Brainerd Exterior Improvement Grant 

The Brainerd Exterior Improvement Grant Program was created by the Brainerd Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide incentives to stimulate external and visible investment in Downtown and Corridor properties. Property owners and business owners are encouraged to consider improvements incorporating aesthetic, environmental, cultural, and historical elements that enhance the character and architecture of Brainerd. These improvements should create a cohesive, attractive environment. The program provides a 50% matching grant for actual construction costs up to $5,000 per property on a pay-for-performance basis. Eligible projects include permanent exterior building and landscape improvements visible from a public right-of-way.

The Brainerd EDA will allocate up to $20,000 in 2024 to fund eligible projects on a first-come first-serve basis.  Grant applications that are approved will be awarded funds as a reimbursement once the project is complete and requirements are met.  Please review the Frequently Asked Questions and Brainerd Exterior Improvement Grant documents for more details.

Application Window:

Applications are submitted through an online application form (the button to access the application is at the bottom of this page).  The application window will open Monday, July 15, 2024 at 8am and will remain open until funding has been dedicated to approved projects.  


    • All work must be done on the property/building exterior and result in a publicly visible improvement.
    • Construction of permanent exterior building improvements, awnings, signage, windows, doors (including front/back door accessibility), brick repair and/or site landscaping resulting in a publicly visible improvement. Other uses may also be eligible if prior approval is granted by the Brainerd Economic Development Authority.
    • Properties must be taxable existing structures occupied by commercial or mixed-use tenants in a commercial zoning district.


  • Property must be a commercial use, mixed-use, or industrial use and must be permitted in the respective zoning district.
  • Physical location must be inside the Brainerd city limits.
  • All work must be done in compliance with the Brainerd City Code and necessary permitting.  Work must include the correction of any known exterior building code violations.
  • Work must start AFTER project approval to be eligible for funding.
  • Properties may not include properties with delinquent taxes or special assessments, in litigation, condemnation or receivership.
  • Acceptance of these funds is a commitment to remain in business for 2 years.

Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Work already in progress or performed prior to project approval will not be eligible for funding. No applications will be accepted for retroactive projects.
  • Design services
  • Operational or ongoing maintenance expenses will not be considered (Ex. roof repair).

Preparing for the online application:

Prior to starting the application, it is recommended that you read through all the information provided on this page and have all required documentation ready prior to starting the online application process.  We’ve included Frequently Asked Questions and the Brainerd Grant Program information for you to review.  A funding sources and uses form is also available to download and is required for the application. Only fully completed applications will be reviewed.

You will be required to upload the following documents into your online application:

  • Business owners under a lease submitting an application must include a written consent of the property owner.
  • Detailed project information outlining eligible expenses. Quotes for eligible exterior improvements, construction costs, etc. – for example awnings, signage, windows, doors, etc.
  • Completed funding sources and uses form (download available).

For any questions, call BLAEDC at (218) 828-0096 or email: or