Skip to main content

Sign Grant Program

Proudly display your name and present your business to the community with support from the Sign Grant Program.

Downtown Lansing Inc.’s Sign Grant Program provides a financial incentive to encourage businesses to design and install high-quality, creative, and interesting signs that add to the attractiveness and overall welcoming atmosphere in the Principal Shopping District of Downtown Lansing.

This is a discretionary grant designed to enhance sign character and appeal that is symbolic and unique to the business. The grant will reimburse up to 50% of the total cost of an approved sign, or a maximum of $2,000, to each eligible applicant on a first-come, first-served basis. The DLI Design Committee must approve the sign grant application before a sign is made and installed. Signs that have already been completed will not be considered.

Application & Guidelines

Eligible Businesses

Any business or building owner within the Principal Shopping District District A area may apply for a sign grant. Applicants can apply for the sign grant for a single sign, or for a combination of sign types and lighting. A combination of sign types that are included in one grant application will be referred to as the sign package.


What Qualifies as a Sign?

  • Building signs: A building sign is attached to the exterior of the building. A building sign can be attached flat on the storefront or facade of the building or can be a projecting sign perpendicular to the building. Descriptive plaques, directory signs, directional signs, and similar signs can be considered building signs but will be given a lower priority and may not be funded under this program.
  • Sign lighting: Exterior lighting that is installed specifically to illuminate a new sign installed under this sign grant program can be included as an eligible cost as part of a sign package. If new lighting is proposed as part of a sign package, the lighting will be reviewed and approved as part of the process.
  • Awning signs: Any type of graphic or text that is permanently affixed or incorporated into a storefront awning is eligible for the program. An awning sign will be considered for funding as an individual sign or as part of a sign package.
  • Window signs: Signs that are permanently installed on the interior or exterior of the storefront window glass can be considered for a sign grant when proposed in conjunction with another type of eligible sign. Under these circumstances, the entire sign package (including window signs and building signs) is considered for review and approval for the sign grant.


Priority will be given to projects that:

  • Are three-dimensional
  • Include raised lettering
  • Project from the building to attract both pedestrian and vehicular traffic
  • Utilize local or Lansing-owned sign and design companies


Application Details

  • Applications can be submitted at any time during the year by businesses located in District A of the Principal Shopping District.
  • It is recommended that applicants turn in their completed applications and designs by the end of the month, in order to have the project reviewed and receive a response within 30 days. However, grant funds are limited and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Completed applications should be submitted to Cathleen Edgerly at Downtown Lansing Inc., [email protected]
  • Download the application form here


Program Requirements

  • Applicants who lease their space must provide a letter providing permission from the building owner to apply for the incentive. The letter must indicate awareness of the rules and requirements of the program.
  • Applicants must have all property (real and personal) taxes and utilities obligations to the City be paid in-full to date.
  • There must not be any pending litigation against the City by the applicant. The applicant must complete and submit the attached form, Affidavit for Downtown Lansing Sign Incentive program.
  • Sign grants will NOT be given to internally lit panel signs, standard corporate franchise signs, signs that are not completed by a sign professional, or signs that simply replace existing signs with no change in the design or materials.
  • The sign must be completed and installed within three months of receiving written approval of the grant award.
  • Under this Sign Grant program, preference will be given to signs that are three-dimensional, as well as made and installed by a Lansing-area company. However, consideration will definitely still be given to high-quality and creative signs produced and installed by other Michigan sign companies.
  • Priority will be given to applicants who have not previously received a sign grant.
  • The Design Committee may deny a sign incentive to any applicant that does not make recommended changes to their sign after a first review. Every effort will be made to work with applicants so that an incentive can be granted. Once the Committee denies an application, the applicant will be required to wait one full year from the date of denial to re-apply for an incentive.
  • A sign grant proposal should include a detailed written description along with a rendering showing how the sign will be attached to the building. It is recommended that applicants attend the Design Committee meeting to answer any questions or concerns that are shared. This is done in an effort to cut down on approval times.
  • All incentive checks will be written to and mailed to the applicant. Proof that the sign company has been paid in-full by the applicant must be submitted. This proof shall consist of a final invoice marked “Paid In-Full” and a copy of the check made payable to the sign company. Reimbursement will be made to the applicant within 30 days receipt of the required documentation.


General Sign Design Guidelines

  • Keep signs subordinate to buildings.
  • Signs should fit within the existing features of the facade and should not cover architectural elements.
  • Sign color, shape, materials, and sizes should reinforce the overall composition of the facade.
  • Signs should be made of high-quality materials.
  • This Sign Grant Program encourages the use of creative, artistic, and interesting signs that will enhance Downtown Lansing’s individual building facades and the commercial district as a whole.
  • See Guidelines for more information.