The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest challenges Downtown Fresno revitalization has ever faced. The loss of large events and regular foot traffic in our urban core is having a significant impact on our small business community. A recent survey of small businesses conducted by Downtown Fresno Partnership shows that most downtown businesses have closed their doors to comply with the City of Fresno’s emergency shelter in place order.  Businesses that remain open have experienced a 75% decrease in revenues and as of April 20th, only 2% have received any kind of federal, state, or municipal financial assistance to support continued operations despite over 85% applying for one or more forms of financial assistance. 

In response to this crisis, the Downtown Fresno Foundation, in partnership with the Central Valley Community Foundation and JP Morgan Chase is announcing the Re-Start Downtown Fresno Grant. Starting on May 11th, businesses within the Downtown Fresno PBID area will be able to apply for up to $2,500 in grant funding to help cover business-related expenses. The application window will close on May 18th.

Thank You to Our Sponsors!


Businesses must have a physical address within the Downtown Fresno PBID area. (for a map of the PBID area, please see the grant agreement form at the top of this page)
Grants may be applied retroactively for expenses already incurred by the business. Projects may be backdated as far as March 16th, 2020 with appropriate documentation.

  • Governmental organizations are ineligible to apply
  • Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply
  • Women and minority-owned business enterprises are encouraged to apply
  • Businesses that have contributed to public health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply
  • Businesses that have been unable to access funding through SBA loan/grant programs or City of Fresno grant programs are encouraged to apply
  • Businesses that rely on foot traffic and the Downtown Fresno daytime worker population are encouraged to apply
  • Restaurants and Retail businesses are encouraged to apply

What can the money be used for?

Because of the diverse mix of businesses in Downtown Fresno, the parameters of what grant funds may be used for is intentionally broad. Uses for the grant funds include, but are not limited to normal operating expenses including:

  • Inventory
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Payroll
  • Etc.

What can the money not be used for?

  • Non-business-related expenses
  • Expansion of current business
  • Expenses incurred after March 16th, 2020

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria

  • Does the grant help address an immediate need caused by the COVID-19 crisis?
  • Will grant funds be spent locally?
  • To what degree has the applicant’s business been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis?

Application Requirements

Applicants must submit the following;

  • Invoice or purchase order for goods and services purchased for the business including date of purchase
  • Complete Application Form
  • Estimated financial lost due to crisis including % of total revenue pre-COVID
  • Inventory breakdown of physical losses
  • Number of employees currently on payroll
  • A detailed outline of how Re-Start grant funds will be allocated if received
  • Agreement from businesses who receives funds to remain operational through 2020

If you need help submitting your application, please contact