Downtown Brownsville Rent Subsidy Program


The Downtown Brownsville 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.


  • 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 program boundaries, see Exhibit A.
  • Hire or employ a minimum of two (2) employees, not including the business owner.

Although any business may apply, businesses in the following categories will be given greater consideration:

  • Artisan shops
  • Restaurants, coffee shops, specialty food & entertainment venues with live music
  • Winery, microbrewery, beer gardens
  • Visual and performing arts, galleries
  • Upscale apparel/accessories, footwear
  • Electronics – computers, phones, digital equipment
  • Specialty retail: toys, sporting goods
  • Home furnishings and appliances

Eligible applicants must submit a program application via SalesForce and go through the application process.



Program Participants may be reimbursed up to twelve (12) months of rent subsidy, with a maximum rent subsidy of 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:

  • Submit a complete application for the Downtown Rent Subsidy Program, 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.

Applicants are encouraged to arrange a meeting with a business advisor with UTRGV’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) or Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center to compile new or review existing business plan documents.

  • Ensure the proposed business will open at least six (6) days a week, a minimum of eight (8) hours a day, and stay open past 6:00 p.m.
  • Create a free Google Business Profile with the business name, address, contact information, and hours of operation; and establish a social media presence if the application is approved by the BCIC Board.
  • Contribute to downtown’s business mix, as determined by the BCIC Board.
  • Attend trainings and/or workshops that will help the business succeed and ensure its longevity.
  • Be in good standing and shall not be involved in any litigation, owe taxes, or have liens filed against any prior business or the property listed in the application.

Existing downtown businesses shall comply with all the minimum applicant standards and be in operation for less than six (6) months at the time the application is submitted.



Miriam Suarez,
Economic Development Specialist

(956) 877-4119 •

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