These Economic Development Incentive Programs are offered by the Wilson Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC), a non-profit organization that partners with the City of Wilson. They were created to physically improve downtown properties for priority business uses, stimulate active business and property ownership, healthy commerce, and pedestrian activity in Historic Downtown Wilson’s Municipal Service District (MSD).
The business and property must be located within the MSD area to be eligible (map in each guideline document below). Non-profit organizations are not included in this program. Businesses must be for-profit and lawfully operating to receive these grants. Owners of property must be actively marketing their property for lease or sale for priority business use. Please see individual incentive programs for additional eligibility requirements.
Considering a healthy “business mix” for downtown, the WDDC will give priority to businesses and building improvement projects that make the greatest impact on the MSD. In particular, “Pedestrian Oriented Businesses” – the type of business that generates positive foot traffic and synergy downtown – such as a mixture of retail, restaurant, entertainment, and professional businesses, which compliment an active downtown.
The local incentives offered by WDDC are funded every July 1. These are very competitive grants, first come, first serve to deserving investment projects, with a pool of only approximately $45,000 to split between all four grants. For the N.C. Department of Commerce grants, the City of Wilson would be the actual applicant. Thus, the City of Wilson would have to be willing and able to partner with the building owner and business owner who would be creating full-time jobs, which must be documented with the State quarterly. They City can only have one open award at a time on some of these grants.