Encouraging the growth of a vibrant and thriving retail climate in downtown South Bend

DTSB has established an Interior Improvement Grant to encourage the growth of a vibrant and thriving retail climate in downtown South Bend by supporting new or relocating retail, entertainment, food and beverage based businesses who chose to occupy ground-floor commercial locations within the target area.

The Interior Improvement Grant is designed to enable new businesses to locate in the target area by helping to bridge the financial gap between property owner and tenant by providing financial assistance (up to $5,000) on qualified improvements to the interior of a tenant’s space. Existing businesses with a current location outside the target area who wish to move or open an additional location within the target area are also eligible. Property owners opening a new business may also apply.


The grant is intended to assist:
  • A new business locating within the target area
  • An existing business relocating to the target area from outside the target area
  • An existing business opening an additional location within the target area
The grant is not intended to assist:
  • Existing businesses within the target area and who wish to change locations
  • New construction

Who May Apply

Program applicants can be property owners or tenants of commercial buildings. However, property owners and affected tenants must both sign the Grant Application in order to participate in the program.

Eligible Business Types

To support a compelling mix of retail, restaurant, and cultural tenants for the Central Business District, certain business and tenant types will be given priority:
  • Retail, restaurant, and cultural establishments (such as movie theaters and live music performance venues) with both daytime and evening operating hours.
  • Arts related businesses
  • Bookstore / music store
  • Quality apparel / shoes / accessories
  • Sporting goods / active lifestyle
  • Drugstore or pharmacy
  • Convenience market / sundries
  • Home goods, accessories, furniture
  • General merchandise stores
  • Small variety and specialty stores
  • Pet store
  • Food related ventures such as grocery stores, restaurants, coffee/tea shops, ice-cream parlor, bakeries, produce markets, butcher, health food stores and other specialty food operations


Fill out the form below or download the PDF. For questions, please contact Leslie Pinson at 574-968-7291 or email [email protected]

10 + 7 =

Additional questions or comments?