Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF)

The City of Chicago distributes SBIF grants on a rolling basis to small business owners for building improvements and maintenance. Qualifying applicants must be located within an existing TIF district to receive a SBIF grant.

Value Range:
$8,000 - $1.8 million
Date Range: 2010-2021
Total Number of Projects:
Additional Resources: Chicago About SBIF - SBIF Locator Tool - Apply for SBIF

What is the Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF)?

The Small Business Improvement Fund is an incentive under City of Chicago government control that provides grant funding to permanent building improvements and repairs. SBIFs can be used throughout the city. The program was created in 1999 to support industrial and commercial small businesses making building improvements that improve enhance their economic development potential.

How does it work?

SBIFs are available to tenants and owners of industrial or commercial properties through grants funded by TIF revenues in designated TIF districts throughout the city. The program reimburses between 30 percent and 90 percent of the improvement work, with maximum grants of $150,000 for commercial properties and $250,000 for industrial properties. Applications must be submitted to DPD’s program administrator.

Where can SBIF funds be used?

Designated TIF Districts in Chicago as of 2021.

Loading components...

Where and how can it be used?

Grants are available for business properties located in a TIF district, commercial businesses with gross annual sales up to $9 million, commercial property owners with a net worth up to $9 million and liquid assets up to $500,000, and industrial businesses with up to 200 full-time employees. Most permanent building improvements are eligible for SBIF grants, including: exterior renovations and repairs, including new windows, doors and roofs, interior remodeling, including framing, drywall, flooring and ceilings, HVAC, electrical and plumbing system upgrades, structural components of new signage, ADA improvements, and project-related architectural and construction management fees. Residential projects are not eligible for SBIF grants.

What are its intended outcomes?

The goal of the program is to promote economic development in communities by providing grants to small businesses for minor improvements. Intended outcomes include increasing property values, tax base enhancement, and job creation.

Where SBIF investments have gone.

Total SBIF investments between 2010-2021.

Loading components...