Visual Improvements Program (VIP)

    Visual Improvements Program

    The hottest incentive package that the city's Economic Development Corporation can offer your business is the Visual Improvements Program or as we refer to it....VIP!

    Whether you are a large or small anchor, new or old business, we are here to say the VIP program can help you! Since 2011, the broad purpose of the Visual Improvement Program has been to promote a positive city image reflecting order, harmony, and pride, thereby strengthening the economic stability in Live Oak business areas. The foremost purpose is to encourage the visual improvement and enhancement of facades, business signage, landscaping, and parking lots for commercial, professional, and retail in Live Oak.

    If your business building exterior or signage needs a little TLC, then this program is for you! The funding available is based on a reimbursement up to a maximum of $5,000 per business. The cumulative amount awarded by the Live Oak Economic Development Corporation (LOEDC) shall not exceed $100,000 for each fiscal year of this program.

    Are you eligible? If you are either the property owner or the business owner (tenant), you are eligible for the funding. Property owners with multiple buildings or tenants with multiple operating locations may be limited to one building or location per funding cycle. Once you submit your application and related documents to city staff describing the proposed work including three bids, the application will be presented before the EDC Board. Should the project and contractor receive approval from the Board; the EDC will pass a Resolution for payment of up to $5,000 to the contractor of your choice. Should the project exceed $5,000, the applicant is responsible for satisfying the remaining cost incurred on behalf of the project. The LOEDC will issue a deposit check not to exceed $2,500 to the contractor prior to project commencement. Once the project is completed and has passed all permitting and inspection requirements by the city's Building Official, the balance of grant monies will be paid to the contractor.

    All VIP projects awarded grant monies must start construction within 90 days of being awarded funding; all projects must be completed within one year of being awarded. Work that qualifies for reimbursement includes improvements to the exterior of buildings such as painting, cleaning, tuck pointing, facade and window repair/replacement, doorways, lighting, new signage, window tinting, replacement awnings, permanent landscaping, parking lots and rear access renovations.

    No strings attached, apply today!

    That is how simple Live Oak can assist your BUSINESS! For more information about this incentive program, contact Donna Lowder at 210-653-9140, extension 2219 or you may download the application below.

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    Business Testimonials for the VIP Program

      More Information

      Program Purpose

      The broad purpose of the Visual Improvements Program (VIP) is to promote a positive city image reflecting order, harmony, and pride, thereby strengthening the economic stability in Live Oak business areas. The foremost purpose is to encourage the visual improvement and enhancement of facades, business signage, landscaping, and parking lots for commercial, professional, and retail in Live Oak.


      Program Overview

      The program affects only building exteriors and does not account for interior spaces except for window display areas which are on public view. The design standards are meant to be flexible enough to allow business or property owners to be creative and design storefronts that market their establishments effectively. At the same time, aspects of the program will help to avoid poor quality design decisions that detract from the aesthetics of the business districts. The program also provides an objective basis by which to evaluate projects that come up for review. Ultimately, the design, renovation, and repair projects will enhance the economic success of Live Oak by making it a more inviting place for shoppers and businesses.


      Program Funding

      Funding available is basede on a reimbursement up to a maximum of $2,000.00 per business. The cumulative amount awarded by the Live Oak Economic Development Corporation (LOEDC) shall not exceed $45,000.00 for the fiscal year of this program.


      Eligibility

      Either the property owner (corporation, joint venture, partnership, etal) or the business owner (tenant) is eligible for funding. Property owners with multiple buildings or tenants with multiple operating locations may be limited to on building or location per funding cycle.

      • TENANT: Tenants must submit to LOEDC written authorization by property owner(s) to make the indicated improvements
      • PROPERTY OWNERS: Property owner must show proof of ownership.

      Selection Criteria

      Projects are reviewed on a competitive basis. Page 8 of the application outlines the rating criteria by which each submitted project is assessed. Those projects with the highest weighted average will be granted funding. Applicants must be ready to begin actual construction within 90 days of approval/award notice and complete all improvements within one year of award date.


      Reimbursable Expenditures

      Should the project and contractor receive approval from the Board, the Economic Development Corporation will pass a Resolution for payment of up to $2,000.00 to the contractor. Should the project exceed $2,000.00, the applicant is responsible for paying all additional costs incurred on behalf of the project. The LOEDC will issue a deposit check not to exceed $1,000.00 to the contractor prior to project commencement.

      No partially completed project will receive funding; projects must be completed in its entirety as reflected on the application submitted for consideration to the LOEDC (EXHIBIT "A"). All projects must start construction within 90 days of being awarded funding; all projects must be complete within one year of being awarded.

      Upon final inspection by the Development Services Department and/or the Building Inspections Department, the LOEDC will remit final payment to the contractor not to exceed a maximum total payment (deposit and balance) of $2,000.00. Upon completion and receipt of the project's Final Inspection Report issued by the Building Official, applicant shall submit a copy of all receipts to the LOEDC showing that all contractors and vendors have been paid in full.


      Qualifying Expenditures

      Work that qualifies for reimbursement includes improvements to the exterior of buildings such as painting, cleaning, tuck pointing, facade and window repair/replacement, doorways, lighting, new signage, window tinting, replacement awnings, permanent landscaping, parking lots and rear access renovations. In no way is this program intended to exempt a business from compliance with any section of the City's current ordinances.

      1. Masonry Facades, (excluding hardy plank)
      2. Awnings
      3. Entrance upgrades/Doors
      4. Windows
      5. Painting, limited colors, no day glow
      6. Landscaping limited to xeriscape type (to include shrubbery, as well as, trees towards Tree City USA program)
      7. Signage (to replace damaged, deteriorated)
      8. Correction of Code Violations (limited to exterior, no interior)
      9. Green Enhancements

      Related Parties

      No member of the City Council of the City of Live Oak, or any member of any Live Oak boards, commissions, city employees, or any member of their immediated family may participate in this program.

      If you are interested in participating in this incentive, please download this form for the application and additional information sheets Visual Improvements Program Application