It is Small Business Week

Small businesses are the heart of our downtown, giving us a unique personality that keeps people coming back. The Downtown Bettendorf Organization (DBO) supports these small businesses through grant programs that spark additional investment and growth.

Last year, the DBO launched a Façade Improvement and Commercial Interior Improvement Grant Program in partnership with the City of Bettendorf. Each contributed half of the $50,000 in funding made available to business and property owners within the Self Supported Municipal Improvement District (SSMID). In the last 10 months, $31,440 in façade grants and $18,560 in interior grants were awarded to six businesses, which leveraged $277,627 in capital improvements.

“The goal of these grants is to take a project from good to great by investing in current infrastructure that may be vacant or underutilized. These grant dollars encourage development by providing dollars to small business owners to improve their buildings and/or encourage new growth within our districts,” said Ryan Jantzi, DBO Executive Director.

The Bulldog Arms owner Josh Howat was one DBO grant recipient. He opened the business at 1716 State St., Bettendorf in July 2020. Not a year later, he had to replace the furnace. Then last summer, the air conditioning system went out.

“I am super grateful to Ryan and the City of Bettendorf for being so forward thinking,” he said. “Just knowing that someone is in our corner working and facilitating for small businesses is another reason I believe Bettendorf is a great city to do business in, and I am really thankful,” he said.

Next year, DBO’s grant pool will increase to $75,000. DBO will provide $50,000 and the City will provide $25,000. DBO is accepting applications for the grants which will be available beginning July 1.

DBO is an affiliate of the Quad Cities Chamber and both organizations provide additional support to small businesses, including access to market research and data-mining tools for free. In addition, the team can inform businesses about other financial resources, such as federal, state and local grants and incentive programs for which they may qualify.