Revitalizing Chicago’s Neighborhood Businesses
The program uses local Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”) revenues to help owners of commercial and industrial properties and/or tenants within specific TIF districts to repair or remodel their facilities. Program participants can receive reimbursement grants to cover 25%, 50%, or 75% of the cost of remodeling work, with a maximum grant amount of $150,000. The grant does not have to be repaid.
The ordinance and rules that govern the SBIF Program have been revised in recent months. For more information about these changes, please see our newsletter.
The Small Business Improvement Fund (“SBIF”) helps make improvements to small business properties in selected Chicago neighborhoods.
Eligible expenses for a SBIF grant include, but are not limited to:
- New windows, floors or roof
- Sign removal and replacement
- Tuck pointing
- New heating, ventilation and air conditioning
- Improvements to accommodate disabled patrons or workers
- Purchase of adjacent property for building expansion or parking
SBIF grants are provided as a reimbursement to property owners or tenants after remodeling work is completed and all expenses are paid. Residential property, residential components of a mixed-use building, and property leased to certain businesses are not eligible for the program. If you are not sure, contact us and ask. Vacant business property is eligible, but grants are not paid until the space is occupied by an eligible small business tenant.
Applications received during official Application Acceptance Periods are selected on a first-come-first -served basis upon closing of the Application Acceptance Period, unless a lottery is needed in a district. Applications received outside of official Application Acceptance Periods will not be considered. The grant is processed by SomerCor 504, Inc., a federally-certified Small Business Administration lender.
If you own a business property within a TIF district and want to know if you are eligible to participate in the SBIF program, call SomerCor 504, Inc. at (312) 360-3300.
Interested in SBIF? Fill out our electronic submission form to let the SBIF team know you are interested. If you have a property in a SBIF-eligible area, and there is an opportunity for you to apply, a member of our team will contact you. Click here.
Fast and efficient application process. Click here for application material.
Eligibility requirements to participate in the SBIF program:
Industrial: One hundred (100) or fewer full-time equivalent employees.
Commercial: Gross sales under $5 million annually for the prior three (3) years, on average.
Property Owner/Landlord: Maximum net worth of $6 million with a maximum of $500 thousand in liquid assets (excluding industrial applicants who solely occupy their properties).
All eligibility requirements can be found in our SBIF Program Rules.