Concord's downtown district is historic and charming, yet at the same time is a vibrant business area of the city. The types of businesses in the downtown include professional and government offices, fine restaurants, and unique clothing stores. A wide-range of special retail stores can also be found.
Downtown Municipal Service District
North Carolina General Statutes allow cities to create Municipal Service Districts. City ordinance has created a Municipal Service District (MSD) in the downtown area. Property within this district is taxed at an additional tax rate on top of the ad valorem tax rate for the city in general ($0.42 per $100 of valuation). The additional MSD tax rate is $0.18 per $100 in property valuation. All the revenue collected from the MSD is allocated to the Concord Downtown Development Corporation. The corporation then uses this revenue to fund a variety of services that help redevelop and vitalize the downtown. Examples include installation of special lamp posts, coordinating parking, special street signage, hosting certain events, and providing grants and incentives.
Concord Downtown Development Corporation
Please visit the Concord Downtown Development Corporation web site for information on about the variety of businesses and events in the downtown area. The web site also posts a list of properties in the area that are available for purchase or lease.
Downtown Master Plan
The City of Concord completed its first Downtown Master Plan in 2002. This initial plan contained four components: Visioning, Economic Analysis, Physical Improvements, and Parking Management.
The 2008 update of the Downtown Master Plan focuses on three of the initial core areas: Economic Analysis, Public and Private Investment Opportunities, and Parking Management. The Master Plan will help to guide both the City's and Concord Downtown Development Corporation's efforts to foster appropriate commercial, industrial, and residential growth and development in Downtown Concord.
Grants and Incentives
There are several different types of grants and loans to help restore Concord Downtown's rich history and beauty. These programs are administered by the Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC). These grant funds are part of an annual budgeting process and are subject to renewal each year.
In all cases:
- The grants must be matched dollar for dollar with private sector funds.
- The grants are a reimbursement, the project must be paid for in full by the applicant and receipts presented for reimbursement.
- The project must be approved by the CDDC grant committee PRIOR to the start of any work or in the case of the sign and awning grants the purchase of a sign or awning.
- Prior to submitting an application, a pre-application meeting with the City of Concord Planning and Neighborhood Development Department is required to confirm the work described in the application meets the Center City Design Ordinance.
Jump Start Grant Program
This grant program was created to encourage businesses of specific categories to locate within the Municipal Service District (MSD) of downtown Concord. The grant is a one-time reimbursable matching grant in an amount up to $1,500 which may be used to assist in interior building improvements and other start-up expenses related to opening the business. The types of businesses encouraged are specified in the 2007 Downtown Master Plan Economic Assessment.
Sign Grant Program
The Sign Grant Program was designed to assist business owners in the design and funding of signage for downtown businesses. These reimbursement matching grants cover to to 50 percent of the cost of the design and production of signage and will not exceed $350.00. Signage elements that are fundable by the Design Division are the business name, street, address, hours of operation and other such secondary business information. The application must be submitted and approved by the Design Division PRIOR to the purchase of the sign. For more information, contact CDDC, 704-784-4208, or visit the office located at 30 Cabarrus Avenue, West.
Awning Grant Program
The Awning Grant Program was designed to assist business owners in the design and funding of awnings for downtown businesses. These reimbursement matching grants cover up to 50 percent of the cost of the design, fabrication, and installation of awnings and will not exceed $1000.00. Funds may be used for awnings that includes the business namenand street address on the valance. The application must be submitted and approved by the Design Division PRIOR to the purchase of the awning.
Restoration & Beautification Grant Program
The Restoration & Beautification Grant Program was created to encourage practical, but architecturally appropriate design of downtown building façade renovations located within the Municipal Service District (MSD) and served by the Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC). Only exterior improvement projects are eligible. These reimbursement matching grants are shared between the owner and CDDC, on a 50/50 matching basis. The maximum CDDC contribution is $2,500. All grant applications must be approved by the Design Division PRIOR to beginning the project. For more information, contact CDDC, 704-784-4208, or visit the office located at 30 Cabarrus Avenue, West.
Upper Floor Grant Program
The Upper Floor Grant Program was created to encourage investment in renovating and restoring upper floors of buildings within the Municipal Service District of downtown Concord. High priority is placed on expanding the usefulness of downtown properties for office and residential use. This is a reimbursement matching grant program, with the costs being shared between the owner and the Concord Downtown Development Corporation (CDDC) on a 50/50 matching basis. The maximum CDDC contribution may not exceed $2,500. All grant applications must be approved by the Design Division PRIOR to beginning the project. For more information, contact CDDC, 704-784-4208, or visit the office located at 30 Cabarrus Avenue, West.
For further information about any of the grant programs, please contact Diane Young, Executive Director of Concord Downtown Development Corporation, at 704.784.4208 or
. More information is available on their website.