Uptown United offers several grant and rebate programs that are funded through the Uptown Special Service Area (SSA).
Important: Grants and rebates must be approved prior to beginning any work on a project. Any project that has started or is complete prior to approval is not eligible for any grant or rebate funds. Consult each grant or rebate program application for complete rules and requirements.
Curb Appeal Rebate Program
The Curb Appeal Rebate Program is intended for small business or property owners who may be limited in their funding with the goal to help leverage funds to upgrade, preserve, or restore storefronts and display windows or install creative new signage. All applications must follow guidelines of the Uptown Guide to Good Storefront Design.
First-Time Sidewalk Café Permit Rebate Program
To encourage the proliferation of sidewalk cafes in Uptown, the SSA has funded a program to help offset the costs of installing sidewalk cafes. This rebate will reimburse business owners the $600 City of Chicago sidewalk cafe permit for first-time applicants.
Security Rebate Program
The Security Rebate Program is intended for business and property owners who may be limited in their funding with the goal to improve the security and safety of not only their business or property but the public areas of Uptown as well.
Historic Building Plaque Program
To recognize buildings that contribute to Uptown historic districts, Uptown United coordinates a building plaque program. Property or business owners in buildings that contribute to a historic district may purchase a plaque for their building, customized with the year built and architect.
Community Event Grant Program
Any free, outdoor, public event hosted within the Uptown SSA boundaries may apply for a Community Event Grant. This grant program aims to activate public spaces, attract new visitors to Uptown, support local businesses and organizations, and encourage public safety through positive activity.
City, State, and Federal Incentive and Rebate Programs
The City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and the Federal government offer several programs to assist small businesses and property owners with permanent improvements to their property. Uptown United & the Uptown Chamber of Commerce staff are happy to help you with these programs and connect you with the departments and agencies that oversee these programs. For more involved programs such as Class-L and TIF, we can suggest professional partners to assist you.
Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) Rebate Program
The City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) promotes economic development by providing small businesses with reimbursable grants for permanent building improvement costs. SBIF grants use local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue to reimburse you for the pre-approved repair or rehab of your business facilities or adjacent land acquisition. SomerCor is the program administrator contracted by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. Find out more information at www.somercor.com/SBIF.
Class-L (Landmark) Property Tax Incentive
This tax incentive program applies to Chicago Landmark Buildings and contributing buildings within city-designated Landmark Districts. Owners can have their property tax assessment levels reduced for a 12-year period provided they invest at least half of the value of the Landmark building in an approved rehabilitation project. The Chicago Department of Planning and Development oversees this program. Most property owners seeking a Class-L incentive retain an attorney to assist them with the application process. Visit the City of Chicago website to learn more.
Tax-Increment Financing (TIF) and Streamlined TIF
Uptown has several TIF districts that may be used to fund certain private and nonprofit development projects, infrastructure improvements, neighborhood planning, and other activities. TIF and Streamlined TIF funds are typically used for transformation projects that could not take place without the use of these funds. The Chicago Department of Planning and Development oversees this program, and most private or nonprofit development projects retain an attorney and/or consultant to assist with the TIF application process. Read more on the City of Chicago TIF website.
Chicago Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing
Chicago PACE makes it possible for property owners and developers of commercial properties to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, sustainability and renewable energy infrastructure deployed in new or existing buildings. Many building improvements qualify for Learn more at chicagopace.org
Federal and State Historic Preservation Incentives
The Federal governments and the State of Illinois offer programs to incentivize the preservation and rehabilitation of historic residential and non-residential buildings. Our partners at Landmarks Illinois have a list of these resources. Visit their website to learn more.