Articles and Publications

Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF)

May 13, 2021

Related PeopleKevin M. Coyne

Practice AreasReal Estate

Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) offers small businesses reimbursable grants for permanent building improvements and repairs. SBIF grants are offered by the Department of Planning and Development and use local tax increment financing (TIF) revenues to reimburse owners of industrial and commercial properties for pre-approved repairs of business facilities throughout the city.

Recipients of SBIF grants are typically reimbursed 30 to 90% of the remodeling and building improvement costs, with a maximum grant of $150,000 for commercial properties and $250,000 for industrial properties. Industrial businesses with 200 or fewer employees are typically eligible for grants that cover 50% of building improvement costs.

Who can apply?

SBIF grants are available for industrial and commercial property owners who have a valid city business license, are current on property taxes and are clear of city indebtedness. To be accepted for possible funding, an application must be submitted within a designated open application acceptance period for the TIF district in which the project property is located.

Additional eligibility requirements for businesses include commercial businesses with gross annual sales up to $9 million on average over the previous three years, commercial property owners with net worths up to $9 million and liquid assets up to $500,000, and industrial businesses with up to 200 full-time employees. SBIF grants are not available for residential projects.

The SBIF grant program is administered by SomerCor on the city’s behalf. Funds are available for 30-day periods each month. Interested applicants should first confirm that their respective businesses are located in a TIF district and that the particular district has an open application period. Once those two prerequisites are confirmed, applicants should review the SBIF grant eligibility requirements and program rules before applying through the program administrator.

Have questions?  Contact a Chuhak & Tecson Real Estate attorney for the answers.

Client Alert authored by Kevin M. Coyne (312 855 5441), Principal and leader of Chuhak & Tecson’s Real Estate practice.

A special thanks to the firm’s law clerk, Njeri Williams, for her contribution to this client alert. 
This Chuhak & Tecson, P.C. communication is intended only to provide information regarding developments in the law and information of general interest. It is not intended to constitute advice regarding legal problems and should not be relied upon as such.