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Sustainable Stores Grant Details

Project Eligibility

  • This is a reimbursement grant. Applicants should be prepared to:
    • pay for the project,
    • document expenses (maintain all receipts and paid invoices), and
    • request reimbursement from the County.
  • Examples of acceptable projects are listed below, but retailers may propose their own idea for a project not listed to achieve the goals of the grant.
  • Retailers may choose to implement more than one project, but the maximum grant award is $5,000 per store.


Examples of Acceptable Projects

Proactively Communicate with Customers
Adjust the Cash Wrap and Checkout Areas
Sell or Give Away Reusable Bags
Give Incentives for Bringing Reusable Bags
Invest in Paper Bags – A Short Term Back Up Option
Propose A Project

Contact Us

Department of Consumer Affairs

Katharyne Starinsky, Program Officer







Unallowable Costs

The grant cannot be used to purchase the following items:

  • Plastic film or compostable (BPI-certified) checkout bags.
  • Magnets, window clings, keychains, or other swag for distribution to customers. Studies show these items are not as useful as reminder signage on the exterior of the building or in the parking lot. A local study supports these findings. This webinar summarizes the study.


Tips to Know Before Completing the Application

  • Be sure to develop a plan to phase out plastic checkout bags in your store and include the details in this application. Eliminating plastic checkout bags from stores is the primary goal of this grant.
  • Determine your current bag usage and costs so that you can track the success of your project. This information is required in the application.

Ask the Plastic Bag Ban Program Officer at 216-698-4706 or kstarinsky@cuyahogacounty.us for assistance with your plan or to discuss your ideas before submitting your application.


Evaluation Criteria

  • Degree to which the project eliminates plastic checkout bags from the store.
  • Degree to which the project will encourage consumers to bring their own bags.
  • Degree to which the project uses the resources contained in the Communications ToolKit.
  • Degree to which the application describes the grant project and the activities to be implemented.
  • Degree to which the funding request is reasonable, and the costs are explained and justified. 
  • Can the project be completed entirely in advance of the September 1, 2024 Grant Summary and Reimbursement Request deadline?


Conditions of the Grant

  • Grantees will be required to sign a grant agreement upon award.
  • All grantees must implement the grant project described in its application or obtain approval from Consumer Affairs for any modifications to the approved project before the reimbursement will be awarded.
    • Any printed material (signs, posters, flyers, etc.) must be approved by Consumer Affairs staff prior to producing or printing is completed.
  • This is a reimbursement grant. Reimbursements will be made one time, in full. There will be no partial reimbursements.
  • Grants will be disbursed following the submission of the Grant Summary and Reimbursement Request, including expense documentation.
    • The final Grant Summary and Reimbursement Request with hard copy receipts/paid invoices are to be received in the Consumer Affairs office no later than Friday, September 1, 2024 at 4:00 PM. The report should be submitted to the Program Officer. Grantees should submit their Grant Summary and Reimbursement Request as soon as the project is complete. Do not wait for the submission deadline.
    • The County will begin processing your reimbursement payment as soon as your project is completed and the Grant Summary and Reimbursement Request is received and approved.
  • If the project is not completed and all documents are not received by the Consumer Affairs office by Friday, September 1, 2024, at 4:00 PM, the grant dollars may be forfeited.


Apply Today

Apply for the Sustainable Stores Grant

If you cannot complete the online application for any reason, call 216-698-4706

Grant Timeline

  • February 2023 Grant announced and open for applications.
  • March 15, 2023 Application deadline - must be received by Consumer Affairs by 4:00 PM.
  • April 2023 Announcement of grant awards. Award letter and forms will be e-mailed to the grant applicant.
  • Late May 2023 Signed acceptance/grant award acknowledgement form due to Consumer Affairs.
  • September 1, 2023 Final date to submit draft print pieces for approval.
  • June 1, 2024 Recommended Project Completion Date
  • September 1, 2024 Grant Summary and Reimbursement Request Deadline to submit reimbursement requests with supporting documents (receipts, photos of the project, completion interview) due to Consumer Affairs by 4:00 PM.
  • Fall 2023/Winter 2024 If funds remain, a second grant round may be announced.