According to a study completed in 2013, the World Heritage Site designation is expected to increase visitation and tourism spending in San Antonio. In order to leverage the designation for maximum economic growth, a work plan was developed with community input. A critical component of the World Heritage Work Plan is the development of local, authentic small businesses and the preservation of existing long-term businesses.
In 2017, UTSA completed a Market Assessment and Report of Mission San Jose and San Juan to assist in achieving the World Heritage Work Plan objectives. This study provided an economic and cultural heritage tourism market analysis for Mission San Jose and Mission San Juan, and recommended developing programs to preserve local legacy businesses that are uniquely contributing to the cultural identity of San Antonio.
World Heritage area Legacy Business Matching Grant Pilot Program
The Legacy Business Matching Grant Pilot Program can provide a maximum of $30,000 in funding to eligible businesses that must be matched dollar for dollar. To be eligible for this grant administered through the World Heritage Office, there are two major requirements. First, the business must be registered as a Legacy Business through the citywide program managed by the City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation. Second, the business has to be located within the World Heritage Buffer Zone or a two-mile radius of Missions Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan, or Espada.
The grant funds can be used for (1) facade and/or exterior improvements up to $10,000, and/or (2) signage improvements up to $10,000 and/or (3) parking lot and/or landscape improvements up to $10,000.
After you have read the program requirements, you may apply here.
If you have any inquiries or want to learn more about the Legacy Business Grant Program, call 210-207-2111.
Business capacity building courses
Once your application is approved, every grantee must complete at least three business capacity building classes through approved partner agencies. These classes are to assist business owners with successfully sustaining and growing their businesses. The business capacity building courses are available at Southside First Educational Courses and Events, LaunchSA Training and Events, and UTSA Small Business Development Center. You do not need to be a grantee to take advantage of these resources.
Other Opportunities for Legacy business owners
Additionally, becoming a Legacy Business allows you to benefit from the City of San Antonio Fee Waiver Program that provides financial assistance through waiving specific fees. These businesses can also apply to receive special recognition on the World Heritage visitor website. This website provides a marketing opportunity for legacy businesses through connecting visitors to area businesses.