Downtown Comprehensive Investment Program

The Cumberland Economic Development Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the Downtown Comprehensive Investment Program, a $950,000 investment split over five programs in three phases to assist downtown merchants and building owners with the exterior appearance, infrastructure and residential development of their buildings and includes a business attraction element. The Downtown Comprehensive Investment Program encompasses everything the City of Cumberland is trying to accomplish downtown, complements the investment in the Baltimore Street Access Project and is another testament of true collaboration between the Cumberland Economic Development Corporation, the City of Cumberland and Allegany County Economic Development.

The goal of these programs is to create long term value in the City of Cumberland by providing matching grant funds for capital improvement projects. These projects, when complete, will spur new job growth, encourage direct investment, preserve existing community infrastructure, increase the value of commercial and residential units and ignite entrepreneurship in Downtown Cumberland.

Please Note: The application process requires documents to be uploaded for completion. It is suggested that all documents be ready before beginning the application process. Required documents include:

  • Project Summary
  • Contractors Written Estimate of Work to be Completed
  • Project Budget Including Sources of Funds to Complete the Project
  • Proof of Available Funds for Match Requirements
  • Written & Notarized Authorization from Property Owner if Different from Applicant

Note that to keep your documents as secure as possible, a free Google account is required.


Application Timeframe: Opens: October 17, 2022Closes: November 11, 2022

Downtown Façade Improvement Grant

• Available Funds: $400,000

• Purpose: To provide funding to improve the aesthetic appearance of the buildings located within the Primary and Secondary DDC Taxing District. The program will be designed to assist property owners with rehabilitating the facades of storefronts, businesses and mixed-use properties to create a positive visual impact, stimulate private investment, and complement the overall revitalization efforts of the downtown district.

• Applicant Match: No match requirement up to $7,500. 1:1 match for every dollar after $7,500 ($20,000 would require a $12,500 match = $32,500 project)

• Grant Limits: Minimum $2,500, Maximum $100,000 per application (1 application per address)

Downtown Technical Assistance Grant

• Available Funds: $20,000

• Purpose: To provide financial assistance to downtown building owners to support the necessary investment needed to investigate potential development or activation of unused space in buildings located within the Primary and Secondary DDC Taxing District. The grant can be used for planning, architectural/engineering design, feasibility studies or any other predevelopment support that enables a project to be conducted more efficiently.

• Applicant Match: 1:1 Match requirement for all eligible projects

• Grant Limits: $5,000 Maximum per application (1 application per address)


Application Timeframe: Opens: January 9, 2023 – Closes: February 10, 2023

Downtown Infrastructure Upgrade Grant

• Available Funds: $150,000

• Purpose: To provide reimbursement funding to building owners who take advantage of the infrastructure upgrades (Water and Fiber Internet) that will be taking place during the Baltimore Street Access project. This will prevent future disruption to the new street façade after completion of the project and will encourage upper story development with adequate water capacity for fire suppression systems allowing more flexibility in terms of usage.

• Applicant Match: None

• Grant Limits: $5,000 grant per applicant (30 grants)

Downtown Residential Development Grant

• Available Funds: $350,000

• Purpose: To provide financial assistance for projects that include the development of market rate residential units located within the Primary and Secondary DDC Taxing District. The program will further encourage building owners to activate unused/underutilized space with market rate housing. The increase in residents downtown will promote the sustainability of downtown businesses, attract new businesses to the area, and increase revenue streams to property owners – leading to future investment/reinvestment back into the buildings.

• Applicant Match: 1:1 Match requirement for all projects

• Grant limits: $5,000 minimum, $100,000 maximum per application (1 application per address)


Application Timeframe: Opens: March 6, 2023 until funds are exhausted

Business Attraction Grant for Downtown

• Available Funds: $30,000

• Purpose: To assist new and expanding businesses with rental reimbursement in return for locating their business or service in our downtown district. The program will serve multiple needs including, but not limited to:

• New Job Creation (a minimum of 30 FTEs if 100% successful)

• Activating Empty Store Fronts and/or Office Space

• Supplementing Private Capital for other Start-up costs

• Increase foot traffic downtown

• Amount: Primary District: $500/month – fixed amount – for 6 months ($3,000) Secondary District: $400/Month – fixed amount – for 6 months ($2,400)

Eligibility (Generally):

• Must be at least a 1-year lease for $800 or more/month

• Business must be open for 40 hours/week

• Must be commercial space – retail, office, restaurant, etc. (for non-residential purposes)

Must be located in the primary or secondary taxing district

• Must be a new or expanding business (cannot be relocating from an existing office in Cumberland unless for expansion purposes)

• Must show proof of rental payment – funds will be reimbursed upon providing proof of payment

• Must consist of at least 3 FTEs or 6 PTEs (NEW Jobs)

• Program will remain open until funds are depleted

• Other requirements TBD

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