Economic Development

Legacy businesses were identified as a priority during the World Heritage Symposia held following the designation of the five Missions as a World Heritage Site. They were also a major topic during our first ever International Living Heritage Symposium hosted by the Office of Historic Preservation in 2017. The Office of Historic Preservation and the World Heritage Office are partnering together to design innovative programs to recognize, support and provide tools to existing legacy businesses.

The Office of Historic Preservation’s city-wide Legacy Business Registry Program recently launched as part of the ScoutSA initiative. The program acknowledges long-lived businesses as important historic assets and key contributors to the traditions and special character of our city. To qualify for the registry, businesses must be 20 years or older and contribute to the history, culture, and authentic identity of San Antonio. In return for acknowledgement as a Legacy Business, businesses agree to perpetuate the business, its historic name, and the historic service provided. In addition to receiving a window decal, registered businesses will receive marketing support and promotion online, in print, and through special events.

Legacy Businesses listed on the city-wide registry that are located in the World Heritage Area, (specifically within the World Heritage Buffer Zone or a two mile radius of Missions Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada) will be eligible for a grant pilot program administered through the World Heritage Office. The World Heritage Area Legacy Business Grant Pilot Program will provide eligible businesses with up to $10,000 in grant funds to be matched by the applicant for (1) façade improvements, and/or (2) signage, parking lot, and landscape improvements. Grants can be layered with funds from the City’s Operation Facelift Program. Legacy Businesses awarded grants must complete three business capacity building classes through approved partner agencies. Additionally, eligible businesses will receive special recognition on, which connects visitors to area businesses.

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