Contact us for help in accessing these other financing and business support options that follow.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF provides a means in which communities can financially assist in the development or redevelopment of a site. Cities can utilize the incremental increase in taxes as a result of a redevelopment project to assist with qualifying development projects.  TIF Districts can only be established in municipalities, and as such, municipalities often consider creating TIF Districts to assist with specific redevelopment projects.  Other times, cities will establish a TIF district to catalyze economic activity in a blighted area.  Using the incremental revenues in the TIF, a community can undertake economic development activities or provide subsidies that otherwise might not be possible in order to encourage job creation, increase property values, and to protect the local tax base. 

  • Eligible Project Recipients. Development or redevelopment project site located in a municipality  that is blighted or tagged by a municipality to support a specific development project. 
  • Eligible project costs. Studies, surveys, and plans; architectural, engineering, legal, financial services; property assembly costs such as acquisition, demolition, clearing and grading; rehabilitating, reconstructing, remodeling of existing structures; costs of construction of public infrastructure improvements; financing costs, including issuance interest and reserves; and cleaning up polluted areas. 
  • Funding Availability. TIF District benefits are usually awarded on a case by case basis and need to be negotiated with the municipality that houses your development site. There are multiple Tax Increment Finance Districts (TIFs) throughout the Monroe County Economic Development Corporation (MCILEDC) service area. The following communities in our service area currently have TIF Districts.

Business District Financing: A Business District is a defined area within which businesses can levy an additional sales tax on eligible goods sold.  Municipalities may elect to impose this additional sales tax in increments of 0.25% up to a maximum of 1.0%. Funds generated as a result of this sales tax can then be used for certain eligible costs within the district as prescribed by the Business District Act.

  • Eligible Project Recipients.  Differs by municipality. 
  • Eligible Costs: Preparation costs, building rehabilitation costs, public infrastructure improvements and financing costs. The services provided by Business Districts are supplemental to those already provided by the municipality.  
  • Funding Availability.  Business District benefits are usually awarded on a case by case basis and need to be negotiated with the municipality that houses your development site. There are three cities in our service area that have established Business Districts, as follows:
  • Columbia Business District. (Click here to view Columbia Business District Map). At the present, only one active business district is solely in place at the  Main St. Abbey Development.  City is open to considering  additional BDs for a project of similar significance. 
  • Waterloo Commons Business District. The development goals for this District include a 58,000-square foot supermarket, additional retail space and related parking facilities, construction of roadways and driveways, and provision of pad-ready sites for multiple out lots. The out lots will be developed for such uses as retail shops, sit down and fast food restaurants, fuel centers, a bank, and service businesses.  (Click here to view Waterloo Commons map).
  • Valmeyer Business District. In lieu of imposing an additional sales tax, Valmeyer offers free tap-in fees and free building permits to businesses locating in their business district. (Click here to view Valmeyer Business District Map.

SBDC Business Advisory Services:  The Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC)Bottom of Form located at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville and East St. Louis, provides confidential, no-cost advisory services to businesses and entrepreneurs throughout our service area. The range of services includes assistance with business and market plans, regulatory compliance, marketing, low-cost training, and more.

IMEC Business Improvement Services: Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) is a not-for-profit company that delivers the local expertise to not only plan and strategize, but to implement and evaluate the effectiveness of client improvements. IMEC works closely with its clients to plan critical business improvements with a return on investment that exceeds 19:1. This is made possible as businesses become more effective and efficient using IMEC services. IMEC’s experienced hands-on team features two regional managers for our service area who stand ready to work with the MCDEC to bring the following fee-based services to the table:

  • Continuous Improvement Solutions: Program prepares manufacturers to implement the daily behaviors that ensure a continuous flow of value to the customer. Services include lean manufacturing, quality improvement, six sigma, safety, and manufacturing information systems.
  • Strategy Management & Transition: Program helps a company to envision the future and then delineate the steps to get there, building ownership among your leadership team and setting up for successful implementation.
  • Supply Chain Optimization: Through the Supply Chain Optimization program, IMEC’s technical specialists provide a step-by-step roadmap to help manufacturers address risk, increase visibility, and create supply chains that function at optimum capacity.
  • Sustainability Services: Helps companies minimize the impact of their processes on the environment, avoid landfills, reduce consumption, and identify alternative sources of energy. Sustainability services include lean & clean, waste reduction, and energy management.
  • Top Line Improvements: If you are looking for an influx of revenue, and cost-cutting alone won’t fix it, this program can help identify opportunities to diversify, evaluate markets and competitors, develop marketing plans and materials to attract new business, and train your sales team to close the deal.

Columbia Tourism Marketing Grant Program. The purpose of this program  is to promote tourism  and conventions  within the city of Columbia or otherwise attract  nonresident  overnight visitors  to the city.

  • Eligible applicants. Non-profit organizations seeking to produce and promote a clearly defined festival, program, or event within city limits; or hotel properties/venues  seeking to bring new business , meetings, conferences , tours, or sports groups to the city of Columbia hotel properties and venues. 
  • Funding levels. Matching support up to  $2,500. Awards  based on funds available. A maximum of  (3)  grants may  be awarded  to a single recipient  each fiscal year. 
  • Allowable Uses of Funds: Advertising and promotional campaigns such as broadcast, web, social media, print, and distribution; printing and distribution of promotional pieces, creative design, printing, copying, ad placement cost, and distribution of direct mail; creating an internet website promoting the event or campaign with link to city of Columbia website.
  • Funding Availability. Applications are available on an ongoing basis and must be submitted at least 60 days prior to the event date. To be considered, project must show the potential to generate overnight hotel stays, include city logos in promotion, and identify city of Columbia as an additional funding source. Application can be found at Tourism Marketing Grant Program.