Downtown Overlay District Incentives for New Businesses
On August 1, 2017 the City of Brownsville adopted the Downtown Overlay District Ordinance (DOD) to stimulate economic development in Downtown Brownsville by incentivizing new businesses that will augment the City's downtown revitalization efforts and will transform downtown into a vibrant hub for working, living, shopping, and entertainment.

New businesses applying for a Certificate of Occupancy may qualify to have applicable building and zoning fees waived.  In order to qualify for this incentive, new businesses must meet on of the following permitted uses:
  1. Retail and service uses
  2. Art and arts-related businesses
  3. Entertainment businesses
For additional information, please refer to:

Downtown Brownsville Business Improvement & Growth (BIG) Program
Through the BIG Program, Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC), in partnership with Main Street Brownsville, provides reimbursement grants for facade and interior improvements, signage and rental subsidies for new businesses.  

Applications are accepted on the last Friday of the month and online applications through the BCIC portal are required. To apply, click here.  

BIG Program Guidelines
BIG Program Application (Facade and interior improvements/signage)
BIG Program Rental Subsidy Application
Olvera Building Poster

Design and Economic Development Assistance through the Texas Historical Commission

The Texas Main Street Program provides design and economic development assistance to participating Main Street cities. These services are offered to individual property and business owners within the designated Main Street District at no charge. Economic development assistance is also offered to developers exploring investment opportunities within the designated Main Street District.

Services provided include facade renderings, SWOT analysis, Economic Impact studies and Tax Credit Assistance. Interested parties may contact the Main Street Brownsville program office at 956-548-6156 or email to apply.