Scoring Criteria

Reviewers shall score proposals based on how closely the application meets the highest intent of each category. An application must receive a total score of 42 points to be eligible for funding, with no individual score having less than 60% of the maximum points for the category.

Quality of business plan

  • The applicant’s team has acted in good faith and has provided a thorough, well-considered, and viable business plan that appears to be consistent with or improves the commercial character of the City of Longwood. 
  • The highest scoring projects shall demonstrate an advanced level of understanding of the projected costs of the venture and market conditions in a manner that warrants additional investment by the City through this program. 

Reviewer Score






  • The location is suitable and appropriate for the proposed business and is consistent with other City goals, including the activation of the Historic District and SunRail areas. 
  • The location has a reasonable expectation for success the use is compatible with adjacent existing businesses and residential (if applicable). 
  • The project activates an underutilized site with high potential for success. 
  • The project has a high likelihood of inspiring other adjacent improvements.



Cost effectiveness. 

  • The scope and cost of the project is appropriate and generally represents an acceptable and expected market value for the work 
  • The applicant has selected a contractor apparently capable of completing the scope of work provided.



Internal Improvements Only*

  • The improvements are permanent in nature, unlikely to be removed in the near future, and significantly exceed general repair and maintenance.
  • The improvements are related directly to Building Code requirements (including ADA requirements) that are generated by the qualifying use selecting the proposed location. 
  • The improvements are general enough to sustain the City’s investment and realistically benefit future businesses including similar uses should the applicant relocate in the future.


For example: the opening of a restaurant in a particular unit necessitates an improved firewall or ADA improvements that would not be required of a different use at this same location, and could benefit future uses.



External Improvements Only*

  • The improvements are tasteful, attractive, and decorative in nature and enhance the curb appeal of the façade or provide an expansion of either the indoor or outdoor capability of the business, and significantly exceed general repair or maintenance of the façade.
  •  The improvements are general enough and of sufficient quality to realistically provide value to future businesses even if the applicant were to relocate.



Historic District Bonus**

  • The project is utilizing a contributing or supporting structure in the Downtown Historic District in a manner consistent with City codes.



Expansion Bonus**

  • The applicant is opening an additional second location of a proven concept of a qualifying business that has been in successful operation for more than 3 years.






Bonuses (If Applicable)



Total Points



The following scoring tiers will be used to determine the grant award amount, pending availability of funds: 

  1. Score ranging from 42-55 points, to qualify to receive up to $5,000 in matching funds
  2. Score ranging from 56-62 points, to qualify to receive up to $10,000 in matching funds
  3. Score ranging from 63-70 points, to qualify to receive up to $20,000 in matching funds

*For a project proposing both interior and exterior improvements, the Community Development Director will determine which category is most appropriate utilizing in part the scope of work of the project including the percentage of the total project estimate assigned to either internal or external improvements.