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SBIF opens in Western Ave. South in February

North Branch Works
January 8, 2024

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) is one of the best resources we have for strengthening commercial and industrial businesses.

We’re excited that SBIF will open for applications in part of our service area, Western Avenue South, in February. The deadline to apply is March 1st at 5 p.m.

SBIF provides reimbursable grants to firms for permanent building improvements. It’s a great way to cover much of the cost of building upgrades such as a new roof, masonry repairs, new windows and doors, interior remodeling, HVAC systems and more.

Commercial businesses are eligible for grants up to $150,000 while industrial firms can receive a maximum of $250,000 with 50% project match.

Depending on one’s financial background, commercial business owners are reimbursed at 30%, 60%, and 90% of their project cost.

Businesses must finance their projects up front. Then the City of Chicago pays firms their SBIF grants within four to six weeks after a project has been completed.

It’s important to keep in mind that work cannot begin on a SBIF project until the City of Chicago has issued a conditional approval letter.

The Western Avenue South TIF District is located in the North Center community and the 32nd and 47th Wards. It runs along Western Avenue roughly from Belmont to Montrose and east-west along a section of Irving Park Road.

To be eligible for SBIF, businesses must be located in a TIF District.

Some of our member businesses in Western Avenue South include Delmark Records, Burning Bush Brewery (pictured), and Lucas Tire & Autocare.

To determine if your business is in Western Avenue South or any TIF District, you can look up your business address using this SBIF Locator Tool.

NBW staff will lead the outreach for SBIF to businesses in Western Avenue South. The initial application is three pages and easy to complete.

We can help businesses with SBIF in a variety of ways including finding contractors, securing low-interest financing, and submitting the required paperwork to SomerCor, the program administrator.

If you have any questions or would like our help applying for SBIF, please contact Genevieve Cook, Outreach Associate at 773-929-5552 x2236 or

Image credit: Burning Bush Brewery

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