Main Street

Funding for your Historic Building

historic downtown logoWhy 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, named the  Downtown Elkin Historic District. Some residential areas in downtown are filled with homes listed on the National Register as well (in 2007), 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. 

If you are considering a historic facade restoration, click here for guidelines of appropriate measures for historic facade repairs in our B-1 district (now called DMX district, or Downtown Mixed-Use district). 

1. National Park Service (NPS) 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 contributing historic buildings listed on their National Register. Your building must be contributing, or eligible to be added as a contributing building prior to the completion of your project in order to obtain grant funds. Grant preference is for facades undergoing rehabilitation work, not general maintenance.  Rehabilitation of historic facades must comply with historic preservation standards (see below) in order to qualify as well. This is a 70/30 match grant but funding is based on available funds and # of applications.


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  Applications will be accepted, starting in April 2020. Funds awarded are based on the number of applications, project importance/impact, and availability of remaining funds. 

If you are ready to APPLY NOW with a shovel-ready project (which has not yet begun) and you have contractor quotes ready to submit, contact Laura Gaylord, Main Street Manager for an appointment to obtain review for projects approval prior to sending in your application.  No work can begin until your application and site visits have occurred and you have been approved for the funding by the National Park Service.

After your project has been reviewed and approved by the Main Street Advisory Board, then you should 
CLICK HERE TO APPLYFUNDING IS ON A FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED BASIS. AS OF MAY 2021, all funding has been assigned, until further notice. 

If you are interested in applying but don't have all your necessary info, you can apply for consideration (and send in your required information later) by going to this link for a pre-approval:

2. Main Street America Program funds (State funding)

     MS community logo - Copy

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 of North Carolina does not offer this fund in its budget. 

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

3. Main Street Advisory Board grants (Local funding)

Elkin Historic Logo

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, 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
Design Services
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. 

Grant Funding
For the 22/23 fiscal year, the Board is offering two $1000.00 grants for downtown building upgrades. 

1. Rehabilitation of historic buildings must comply with federal and state historic preservation standards to qualify (see below).
2. Funds will not be reimbursed for "do-it-yourself projects" and must be completed by an insured contractor.
3. Applications for consideration must be submitted no later than February 2023. Projects must be completed to the MSAB's satisfaction and per application approval by the MSAB within that fiscal year.
4. Projects must not begin until your application is submitted and approved.
5. Reimbursement paperwork must be submitted no later than May 20, 2023. Extensions may be considered by the board if addressed prior to May 1, 2022.

Please note: If you are considering changing the footprint of your historic facade, we advise you not to do so. Changing your footprint or changing the historic structure of your contributing building (to anything that is not approved by SHPO or the National Park Service) 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 for approval. 

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 murals and one public art display:

  • For FY 22/23, the board will focus on back alley murals - $100 per alley door will be paid to the artist, unless otherwise approved. Limit of 6 murals for this fiscal year. Business owners are encouraged to fund supply costs or must match any amount above $100.00 for back alley door mural art, unless the MSAB agrees otherwise. Artists who are interested may contact us at 336-258-8908.
  • The Main Street Advisory Board has also dedicated some funding towards two Explore Elkin murals in downtown. One has been completed (East Main St) in 2021, and another will be completed by 2023.
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  

Funds in each grant category are limited and available amounts change annually.  Funds are available from the fiscal year starting in July and ending the following year in June. 

4. Other funding opportunities (state wide):

Click here for a wide list of funding provided by the NC Main Street & Planning Center: 

RESOURCES for Historic Elkin Buildings 

To learn more about your historic property in Elkin:

Check on these listings to see if the property is a CONTRIBUTING building. If so, then you can apply for historic tax credits if you are restoring your building, using requirements set forth by the National Park Service:

Tax Credit Information (both State & Federal apply):

                Here is a training video that explains the tax credits and how they are used on a project:

Surry County Historic Resources:

Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings

Historic buildings follow a different set of building codes in North Carolina, created in 2016, call the NC Existing Building Codes. To see if your structure qualifiesclick here.  

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 

Learn More about E3

Interested in helping our board with downtown beautification?

BENCH SPONSOR - If you'd like to purchase a downtown bench, and include the "In Memory of" plaque on the bench, let us know! Your donation towards the bench would be $1000.00. The difference would be paid by the Main Street Board. 

PLANTER SPONSOR - If you can help us fund a planter "re-do", we have over 20 planters in downtown to pick from that need dirt replaced, a new water bladder installed, and new bushes planted.  If you fund the cost for a planter update, we'll add a permanent sign on that planter, thanking you and your family, business, or organization!  The donation per planter is $350.00. 

DONATIONS FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION - If you are interested in donating towards historic preservation or beautification projects for facade improvements or public art, please let our board know.  If you have a specific project you'd like to contribute to, we'd like to hear about it!

Send inquiries to the Main Street Manager at or call 336-258-8908.

Thank you to those who businesses & organizations that have donated/contributed towards projects in our downtown:

  • Elkin Walmart
  • Elkin Lowes Home Improvement
  • Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital
  • Downtown Elkin Business Association
  • Jonesville TDA (Bridge lights project connecting Jonesville and Elkin communities)
  • Surry Wineries
  • Elkin Vine Line 
  • NC Tobacco Trust Fund (Farmer Market grants)
  • Surry TDA
  • G&B Energy
  • Explore Elkin
  • Duke Energy (EV chargers grant)
  • Appalachian Regional Council (Downtown WiFi grant)
  • NC Main Street Program (State grants for historic building improvements)
  • National Park Service (Federal grants for historic building improvements)

Mailing Address

Post Office Box 857 Elkin, North Carolina 28621

Street Address

226 North Bridge Street Elkin, North Carolina 28621

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