Program Overview

The Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was created pursuant to W.S.S. 15-9-201 with the duty to halt or prevent deterioration of property values or structures within the downtown district boundaries. To do this, the DDA has created the Building Improvement Grant (BIG), a reimbursement based grant program available to business and property owners within the DDA District boundaries.  The BIG Program is designed to support development efforts that contribute to the economic sustainability, redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown district. This program provides financial assistance for capital improvement projects that:

    1. Update buildings to meet modern building codes and accessibility regulations
    2. Increases the useful life of a building, property value, and/or adapts it to new uses

Projects approved under the BIG Program, once completed, must make a positive contribution to the overall character, cohesive branding, and architectural integrity of the downtown district.

The BIG Program is a reimbursement based grant that funds up to 30% of a project’s total eligible capital improvement costs, with a maximum grant award not to exceed $50,000 per project. Please note: The maximum grant amount for each project must be approved by the DDA Board of Directors and is subject to alteration on a case-by-case basis.

The DDA also offers two (2) additional grant program resources for business and property owners to help applicants maximize investments in economic development, redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Cheyenne: 

    • The Capital Improvement Grant (CIG) is a reimbursement grant program that funds up to 50% or $10,000 (whichever is less) of a project’s eligible exterior improvements that enhance the overall streetscape and walkability of the downtown district. 
    • The DDA Logo Design Pilot Program funds 100% of logo design services for eligible business owners and/or tenants of downtown properties. Applicants will work through the design process with the program partner, West Edge Collective.  

For more information about these grant programs, please contact the DDA Office or visit

Who Can Apply? 

        • New/Existing commercial property owners within the DDA District. 
        • Please Note: Tax-exempt property owners are not eligible
        • Existing business owners and/or downtown business tenants* located within the DDA District
        • New business owners and/or downtown business tenants* moving into DDA District
        • Please Note: Any business tenant moving into the district must provide proof of becoming a downtown business in application, generally a copy of the signed lease agreement
        • *Downtown business tenants applying for BIG grant funding must provide written approval from the property owner (please refer to the attached Tenant Authorization Form).

Program Guidelines

      • Property must be located within the district boundaries (see district map)
      • Any capital improvements or work started before date that BIG application is submitted and approved are not eligible for funding unless deemed otherwise by DDA leadership
      • All work must comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, building codes, and zoning ordinances and proper permits must be secured prior to commencement of work
      • Applicants may be asked to present application to DDA Board for final approval 
      • Incomplete applications and/or applications that do include all of the required supporting documents will not be considered
      • Annual program funding will be limited, with projects awarded at the discretion of the DDA, as funds are available. DDA will make final determinations on individual project eligibility and reserves the right to reject any application 
      • Funding will be in the form of a reimbursement to the applicant under the terms and conditions specified in the contract
      • Once a project has been completed, BIG Program Grant Recipients must wait a minimum of one (1) year from the date the project grant amount is paid out until they are able to reapply for funding for the same property location under the BIG Program

BIG Program Project Costs: Capital Improvements Vs. Maintenance/Repairs

Any capital improvements that update buildings to meet modern building codes, increase the useful life of a building, adapt it to a new use and/or increase the property value are considered to be eligible project costs under the BIG Program. Please Note: General maintenance/building repairs are not capital improvements and are not eligible project costs.  The following table summarizes many of the factual considerations when distinguishing between capital expenditures and general maintenance/repairs: 

Capital Improvement

General Maintenance/Building Repair

  • Improvements that “put” property in a better working condition
  • Improvements that “keep” property in efficient operating position
  • Restores property to a “like new” condition
  • Restores property to its previous condition
  • Additions/Upgrades to property
  • Incidental repair to property
  • Extends useful life of a property/adapts building to new use
  • Improves efficiency and/or quality of a property
  • Increases the strength and/or capacity of a property

Examples of Eligible vs. Ineligible Project Costs

The BIG Program funds up to 30% or $50,000 (whichever is less) of eligible capital improvement project costs. The following table outlines examples of eligible and ineligible project costs under the BIG Program. Please Note: This list is not all-inclusive and final determination of eligibility is approved by DDA Leadership:

Eligible Cost Examples

Ineligible Cost Examples

  • Key Building Systems New Installation/Replacement:
    • Plumbing System
    • Electrical System
    • HVAC Systems
    • Elevator/Escalator Systems
    • Fire Protection/Alarm Systems
    • Gas Distribution Systems
    • Security Systems
  • Exterior Utility Service Removal/Relocation
  • New Roof Installation
  • Interior Lighting Installation
  • Construction/Installation of Interior Partition Walls, Flooring & Ceilings
  • Masonry Restoration (Interior/Exterior)
  • Historic Element Restoration (Interior/Exterior)
  • Exterior Facade Renovation
  • Building Addition/Expansion
  • Interior Painting
  • Repairs of Existing Key Building System:
    • Plumbing System
    • Electrical System
    • HVAC Systems
    • Elevator/Escalator Systems
    • Fire Protection/Alarm Systems
    • Gas Distribution Systems
    • Security Systems
  • Repairs of Existing Utilities
  • Roof Repairs
  • Appraiser/Attorney Fees
  • Property Acquisition, Mortgage, Land Contract Financing or Loan Fees
  • Contract Labor Wages/Fees
  • Building Permit Fees
  • General Building Maintenance Costs
  • Expenses Incurred Prior to Application Approval

Project Priorities

The BIG program was created to support development efforts that contribute to the economic sustainability, redevelopment and revitalization of the downtown district. Because program funding is competitive, meaning that the most viable projects will be selected, the following are important considerations when determining a project’s viability and selection criteria of the program:

      • Private development projects over public development projects will be given priority
      • Projects that have a larger community return-on-investment for the community will be given priority
      • Fully completed applications with documentation and information (photographs, renderings, sketches, estimates) demonstrating project viability will be given priority
      • New applicants will be given priority over applicants that have previously received DDA Grant Funding

Payment Process and Timeline

Once the project application has been approved, project work must be completed and paid invoices must be submitted for reimbursement within 12 months of the effective date of approval. Extensions may be provided for extenuating circumstances if communicated to and approved by DDA Leadership. 

Payment terms and conditions may be modified from a reimbursement-based structure to a contract draw request structure on a case-by-case basis and upon approval of DDA Leadership.

Payments for approved work will be remitted within thirty (30) days of receiving paid invoices of completed work. Copies of final paid invoices for completed work must be submitted at the time of funding request. Only eligible expenses outlined in the final approved application will be considered for reimbursement. Payment will not exceed the approved grant amount. Once final project payments have been paid by the DDA to the applicant, and the approved BIG grant amount has been reached, the project application will be considered complete and no additional expenses will be allowable. 

Grant recipients must credit DDA for project support through any print, social media or formal promotion of the project and must display program recipient material provided by the DDA for a minimum of 12 months. A window decal or other material will be provided by the DDA.

BIG Program Grant Recipients must wait a minimum of one (1) year from the date the project grant amount is paid out until they are able to reapply for funding for the same property location under the BIG Program.

Application Process

Applications are due no later than the first of each month, with review at the following board meeting, generally scheduled for the 15th of every other month, while funding is available for the program. 

 Applications must include the following in order to be considered: 

  • Completed Application Form
  • Written Description of Scope of Work to Be Completed
  • Sole Source Estimates for Project Costs Outlined in Application
  • Before/After Photos of Property/Work to be Completed
  • Project Plan Renderings, Mock-Ups, Design Concepts 
  • Tenant Authorization Form Signed by Property Owner (if applicable)



Applicant Name
Business Name
Applicant Mailing Address
Applicant is:
Max. file size: 256 MB.


Property Address (must be located within the Cheyenne DDA District)
Have DDA grant funds been used previously for this property location?
Please indicate estimated current building occupancy and vacancy by percentage:
I.e. 75% Occupied, 25% Vacant
Please indicate the current building use by percentage:
I.e. 50% Retail, 50% Office, 0% Residential, 0% Storage
Other (specify)

Project Information

Max. file size: 256 MB.
Please indicate estimated building occupancy and vacancy following project completion by percentage:
I.e. 100% Occupied, 0% Vacant
Expected building use percentage following project completion:
I.e. 100% Retail, 0% Office, 0% Storage
Other (specify)


(Breakdown of total project costs must be included as a supporting document with this application)


Will the project create jobs?
Does the project activate a vacant storefront?
Will the funds of this program help a new business start in the DDA district?


Applicant Certification and Understanding
In addition to this completed application form, the following supporting documents must also be submitted in order to be considered:
Max. file size: 256 MB.
Max. file size: 256 MB.
Max. file size: 256 MB.
Max. file size: 256 MB.


Name of Business Tenant
Name of Business Owner
Tenant Address
Property Owner Name
Property Owner Mailing Address (If Different from Tenant Address)