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Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs

Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs

OCRA > Indiana Main Street (IMS) > Downtown Enhancement Grants Downtown Enhancement Grants


The Downtown Enhancement Grant (DEG) program is designed to foster innovative approaches to activities, which support and promote community based planning, pre-development, and research initiatives. The goal of these projects is to improve the quality of life and opportunities for increasing private investment and employment in Indiana Main Street (IMS) communities. The Downtown Enhancement Grant priorities are directed by OCRA’s strategic plan and the National Main Street Four Point Approach.

DEG Information Sheet

Important 2016 Dates

  • June 27: Applications open. 
  • July 15: Letters of Intent (LOI’s) due to by 4pm Eastern Time
  • August 26: DEG applications must be received by OCRA by 4pm Eastern Time
  • September 22: DEG funded projects announced.

Go to the Resources section below for the Application and the LOI templates.

Applicant Eligibility 

Eligible applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • An OCRA designated Main Street Community
  • Submitted an approved Community Assessment and been found to be an eligible organization
  • Someone from the organization must have attended an OCRA conference or OCRA Main Street Exchange in the year 2015 or 2016
  • Organization may be operated with paid or volunteer staffing
  • Applicant must be in good standing with the Indiana Secretary of State and the Indiana Department of Revenue
  • Have at least one partner with another community organization (application will go into details but there must be a minimum of two parties involved. For example, a community organization and the Main Street organization)
  • Lead applicant must be the Main Street Organization
  • Cannot have received a DEG in their community since January 1, 2013.
List of Previously Funded DEG Communities

Project Eligibility

Qualifying projects are ones which promote economic development in the downtown areas and will enhance the quality of life in the community. Ideal projects could include, but are not limited to: façade renovations or rehabilitations, creation of wayfinding signage, streetscape/landscaping, mural restoration and other more permanent initiatives as they relate to the grant purpose. Eligible projects must have a 1:1.5 match with a minimum of 1:1 being cash match and the other 0.5 comprised of eligible in-kind and/or cash.

Funding and Distribution

  • Grant requests between $5,000 and $10,000 will be accepted. 
  • Eligible projects must have a 1:1.5 match with a minimum of 1:1 being cash match and the other 0.5 comprised of eligible in-kind and cash.
  • Federal and other state funds may not be used as local match.
  • Philanthropic foundations, especially community foundations, are strongly encouraged to participate and provide cash match.
  • Favorable consideration is given to projects that engage youth in the planning or design process.


Downtown Enhancement Grants FAQ

Downtown Enhancement Grant Letter of Intent (LOI)

Downtown Enhancement Grant Application

If you have questions about this program or need other assistance, please contact your OCRA Community Liaison.


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