Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF)

Grants to Chicago, Illinois Businesses to Reimburse
Property Improvements in Commercial Corridors

GrantWatch ID#: 176275
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

SomerCor 504

11/01/16 5:00 PM CT Receipt

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Grants averaging $40,000 to Chicago, Illinois small businesses in designated commercial districts to improve buildings and storefronts. Qualifying projects improve district appearance and economic value, preserve building stock, and enable businesses to stay in the neighborhood, remain competitive, or expand.

Businesses located in the following districts will be considered for the upcoming November 1 deadline:

-79th Street Corridor
-Lincoln Avenue
-Pilsen Industrial Corridor
-Stony Island/Burnside
-West Woodlawn
-Ravenswood Corridor
-Wilson Yard
-Bryn Mawr/Broadway
-Commercial Avenue

Eligible expenses for a SBIF grant are permanent building improvement costs associated with commercial and industrial properties, including, but not limited to:

-Mechanical/heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (“HVAC”), electrical, and plumbing

-Tuck pointing and masonry repairs; façade repair/improvement projects

-Storefront renovations (new storefront frames, windows, and doors; exterior accent lighting affixed to the building)

-Roof repair and replacement

-Interior remodeling and renovation that is significant in nature (that is, it is done in connection with a larger project that involves HVAC, electrical, or plumbing improvements): framing, drywall, interior doors, restroom renovations, 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)

-Improvements to accommodate disabled patrons or workers

-Rehabilitation of vacant buildings, but grants are not paid until the improved property is occupied by an eligible small business tenant or tenants

-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)

-Structural components of new signage (business-specific parts of signage are not eligible); sign removal

-Certain landscaping improvements to the public way (exterior private property landscaping is not eligible)

Grantees will have access to technical assistance to aid them in selecting contractors, obtaining bids, and drawing up proper work contracts.

-Industrial Property: Up to $150,000 per property
-Commercial Property: Up to $100,000 per single-tenant property
-Multi-tenant Property: Up to $50,000 per owner/tenant with no more than $250,000 for overall property

The average grant amount is approximately $40,000.

If you are located in an eligible SBIF district and meet the program’s other eligibility requirements, then you will be eligible to receive this grant.

Business Requirements:

-Business property must be located in certain Chicago Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts.

-One hundred (100) or fewer full-time equivalent employees.

-Commercial: Gross sales under $5,000,000 annually for the prior three (3) years, on average. (Certain business types and organizations are not eligible – please see the SBIF Program Rules for more information.)

-Property Owner/Landlord: Maximum net worth of $6,000,000 with a maximum of $500,000 in liquid assets (excluding industrial applicants who solely occupy their properties).

-Businesses which are NOT eligible include, but may not be limited to: chain businesses (as defined by DPD); franchise businesses; branch banks; employment agencies; currency exchanges, pay day loan stores; pawn shops; astrology/ palm-reading; liquor stores, bars, and night clubs; adult bookstores, massage parlors; hotels or motels; track waging facilities; trailer-storage yards; and junk yards, or any uses similar to those listed.

Ineligible expenses for a SBIF grant are costs associated with the following work, including, but not strictly limited to:

-Any work started before approval of a conditional commitment letter by the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development; projects completed outside of the formal grant process (“retroactive” projects)

-Any work done to a non-mixed-use residential property (single-family home, two-flat, three-flat, etc.)

-Improvements to residential components of a mixed-use building (interiors, building systems, porches, stairways, windows, etc.)

-New construction (“ground-up” construction of a new building, vertical additions to existing buildings, expansion of an existing building’s footprint)

-Work to a building that was originally constructed fewer than three (3) years before the application date

-Exterior private property improvements (landscaping, parking lot work, perimeter fencing, gazebos, patios, etc.)

-Business-specific components of new signage

-Equipment or furniture

-Work to buildings occupied by or leased to certain business types or organizations (taverns, night clubs, liquor stores, currency exchanges, pawn shops, national chain businesses, religious worship space, and others – a detailed list can be found in the SBIF Program Rules).

-Standalone cosmetic upgrade projects such as new painting and new flooring not done in connection with other significant work; minor/routine maintenance items

This is a reimbursement grant, paid after work is completed by the applicant, and proof of payment to their city-licensed contractors is received by the City of Chicago.

Applications will be accepted between October 3 and November 1, 2016.

Applications can be submitted via email, fax, US Mail or courier service, or hand delivery to the Chicago main office. All applications must be received by SomerCor 504, Inc. by 5:00 PM Central Time on the application acceptance period “close” deadline date.

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Staff Directory:

Latonya Jones, Project Coordinator, SBIF
(312) 360 3308

Joseph Lewis, Associate Director, SBIF
(312) 360 3329

Jacob Stern, Vice President of Economic Development/ SBIF Director
(312) 360 3328

Silvia Orozco, Assistant SBIF Director (Hablo Espanol)
(312) 360 3334

Chicago Main Office:
601 South LaSalle, Suite 510
Chicago, IL 60605

Fax: 312-757-4371


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USA: Illinois

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