The Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge is always looking for local independent businesses-that is what primarily distinguishes historic downtowns from modern malls and contemporary strip centers. Downtown Bainbridge has a place for you if you are a classic “mom and pop” business. We always encourage the community to Shop Local and Think Downtown First!
Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge Incentives
The Façade Grant Program is funded and administered by the Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge (DDA). Monies are available for exterior improvements only, and may be applied to a front, side or rear façade, provided the façade faces a public street or parking area. The program is designed to give property owners and business owner’s financial assistance for façade improvement.
Low Interest Loan Program
The Loan Pool Program is a public/private partnership providing development incentives to businesses, property owners, tenants, and individuals. The objectives of the pool are to improve the viability and historic appearance of the downtown area and stimulate new, long-term reinvestment in Downtown Bainbridge. The incentives are in the form of short- or medium-term loans at favorable interest rates from a pool of funds set-aside by participating banks in Bainbridge. The funds may be used only for building rehabilitation, structural improvements to buildings, or real estate acquisitions, if part of an overall project.
Program Goals and Objectives (Participating banks are Family Bank, First Port City Bank, & First National Bank of Decatur County)
The Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge will partner with the Georgia Office of Downtown Development and provide a façade rendering of a downtown building to prospective buyers and/or property owners. The rendering provides design assistance to potential developers and showcases the importance of rehabilitating our historic structures.
The City of Bainbridge is offering to new businesses the opportunity to waive gas and water deposit fees. In addition, the City of Bainbridge will waive permit fees on major rehabilitation projects that exceed $10,000 within the Central Business District.
Comprised of Live 101.9, Rockin’ 106.3, and Q92.3 FM is offering new businesses the first month of FREE advertising by having two (2) commercials per day ($300 value). After the first month, your business can continue the advertising package for only $100 per month.
The Post Searchlight
The local newspaper is offering new businesses the opportunity to buy four (4) ads of any size and receive four (4) ads of equal size for FREE during the first month of operation.
Historic Preservation Tax Incentives
State and federal government tax incentives are available for owners of a historic property who carry out a substantial rehabilitation. All properties must be listed in, or eligible for the National/Georgia Register of Historic Places, either individually or as part of a National/Georgia Register Historic District. Project work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s/Department of Natural Resources Standards of Rehabilitation.
Federal Income Tax Credit Program
A federal income tax credit equal to 20% of rehabilitation expenses. Available ONLY for income-producing properties. The application is first reviewed by the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) then forwarded to the National Park Service for final decision.
State Income Tax Credit for Rehabilitated Historic Property
A state income tax credit of 25% of rehabilitation expenses. The credit is capped at $100,000 for residences and $300,000 for income-producing properties. This amended tax credit is allowed for the taxable year in which the certified rehabilitation is completed.
State Preferential Property Tax Assessment for Rehabilitated Historic Property
Freezes the county property tax assessment for over 8 years. Available for personal residences as well as income-producing properties. Owner must increase their fair market value of the building by 50-100%, depending on its new use. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Historic Preservation Division and the Georgia Department of Revenue administers the program.
- The application is a two/three part process, describing before and after rehabilitation. Ideally, project work should be submitted before work begins and be completed within two years.
- Applications for all three programs are sent to HPD, and must be reviewed and approved by HPD (and afterward National Park Service for the Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit.)
- There are substantial cost tests that must be met to qualify for each program.
Green Communities Fund Rebate Program
The Green Communities Fund is a rebate program offered by the Georgia Cities Foundation. The Green Communities Fund provides a 25% rebate for pre-approved, eligible energy efficient improvements to downtown commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family buildings within the state of Georgia.
Getting started in Downtown Bainbridge
We are excited that you are interested in Downtown Bainbridge, and we hope to be of assistance to you during this exciting time in your life. The Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge has a variety of tools and contacts which you may find useful when considering a business in our district. Please let us know if you are seeking information that you do not find on our website-we likely have it or know how to help you find it.
The Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge has a great working relationship with the Planning & Zoning Department, and we are willing to assist you through the local requirements to help you expedite finding a location and opening for business. Below is a flow chart to assist you with the process as well.
The business start-up process can be confusing and cumbersome. Fortunately, there is quality, FREE assistance for businesses available throughout Georgia through the Georgia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network. Local contact is Debbie Finney at 229-420-1144 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Downtown Development Authority of Bainbridge, Executive Director
101 South Broad Street
Bainbridge, GA 39817