TIF Small Business Improvement Fund Program Helps Local Businesses

Since Chicago established its first TIF district in 1984, the City has used TIF to target blighted areas or areas in need of rehabilitation.  Although TIF is often thought of as a catalyst for attracting large amounts of private investment for new commercial, industrial or mixed use development projects, it can also be used to help retain and expand existing businesses in a community, thereby strengthening the community tax base, promoting job creation and making the community more vibrant.

The Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) program is one of many initiatives implemented by the City of Chicago to help repair or remodel vacant or occupied commercial and industrial properties within specific TIF districts through the use of TIF revenue.  With an objective of facilitating local business expansion and creating employment opportunities for Chicago residents, the SBIF program allows business owners, tenants and landlords to be repaid in amounts between 25% and 75% of the cost of the remodeling work up to a maximum amount of $150,000, depending on a number of factors, including annual business sales, owner net worth and type of project.  The average grant size per project is $35,000 and participants may reapply to the SBIF program one year after receiving a grant.

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