Main Street

Funding for your Historic Building

Why is historic preservation an important focus for downtown Elkin?

Elkin's downtown was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the year 2000, as Downtown Elkin Historic District. The residential areas in downtown are filled with homes listed on the National Register as well, called the Gwyn Avenue-Bridge Street Historic District.

Our board believes in preserving and protecting the integrity of historic structures for years to come. If your building is listed on our register and is a contributing building, you could be eligible for historic tax credits when renovation or restoring your property. To learn more, contact the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) if you are interested in applying. Our regional contact for Elkin (in Raleigh) is Brett Sturm at 919-814-6589.

If you are considering a renovation of your historic property, please contact us locally at Elkin Town Hall for assistance at 336-258-8908. There are also numerous links on this page with further restoration and tax credit information on the state and local level. Below are other opportunities for funding that your historic building may qualify for besides historic tax credits. 

National Park Service Main Street Facade Improvement Grant Program (Federal Funding)

Elkin was recently notified that they (along with two other NC Main Street Communities in North Carolina) have been awarded a facade grant program through the Main Street America Program, funded by the National Park Service for historic buildings listed on their National Register that are contributing buildings. Your building must be contributing, or eligible to be added as a contributing building prior to the completion of your project. Rehabilitation of historic facades must comply with historic preservation standards (see below) in order to qualify for this grant. 

To Apply
If you have a building in poor condition with a project ready to begin and are interested in applying for this grant (which can provide anywhere from $5,000.00 to $25,000.00 in grant money for your facade), please contact Laura Gaylord, Main Street & Community Manager at  The applications will be accepted, starting in April 2020.

Main Street America Program funds (State funding)

NC Main Street Center offers partial funding towards restorative improvements of historic buildings if the building and project qualify for preservation or restoration standards. 

Main Street Solutions Fund
Buildings that are currently not in use, are in need of structural or infrastructure upgrades, are a contributing building on the historic register within the Municipal Service District, and whose future use will provide at least 4 full-time jobs, qualify for this fund. The fund amount is based on the number of full-time jobs created by the new business that will open within the renovated building once the project is complete. Each new full-time job that is created awards the investor with $25,000, with a cap of $100,000.*  To learn more, visit

To Apply
At this time, the State does not offer this fund in its budget. 

*Availability is based on available funding. Elkin's applicable fund balance is currently $100,000.00. 

Main Street Advisory Board grants (Local funding)
Building ownership in the downtown, within the Municipal Tax District (MSD), has some wonderful benefits. Although the MSD is a small tax collected from the building owners in the district each year, the funds are reinvested by the Main Street Advisory Board towards improvements that benefit the downtown as a whole.

This year, the board will offer grants for Economic Vitality and for Public Art.

Economic Vitality Grant

If interested in updating the exterior facade of your building or making some qualifying interior improvements on empty buildings, you may apply for an economic vitality grant through the Main Street Advisory Board. Limited funding for matching grants is available for preservation and beautification of hardship buildings, to include painting, repairing rotted window sills or doors/doorways, general repair work, the addition of awnings, safety/code updates, etc.  The board is also interested in promoting upper-level development projects in buildings with empty, underutilized 2nd floors, to help promote the longevity of the historic buildings. Some costs involved with adding apartments to upper levels can be included in this grant funding, such as fire suppression materials, sprinkler systems, and exterior fire escapes. 

Design proposal Old Times

If you need a design or color recommendation for your building's facade, the Main Street Program offers a free design service as well. They also provide (on a quarterly basis) the opportunity for upper-level apartment design plans, also at no charge. Contact Laura Gaylord to learn more. 

For the 2019/2020 fiscal year, the Board is offering grants for downtown building upgrades. The Board will match 1:3 up to $3000.00 (or less, based on the remaining budget) towards building improvements. Rehabilitation of historic buildings must comply with historic preservation standards (see below). Applications must be submitted preferably by February 2020, projects must be completed to the MSAB's satisfaction, and reimbursement paperwork must be submitted by June 1, 2020. Extensions may be considered by the board if addressed prior to May 1, 2020.

Please note: If you are considering changing the footprint of your historic facade, we advise you not to do so. Changing your footprint or destroying the historic structure of your contributing building (to anything that is not approved by SHPO) can change your historic building's status from contributing to non-contributing status and will permanently remove any chance of obtaining tax credits for you or future buyers. Please consult with the Main Street Manager prior to any changes or renovations of your building. 

Downtown Public Art Grant 

Mural 1 sepia Depot and Bridge in progress
The Main Street Advisory Board is encouraging creativity in the arts and entertainment district of downtown Elkin, with the installation of one mural and one public art display:

  • 1 - Up to $1000.00 matching grant for any downtown mural approved by the MSD;
  • 1 - Up to $1000.00 matching grant for any downtown public art 3D sculpture or medium other than a wall mural.
Applicants must match at least $3.00 for every $1.00 requested of MSD funds. 

To Apply
If you are interested in a Main Street Advisory Board grant or assistance with the design service, please contact Laura Gaylord, Main Street & Community Manager at 336-258-8908, or email  Or, download the form below for Grant Applications and make an appointment for review once filled out:

Download the application for the historic economic vitality/ facade grants here:

Download the application for public art/ mural grants here:
Application for public art / mural grant


Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings


Historic Tax Credit Information for Historic Buildings

           Information on Historic Preservation & Rehabilitation of your Historic Building: 

The Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation
Introduction to the Standards

Information on Historic Tax Credits:

Town of Elkin "E3" micro loan funding for small businesses

The Town of Elkin is working together with the NC Rural Center to offer micro loans to small businesses located in Elkin. The program is called Energizing Elkin Entrepreneurs (also known as "E3"). The first round specifically focuses on downtown businesses, however if you are a business in Elkin outside of the downtown area, please let us know if you are interested. 
The program has been in effect since 2017. Most loans offered by banks may have a minimum requirement that may be more than you need.  If you are looking for smaller loan amounts, then this program will be a good match for your business marketing needs, expansion, inventory, etc. The program also offers a full-service support team for your new venture. Funding can range from $500.00 to $25,000.00. 

To Apply
If interested contact the Town of Elkin Economic Development Department:

Leslie Schlender (Economic Development Director) at 336-258-8907
Laura Gaylord (Main Street and Community Manager) at 336-258-8908 

Mailing Address

Post Office Box 857 Elkin, North Carolina 28621

Street Address

226 North Bridge Street Elkin, North Carolina 28621

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