In an effort to help Downtown businesses continue outdoor commercial activities through the winter months, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) is now accepting applications for the newly established Winter Ready Program.

The program is designed to help adapt outdoor commercial operations, support economic stability and protect public health through the winter months amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant will provide funding to restaurants, bars and other retail establishments for cold weather adaptations and activation measures within the boundary of the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

More specifically, the program will financially support equipment, tools and other enhancements that help make outdoor commercial activities more comfortable for people thru the winter season, including but not limited to:

  • Tents, canopies or other structures that block precipitation and wind
  • Outdoor heating devices and necessary fuel
  • Lighting
  • Other outdoor commercial activity operational costs that businesses may identify, subject to review

The DDA in October seeded the new program with $200,000. Relevant projects are eligible for grants up to $15,000. Project proposals above $15,000 will be considered on a case-by-case basis and subject to approval of the DDA Board. Only businesses within the DDA boundary are eligible to apply.


Application Submissions

The DDA will receive project proposals on a rolling basis. The approval of any particular project will be at the sole discretion of the DDA board or its designee. The items shall be the property of the DDA.

Submissions and questions can be directed to Mark Miller ( at DGRI.