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Summit City Match is an innovative Fort Wayne program that helps match businesses with vacant space and provides an opportunity to apply for grants to fill financial gaps. The program is a pilot effort for a designated area on the South Calhoun Street commercial corridor between Murray Street and Rudisill Boulevard.  Fort Wayne’s entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses often face two major difficulties:

  • Finding the right space, and
  • Securing the money needed to start their business.

Summit City Match Program Goals 

  1. Connect Resources to Small Emerging Business Owners – Assist under-connected individuals with the opportunity to own their own business or to expand their business on South Calhoun Street by leveraging City and other resources.
  1. Establish new businesses on South Calhoun Street between Murray Street and Rudisill Boulevard – Six or more new or scaled businesses with the majority of owners being people of color or women who are provided with entrepreneurial support.
  1. Develop Summit City Match Program – Monitor and evaluate the performance of the pilot program in order to sustain the South Calhoun Street pilot area momentum and provide a roadmap to expand the program in other Fort Wayne corridors in need of redevelopment.

Business Owners

Whether you have an idea, are looking for space to lease, are ready to renovate a space, or opening an additional location there are resources available to help your business open and thrive on South Calhoun Street.

Business Owner Evaluation Criteria

  1. Business vision and plan based on the soundness and completeness of the concept.
  2. Experience and capability of the business owners and key members of the business team.
  3. Market opportunity to meet consumer demand and advance commercial corridor revitalization.
  4. Jobs and equitable entrepreneurship for women and people of color.
  5. Leverage of business owner investment and other community investment initiatives.

Interested business owners should review the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers and/or Apply Now

Program Value for Building Owners

  1. Building Assessments are offered to building owners who apply for participation in the Summit City Match program. The assessment will identify key building information needed to market the space and provide feedback to the building owner on what may be needed for building occupancy. The program application and assessment is not a commitment of resources of any kind by the building owner, but it is necessary to be considered for marketing, matchmaking, and grants.
  1. Marketing and Match is designed to promote available spaces, identify prospective new businesses and ultimately match building owners to new tenants. Vacant buildings will be promoted through a variety of media including publicity, email, and social media. When a match is made (a lease or letter of intent is signed), the project will be eligible to apply for a grant.
  1. Project Grants provide the opportunity to fill financial gaps when the business owner and building owner cannot secure all the financing and/or equity needed to complete the project. Grants will be based on multiple criteria including program goals, the opportunity to leverage building and business owner investments, and other merits of the match. The purpose of a grant is to customize a space to the business owner’s needs.

Building Owner Applications

The online application should take less than 10 minutes to complete. Marketing for a space cannot occur without a completed building owner application.

Matches between building owners and tenants are anticipated in August, 2019.

Interested building owners in the Summit City Match program should review the Building Owner Guidelines and/or Apply Now

Project Gap-Funding

The Summit City Match program desires to fill six or more vacant buildings. Program representatives intend to grant a total of $200,000, in an effort to leverage more than $500,000 in investments. The program is not funding total projects; grants are meant to leverage the building owners’ and the business owners’ investments. Grants generally occur as part of a reimbursement model after the building and business owner investment/loan has been put in place. Grants may be made directly to licensed contractors. Projects that receive grants will be required to execute a grant agreement that outlines the terms and conditions for grant funding. Eligible grant expenses may include, but are not limited to, exterior and interior renovations, permanent equipment, and code compliance.

Grants are available for businesses or building owners who need funds after financing options have been exhausted. Grants are not a substitute for readily available financing or equity investment. Grants are used to fill the gap on projects. The financial gap is determined based on the total project costs, less the debt that the project is projected to sustain and the owner’s equity investment.

Example:

Project Cost: $100,000
Building Owner Investment: $50,000
Business Owner Investment: $20,000
Match Grant Request (funding gap):     $30,000