DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Mayor Mike Johnston has long said revitalizing Downtown Denver is a priority for him.

He and Downtown Denver Partnership CEO Kourtny Garrett announced grant funding for businesses in the downtown area but said it would be for a very specific purpose. In order to get one, businesses would have to host a community event.

The grant program is called Dynamic Downtown Denver.

“We know as Downtown Denver succeeds in its economic and social recovery, so does the rest of the city and the rest of the region,” Johnston said at a Monday news conference. “So we’re very committed to making sure Downtown Denver is a place that feels vibrant and safe and welcoming to residents, to workers and to visitors all the time.”

$350K for Downtown Denver community events

The city is offering more than $350,000 in grant funding with the goal of getting members of the community engaged with downtown businesses by providing money for the businesses to host events.

“They (the events) should take place in highly visible, publicly accessible areas in downtown, outdoors, and provide the public with free, unique and engaging experiences,” Garrett said. “This could be a performance, a block party, a community mural. Let’s all get creative in this city. The grants will range from $500 to $25,000.”

Leaders said they hope the grants will help revitalize foot traffic in areas like the 16th Street Mall, but are events the right answers for these businesses? FOX31 asked the mayor during his news conference.

“The long-term benefit is the addition to the sense of community and culture and activation and celebration of Downtown Denver,” Johnston said. “That is a benefit I think for all of us, and it is doing that by elevating and celebrating the very people that make this city vibrant every day. And we’re doing it in an organic grassroots, community-driven way, which we think helps a lot of people who haven’t gotten access to the stage they want to.”

Applications for the program launch on Monday of next week. Businesses can apply here once applications open.

The city is hoping to have paperwork turned around for folks within two weeks.