BIG Rent Subsidy Program


The BIG Rent Subsidy Program offers rent reimbursements to businesses that are new-to-market, expanding, or relocating to Historic Downtown Brownsville. The goal of the program is to strengthen downtown’s economic activity, diversify the existing business mix, improve downtown’s curb appeal, and increase occupancy. If you are interested in applying, please read the Rent Subsidy Program Guidelines and then email to ensure eligibility.


  • New, expanding, or existing businesses choosing to relocate to Historic Downtown Brownsville and contribute to the existing business mix.
  • Existing downtown businesses wanting to expand their gross rentable space are also eligible.
  • Be located within the Central Business District (dark blue area of map) of the BIG Program Boundaries. Refer to this map.
  • Hire or employ a minimum of two (2) employees, not including the business owner.
  • Be a business that can obtain a Sales Tax Permit.


Program Participants may be reimbursed up to twelve (12) months of rent subsidy, with a maximum rent subsidy of up to twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for the year, for any business.  The rent subsidy amount will be determined by the monthly rent as stipulated on the Certified Lease Agreement.

The rent subsidy will be reimbursed to the Program Participant as follows:

  • Months one (1) through six (6) – Program participants may receive up to sixty percent (60%) of the monthly rent, not to exceed $1,200 per month.
  • Months seven (7) through twelve (12) – Program participants may receive up to forty percent (40%) of the monthly rent, not to exceed $800.


At a minimum, the applicant shall:

  • Meet all Eligibility Requirements.
  • Submit a complete application including all required documents.
  • Sign a two-year lease agreement.
  • Obtain a Certificate of Occupancy from the City’s Planning and Redevelopment Department prior to submitting a rent subsidy application.
  • Provide a Business Plan Executive Summary, Marketing Plan, and One-Year Business Pro Forma. If you need assistance with these documents, contact UTRGV’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at 956-665-7535 and arrange a meeting with a business advisor.


Miriam Suarez

Economic Development Specialist • 956-877-4119

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