BROWNSVILLE, TX – The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation announced the start of their Business Improvement and Growth Program 2.0 (“BIG 2.0 Program”) today, in collaboration with the Musk Foundation. For the past three years, Brownsville’s Historic Downtown has embarked on a huge endeavor towards redevelopment with assistance from BCIC’s original BIG Grant program established as pilot in 2019. As a result of the program a new wave of businesses and investors established themselves in the heart of Texas’ second most historic downtown.

“Many small businesses, property owners and developers have established the necessary trust with BCIC to voice their concerns and challenges when it comes to investing in downtown Brownsville. Many of the challenges faced are directly related with the required expenditures to get properties reactivated for commercial use. To address these challenges, some projects could now qualify for up to $200,000 in assistance to continue creating a vibrant downtown” said Cori Peña, Director of Community Development for BCIC. “Our downtown is the largest and most unique in the Rio Grande Valley, which provides a wide catalog of investment opportunities for those interested. We want to preserve this important part of our community while also establishing an attainable avenue for property owners and businesses to play a role in downtown’s revitalization efforts as we collectively pursue to reactivate vacant properties that have not contributed to the city for many years.”

The original BIG Program’s economic development success has fostered over $3,000,000 in private investment towards businesses and properties downtown with only an initial fund by the BCIC of $450,000. This latest round of assistance hopes to draw even more private investment into the area and spur economic activity thanks to the contributions made by the Musk Foundation. 

“The effectiveness of our program comes from the constant feedback and comments we continue to receive by those who are invested in the revitalization of our historic downtown,” says Pena. “The BCIC is proud to continue working with all who have expressed an interest in being a part of this inclusive program which addresses relevant challenges faced by small businesses, property owners and developers in downtown Brownsville.”

Through the BIG 2.0 Program, businesses, property owners and developers can now receive financial assistance for construction expenses, which includes vertical activation of second floors and beyond. An enhanced rent subsidy assistance for businesses intended to create jobs and increase sales tax revenue is also included as part of this new iteration of the program. This second iteration of the program was carefully designed and developed by BCIC staff to address several needs and challenges that the business community currently faces when considering downtown as their preferred business location.

Those interested in learning  more about the program and how they can apply are encouraged to submit their contact information by visiting big.brownsvilleedc.org

For more information regarding this press release, or to learn more about the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, please contact Nathan Burkhart, Director of Marketing & Small Business Development for the BCIC at nburkhart@bcic.us.

For more information regarding this press release, or to learn how BCIC is advancing an open and inclusive ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley, please contact Nathan Burkhart, Director of Marketing & Small Business Development for the BCIC at nburkhart@bcic.us.