Neighborhood Activation Program

Many small businesses are facing extra challenges as they work to bounce back from the impacts of the last two years. Recognizing such difficulties, Denver has launched the Neighborhood Activation Program (NAP), which provides grants to fund a variety of neighborhood improvements efforts - an initiative to help maintain the character of our neighborhoods and the health of our local economy.   



The Neighborhood Activation Program (NAP) is distributing $2.15 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding through $20,000 - $200,000 grants to nonprofits, community-based organizations, and small businesses to implement projects that reactivate neighborhoods and business corridors. Funded projects will increase economic activity by encouraging people to eat/shop locally and thus, boost small business revenue and increase their foot traffic. 

Activation projects can be events or beautification projects that drive increased foot traffic and economic activity in business corridors:

  • Neighborhood Activation Events: any events, workshops, performances, walking tours, festivals, block parties, 5k races or walks, community engagement activities, etc. 

  • Neighborhood Activation Beautification Projects: any placemaking or physical improvements such as public art exhibitions, landscaping, patio expansion, business wayfinding, points of sales upgrades, banners, lighting, accessibility improvements, etc. 

The NAP is a being implemented in partnership with NEWSED Community Development Corporation, a local nonprofit organization focused on solving long-term economic problems in disadvantaged communities. 


Who can apply?

  • Community groups (with fiscal sponsors), nonprofit organizations, and businesses located in pre-qualified areas as identified on the Denver Recovery Index Map with a score equal to or less than 0.89
  • Be registered and be in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office
  • Be engaged in activities that are legal under Colorado and federal law
  • Be in good standing with local, state, and federal taxing and licensing authorities

How will proposed projects be prioritized?

  • Implemented within priority neighborhoods as identified by DEDO's division of Neighborhood Equity & Stabilization (NEST) and surrounding areas including: East Colfax, Globeville, Elryia-Swansea, Montbello, Northeast Park Hill, Sun Valley, Valverde, West Colfax, Westwood, and Villa Park. 
  • Encourage activation of business corridors 
  • Implemented by November 2022
  • Prioritize marginalized populations including communities of color, older adults, people experiencing poverty or homelessness, formerly incarcerated people, immigrants and refugees, people with disabilities, LGBTQ , veterans, etc.
  • Benefit the corridor/area, as opposed to only benefitting a single entity (i.e. projects must serve  a business corridor vs. a single business) 


  • Program applications are closed for 2022
  • Deadline to apply was Thursday, August 25 at 5 p.m. (MST)


Cecilia Cervantes - NEWSED Grant Administrator 
(303) 534-8342