The purpose of this program is to encourage and provide businesses located within Big Lakes County with an opportunity to improve their physical appearance of their businesses or their online appearance utilizing grant dollars, up to a maximum of $2500. This is a matching grant and projects must be quoted to be $5,000 or more to be considered eligible.

The program provides an incentive for Big Lakes County business owners to invest in facade renovations, some interior upgrades or online presence upgrades. The improvements are intended to tackle some of the issues from the 2019 Visitor Friendly Assessment.

Council Policy ADMIN-64 Business Refurbishment Program governs this grant.

Program Goals

The program works with other revitalization initiatives to:

  • Build local community and civic pride among the business community and citizens of Big Lakes County
  • Promote the viability of retail and commercial businesses and help building owners to attract and retain tenants/customers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Any business within Big Lakes County who is registered under the Big Lakes County Business License program may apply. The applicant must be either the property owner or a designated person who has the written authority from the owner to submit the application and/or so administer this project. The buildings must be used primarily for retail and commercial purposes. The project must conform to the Design Standards.

Design Standards:

Successful projects will strive to make visible improvements to the appearance, design and function of a business:

  • Addressing winter conditions
  • Creating sidewalks or alleyways that are lively places filled with people contributing to the safety on the street.
  • Build COVID friendly outdoor or indoor adjustments.
  • Exemplifying innovative and artistic design
  • Undertaking general cleaning of the building exterior or signs/infrastructure and repainting faded and peeling paint.
  • Improving online presence/ website


Eligible Improvements:

  • Awnings/Canopies
  • Doors
  • Entryways
  • Exterior architectural and/or artistic features
  • Exterior walls
  • Facade cleaning and painting
  • Landscaping
  • Lighting
  • Limited permanent interior improvements (reconfiguration of interior walls, display spaces, COVID friendly renovations).
  • Online presence improvements/ website creation or updates
  • Patios (provided it follows the Land Use Bylaw)
  • Signage (provided it follows the Land Use Bylaw)
  • Storefronts
  • Windows

The above list is not all-encompassing. Other improvements could be eligible if they meet the objectives of the program. The Planning and Development department will be consulted to ensure proper compliance with Big Lakes County’s Land Use Bylaw.

Big Lakes County may fund up to a maximum of $2500 as a matching grant.

What you need to know

  • Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered for funding
  • Please fill out and submit the Business Refurbishment Policy Program Application Form by March 15 of every fiscal year. If all funds are not awarded, additional applications may be accepted after this deadline.
  • Include the land title certificate. If the applicant is not the owner, please ensure the property owner authorization portion of the application form is completed.
  • Must have a registered business license from Big Lakes County.
  • Submit ’Before’ photos of the property and/or online presence if applicable.
  • The project description will then be referred to the Economic Development Committee for evaluation and recommendation with the final approval made by council. If there is still grant funding available after the review process is completed, subsequent applications will be accepted and evaluated on a first come, first serve basis.

Apply Online

Apply for the Business Refurbishment Program below or download an application and submit it in person, by mail, fax, or email to:


Attn: Grants Officer

Big Lakes County

5305 56 street, Box 239

High Prairie, AB   T0G 1E0

P: 780 523 5955   F: 780 523 4227

Email: [email protected]

General Information


For questions or more information, please refer to the Grant Funding Policy or contact the Grants Officer at 780-523-5955 or [email protected].


Please fill out and submit the Business Refurbishment Policy Program Application Form by March 15 of every fiscal year. If all funds are not awarded, additional applications may be accepted after this deadline.