Welcome > Doing Business With Us > Doing Business with DIA > Commercial Incentives > Sidewalk Enhancement Forgivable Loan

Program Purpose and Benefit

Sidewalk cafes build customer loyalty, provide enhanced visibility for your business, and add to your bottom line. The opportunity to activate your outdoor space allows you to expand your business at a lower cost while cultivating a lively retail atmosphere that attracts visitors and further promotes a walkable, safe, and vibrant Downtown.

In an effort to encourage more outdoor dining activity and placemaking, a Sidewalk Enhancement Forgivable Loan – a type of DIA Food and Beverage Retail Enhancement Program funding – may be awarded to qualified restaurant operators.

Sidewalk cafes may be operated by restaurants or other businesses that are licensed to serve food and/or beverages. The cafe space is privately managed by the business, open for use only by its customers, and separated off with barriers. Table service may be provided.
Applications for the Sidewalk Enhancement Forgivable Loan must include a plan to protect the improvements including all equipment and fixtures for the five-year compliance period, subject to approval by DIA staff.

DIA reserves the right to inspect the improvements during the compliance period. In the event operator fails to use the improvements as intended or fails to secure and maintain the improvements in good repair as agreed, including but not limited to loss of or irreparable damage (beyond normal wear and tear), the DIA may declare the recipient in default. The recipient will then have a period of thirty days to cure such default or DIA may withhold amortization of funds awarded under this Sidewalk Enhancement Forgivable Loan.


  • Additional funds will be available to FAB-REP loan recipients to cover up to 80% of eligible outdoor dining improvement costs not to exceed $15,000.
  • A separate budget must be provided.
  • The funds can be used for the cost of creating outdoor spaces that enhance the sidewalk experience, such as tables, chairs, and other furniture, lighting, greenery, umbrellas, and awnings.


  • If the recipient does not qualify for the FAB-REP (i.e. unable to meet hours of operation or other requirements) a Sidewalk Enhancement Forgivable Loan not to exceed $5,000 can be awarded.
  • A separate budget must be provided.

*All Sidewalk Enhancement Forgivable Loan recipients must hold a valid Sidewalk Café permit to be eligible for the Sidewalk Enhancement Forgivable Loan.

Program Guidelines

Program Documents

Program Applications


Please submit your application, questions, and/or comments to:
Allan DeVault
Project Manager
117 West Duval Street #310
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
(904) 255-5391