment and technology (hardware/software)
  • Creation of new retail bays in an existing building
  • Exterior lighting of the building and signage
  • Installation and design of awnings and signs
  • Interior counters and display cases
  • Interior flooring (carpet, laminate, tile, hardwood)
  • Interior light fixtures
  • Interior painting
  • Interior window display areas and lighting
  • New architectural details such as entryway features and cornices
  • New storefront window openings and new doorways
  • Removal and disposal of broken signage and fixtures
  • Removal of exterior materials that cover architectural details
  • Repair or replacement of storefront windows and doors
  • Restoration of exterior finishes and repainting
  • Roof repair
  • Shelving (removable)
  • Signs that are uniquely designed to integrate into building architecture

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