Financial Assistance Programs for Businesses
Businesses may be eligible for a number of incentive programs such as Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) grants, TIFWorks employee training grants, Enterprise Zone tax incentives, Cook County property tax assistance, Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IDBs), and small businesses low-interest loans through the City Treasurer’s Office and community lenders.
See details below. And for more information, contact PPBIC at 773-866-2900 or click on the City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)*
TIF provides financial assistance to businesses that are investing in the Peterson Pulaski and Elston Armstrong TIF Districts. Funds are generated by growth in the Equalized Assessed Valuation of properties within the district over a period of 23 years. Businesses utilize the new revenues, typically generated by their own properties, for specific purposes that are identified in redevelopment agreements entered into with the City.
Here are some business costs eligible for TIF reimbursement:
- land acquisition
- public improvements
- site preparation (street, sewer, water, viaduct, etc.)
- environmental remediation
- studies and surveys
- building rehabilitation or repair
- relocation costs
- job training / retraining
- certain financing costs
Streamlined Tax Increment Financing (TIF)*
Streamlined TIF provides expedited access to valuable grants for the improvement of industrial, commercial, retail or residential mixed-use properties in the TIF districts citywide, including the Peterson Pulaski and Elston Armstrong TIF Districts. The program incorporates an easy-to-use application form and efficient approval process to pay up to 25 percent of renovation, expansion, or redevelopment costs.
Assistance ranges from $25,000 to $1 million and can be applied toward:
- Land acquisition
- Site preparation
- Environmental remediation
- Building rehabilitation and repair
- Tenant improvements
- Professional fees
- Construction period interest costs
- Job training and welfare-to-work programs
Click here for the Program Overview and Application and Interested Parties Registration.
Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF)*
The SBIF program uses TIF revenues to help owners of commercial and industrial properties and/or tenants within the Peterson Pulaski and Elston Armstrong TIF Districts to repair or remodel their facilities. Eligible businesses can receive a reimbursing grant to cover up to 75% of the cost of remodeling work, with a maximum grant amount of $150,000. The grant does not have to be repaid. Industrial companies must have under 100 employees to qualify.
Applications are processed by SomerCor 504, a federally certified Small Business Administration lender. For more details, click on SomerCor 504 or call Jacob Stern at 312-360-3328 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligible expenses for a SBIF grant are permanent building improvement costs, including, but not limited to:
- Mechanical/heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (“HVAC”), electrical, and plumbing (“MEP”)
- Tuck pointing and masonry repairs; façade repair projects
- Sign removal
- Structural components of new signage (business-specific parts of signage are not eligible)
- Roof repair and replacement
- Storefront renovations (new storefront frames, windows, and doors; exterior lighting)
- Improvements to accommodate disabled patrons or workers
- Interior remodeling that is significant in nature (that is, it is done in connection with a larger project that involves MEP improvements): framing, drywall, flooring, ceilings (expenses related to a standalone cosmetic upgrade project such as new painting and new flooring not done in connection with other significant work are not eligible; “high-end”/custom fixture and/or finish expenses are not eligible)
- Purchase of adjacent property for purposes of business expansion or parking (must operate an eligible small business and own the directly adjacent property on which the eligible business operates)
- Rehabilitation of vacant buildings, but grants are not paid until the improved property is occupied by an eligible small business tenant or tenants
The expenses that are not eligible include improvements to residential property, residential components of a mixed-use building, exterior private property improvements (landscaping, parking lot work, perimeter fencing, etc.), work to a building that was originally constructed fewer than three (3) years from the application date, business-specific components of new signage, and property leased to certain businesses such as liquor stores.
NEW TIFWorks 50/50 Training Program*
The TIFWorks 50/50 grant uses local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues to reimburse eligible applicants for the training of their employees who work within the Peterson Pulaski and Elston Armstrong TIF Districts. The Peterson Pulaski Business and Industrial Council (PPBIC) is authorized to administer this program. TIFWorks 50/50 is a streamlined version of the City’s traditional TIFWorks program and will provide a 50% rebate up to $10,000 for pre-approved training upon completion of the training and proof of payment. Funds will be available to upgrade the skills of existing employees or to train new hires.
- Applicants must be located in a 50/50 Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district.
- The 50/50 program targets manufacturing or industrial businesses. Other types of businesses will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Service, retail and construction companies are not eligible for 50/50.
- Employees to be trained must be in full-time, permanent positions. Employee wages must be at $10.50 an hour or above.
- Applicants must have no existing TIFWorks grants outstanding.
- Matching Grant (Businesses must pay for at least 50% of the training costs)
- Small Grants
- Short Training Application
- Quick Review Process
Types of Training:
- Incumbent Training (Maximum grant $10,000 per company)
- Training for the New Hire of Chicago Residents (Maximum grant $15,000 per company and $5,000 per new hire)
- 3 Months of On-the-Job Training Allowed for New Hire of Chicago Residents
Contact Janita Tucker at 773-866-2900 or email@example.com for more information.
TIFWorks Training Program*
Illinois Enterprise Zone Program (EZ #4)**
The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program is designed to stimulate economic growth and neighborhood revitalization through state and local tax incentives, regulatory relief and improved governmental services. Businesses located or expanding in Enterprise Zone #4 which includes a portion of the Peterson Pulaski Industrial Park may be eligible for the following state and local tax incentives:
State Incentives and Exemptions
- Exemption on retailers’ occupation tax paid on building materials
- An investment tax credit of 0.5% of qualified property
- Expanded state sales tax exemptions on purchases of personal property used or consumed in the manufacturing process or in the operation of a pollution control facility
- An exemption on the state utility tax for electricity and natural gas
- An exemption on the Illinois Commerce Commission’s administrative charge and telecommunication excise tax
Click here for more information
Cook County Class 6(b) Property Tax Incentive
Industrial Development Revenue Bonds (IDBs)
Chicago Small Business Center (SBC)
Small Business Loan Program
* A portion of each industrial corridor served by PPBIC has a Tax Increment Finance (TIF) District. Click to see maps and information:
- Peterson-Pulaski TIF
- Elston-Armstrong TIF
- Knox / Portage Park TIF
- Northwest Highway / Jefferson Park TIF
- Wright Business Park / Read-Dunning TIF
** Visit Enterprise Zone Map and then click several times to enlarge map to see Enterprise Zone #4.