Business Façade Improvement grants

Facade

The City of Stonnington is committed to enabling a thriving local economy and creating more attractive and inviting commercial precincts, which supports our vision to achieve:

  • a thriving and unique place
  • an inclusive and healthy community
  • a people-centred and future-ready city.

The Business Façade Improvement Grants program supports business and property owners to improve the visual appearance of business façades in the City of Stonnington’s commercial precincts. 

Applications open Monday 1 July, 2024

Full information on the Grants program, including terms and conditions, can be found in the Business Façade Improvement Grants Guidelines 2024-25(PDF, 1MB)

Program objectives

Identity and destination

Increase visitation: Strengthen the City of Stonnington’s unique identity as a destination of choice, to continue to attract and create advocates of residents, businesses, and visitors.

Thriving and desirable businesses

Increase economic activity: Attract industries, anchor tenants and the right mix of businesses for our 20-minute neighbourhoods and align with precinct identities.

Pride of place and character

Improve place perceptions: Provide safe, inviting, accessible and well-maintained streetscapes, neighbourhoods and public realm, as defined by our community, to promote pride of place and improved health and wellbeing outcomes.

The Grant supports projects that meet the following objectives and priorities outlined in the Council Plan and its connecting Place-Led Economic Development (PLED) Strategy.

For more information, view the Business Support and Activation Policy(PDF, 1MB).

Grant applications

How to apply

Register online

Register online at SmartyGrants and preview a copy of the application form and requirements.

You must register before you can apply.

Attend an information session

Register to attend an information session to gain additional information and insights into lodging an application.

Gather information

Plan, research and gather the information required for the application.

Submit an application

Complete and submit the application online via SmartyGrants.

Complete all questions and upload supporting documents before 1 August 2024.

No further editing or supporting materials will be accepted once the application has been submitted.

Submit one application per proposal only. 

Applications for the 2024-25 Business Façade Improvement Grants open 1 July, 2024.

Receive confirmation

On submission, you will receive an electronic reply acknowledging receipt from SmartyGrants. No further editing or supporting materials will be accepted once the application has been submitted.

Application process

Applicants must provide the following as part of the application process.

Business information

  • Name, address, and contact details
  • Business activity
  • Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Number of employees

Evidence of property ownership or commercial tenancy agreement within the City of Stonnington

This includes:

  • Property owner: Deed of Title or Council rates notice
  • Business owner or tenant: Commercial lease agreement

Evidence of business financial viability

This includes:

  • Profit and Loss Statement for financial year ending 30 June 2023
  • last 3 quarterly Business Activity Statements (BAS)
  • last 3 months of business bank account statements
  • cash flow forecast (for FY25 – 12 months).

Project details

You must include the project name, as well as details of the project brief:

  • What: overview of the proposed works, including sketches, designs and/or site plans (including before and after depictions)
  • Why: explanation of what the project will achieve (the improvements it will make)
  • Where: location of the project including site plans and photos
  • When: timeline for the project
  • Who: outline the team that will manage and undertake the project, including project supervisors and contractors/installers, including a summary of their skills and experience
  • How: detailed project delivery plan (steps of key activities from start to finish)
  • How much: detailed realistic budget for proposed works and appropriate cash flow available to complete the project.

A business site visit may be undertaken by City of Stonnington Officers to verify the current façade or to verify what has been submitted.

Grant acquittals

On completion of the project, successful applicants will be required to submit an Acquittal Report through Council's SmartyGrants online platform by no later than 31 July 2025.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a Business Façade Improvement Grant of up to $5000, applicants must:

  • be a legally constituted entity or a registered business and have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • have a demonstrated investment in the city including:
    • a signed commercial property lease arrangement within the City of Stonnington extending at least 1 year from the time the application is submitted, and/or
    • ownership of a commercial property located in the City of Stonnington
  • have a total business turnover of less than $2 Million in the previous financial year
  • be delivering a project that improves a business façade
  • have a project that will be completed between 1 October 2024 – 30 June 2025 which includes ground floor façades if works affect the property
  • have all appropriate insurances, permits and licenses for the proposed project or can demonstrate that the projects have been discussed with the relevant authorities including but not limited to the City of Stonnington’s Planning, Building, Local Laws and Health departments, and relevant paperwork for these processes have been lodged
  • have no pending acquittals or debts to the City of Stonnington or have failed to comply with the terms and conditions of any previous funding agreement with the City of Stonnington
  • submit the application before work begins
  • have demonstrated financial viability without the City of Stonnington’s funding (e.g. the applicant is able to provide evidence that the business has the cash flow to undertake the project).

Who is not eligible to apply?

Business Façade Improvement Grants will not be awarded to:

  • an applicant who does not meet the eligibility or assessment criteria listed above
  • political organisations or businesses that have a political purpose
  • Government departments or agencies, foundations or grant making bodies
  • an employee or Elected Member of the City of Stonnington or their immediate family. This does not include an application from an organisation that an employee, Elected Member, or their immediate family member may be part of
  • an applicant that the City of Stonnington considers to support, promote or facilitate violence, intolerance, or discrimination
  • an applicant who has outstanding debts to the City of Stonnington
  • an applicant who is in legal conflict with the City of Stonnington
  • an applicant who has failed to provide satisfactory acquittal reporting for any previous City of Stonnington funding
  • an applicant who has already received City of Stonnington funding (including in-kind) for the same project within the same financial year
  • an applicant who has already applied for City of Stonnington funding (including in-kind) for the same project within the same financial year, and been refused
  • an applicant who conducts themselves in a way that the City of Stonnington considers to be injurious or prejudicial to the character or interests of the municipality
  • an applicant with or who has had a major/critical non-compliance order
  • unincorporated associations, branches, large and/or established franchisees or subsidiaries of larger companies.

Supporting documentation

You must provide the following supporting documents:

  • Evidence of how the project will be funded.
  • Minimum of 2 verified written quotes to outline that the project budget is realistic.
  • Evidence of permits, approvals and licences that have been attained or are in the process of being acquired.
  • Evidence of business ownership.
  • Evidence of relevant business insurances.
  • Evidence of written consent from the property owner for the project work (if applicant is a current tenant).
  • Letters of support for the application from relevant local traders or organisations.

Important dates

Date Details
1 July 2024 Applications open
1 August 2024 Applications close at 5pm
August 2024 Assessment period
September 2024 City of Stonnington endorsement
October 2024 Applicant notified
By 30 June 2025  Project completion 
By 31 July 2025  Acquittal Report 

Assessment criteria

Applications will be assessed against the degree to which they meet the following criteria:

Key criteria Weighting

Demonstration of business financial viability 

20%

Façade improvements that will positively contribute to the attractiveness and appeal of the commercial precinct

40%

Project management, experience and capability

30%

Use of City of Stonnington-based suppliers/tradespeople to deliver proposed works

10%

Applications will be assessed on their eligibility and ability to deliver on the program objectives.

Eligible applicants are not guaranteed funding.

Only the strongest applications will receive funding through a competitive assessment process.

Ineligible applications will be excluded from the assessment process.

All funding decisions are final.

All applicants will be notified of the result of their application.

Applications will be kept confidential and not be disclosed to any person outside the application and assessment process.

Guidelines

Full information on the Grants program including terms and conditions, can be found in the Business Façade Improvement Grant Guidelines 2024-25(PDF, 1MB).

 

Support

Application assistance

Applicants are encouraged to contact Council's Business Concierge to discuss any proposed ideas, specific needs or additional support that may be required to complete and submit an application.

To request help, email businessconcierge@stonnington.vic.gov.au

Trusts

Applications from trusts

Applications from trustees acting on behalf of trusts are required to provide a copy of the Trust Deeds to the City of Stonnington as part of the application process.