Business Improvement Grant (BIG)

Thornton Business Improvement Grants (BIG), administered by the Thornton Economic Development Office, are available to help fund business improvements that will result in the creation and retention of jobs, increased sales revenue, and increased capital investment in Thornton facilities. BIG is primarily a matching funds program. Once approved, the Planning, Development Engineering, and Building Divisions work with awardees to coordinate permits, inspections, and project requirements.

**All new applications will now be added to a waitlist until further funds become available.**

Applicants must be:

  • A commercial licensed business in Thornton for at least 12 months, with a current commercial lease agreement (minimum of 1 year commitment) or commercial property ownership in the City of Thornton. (Exclusions: non-profits, marijuana businesses, residential living facilities and religious institutions.)
  • Located in non-residential zoning designations and not on public property.
  • In compliance with all City taxes, licensing, and applicable laws and ordinances.
  • A licensed business in Thornton for at least 12 months.

In emergency circumstances, a waiver to a grant requirement may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Home-based businesses are eligible to apply for up to $1,000 in matching marketing grant funds.

Applicants are responsible for:

  1. Submitting a completed application form and detailed project description, responding to the Program Scoring Rubric.
  2. Providing a copy of a signed commercial lease to include the dates of commitment.
  3. Providing 2 bids for each major component of the project.
  4. Ensuring Sales and Use Tax, Permit, and Design Review Fees are included in bids to be included in the BIG funding reimbursement calculation.
  5. If applicant is a tenant, and improvements are made to the building, or large equipment will be located into the space, an approval letter to make changes from the property owner/ manager is required.
  6. Providing “before” photos of each major component of the project.
  7. Receiving grant approval before project is started or equipment is purchased.
  8. Providing a signed W-9 Form
  9. Obtaining all necessary permits, inspections and approvals by the City of Thornton.

Application submittal process:

  1. Applications are accepted January 1, 2021 through July 30th, 2021. Grants will be accepted on a first-come first-serve basis until funding is gone.
  2. All applications will be considered for approval according to how well the project meets the criteria listed on the Program Scoring Rubric (some applications may be denied).
  3. The application will be reviewed by the following departments: Economic Development, Building Division, Development Engineering, Planning Division and Sales and Use Tax.
  4. The Thornton Business Advisory Commission will review applications monthly, and make a final decision on all applications, to include final award amounts.
  5. The Office of Economic Development will notify the applicant of grant approval or denial. If approved, notification of award amount, permits and regulatory requirements will also be provided.

Reimbursement checklist:

The following must be complete by the project deadline – December 10, 2021. (No extensions allowed.)

  1. Ensure ALL required work is permitted, inspected, and approved by the City of Thornton.
  2. Project must be paid in full including the difference, if any, between the approved grant amount and total project costs.
  3. Provide “after” photographs of your completed projects.
  4. All receipts, photographs, and other documentation indicating project completion must be submitted to the Office of Economic Development, at one time after the project is complete.
  5. For marketing, a copy, picture or other documentation of the final advertisement must be submitted.

All bids, invoices, receipts, photos and required documents must be compiled into one orderly submission.

Maximum reimbursement amounts:

  • BIG funding allows for a maximum of $20,000 every 5 years.
  • Reimbursement amounts will be based off of the lowest bid received.
  • Signage grants will be reimbursed at a maximum amount of $10,000.
  • Exterior grants require no match funds for the first $3,500 of a project. A 50/50 match is required for the remaining balance (maximum of $20,000).
  • Interior and Equipment grants require a 50/50 match up to a maximum amount of $20,000.
  • Marketing grants require a 50/50 match up to a maximum of $1,000.
  • We encourage you to hire Thornton contractors and will reimburse at 60% of the bid if a Thornton contractor is hired. A Thornton contractor’s bid must be within $1,000 of the lowest bid received. For a list of Thornton contractors, go to:

If you have additional questions, please first read the Frequently Asked Questions for this Grant, then contact the Alliance Business Assistance Center at 720-927-5246 or [email protected].

Submit an Online Application Now


If you prefer to download a printable PDF of the application, information and requirements, or FAQs, click the links below.

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Download 2021 Business Improvement Grant Application

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Download 2021 Business Improvement Grant FAQs

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