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

Illinois Community Development Block Grant EDP– This program can make grant funds available to qualifying business projects that make investments and create jobs in Illinois where 51% of the jobs created or retained are filled by persons of low to moderate- income (e.g. at the time of hire, family income is less than 80% of the median income of the area) and the company exhibits a need for assistance. Funds can be used for machinery and equipment, working capital, building construction and renovation, or improvements to public infrastructure, that create and/or retains job in the community. (e.g. acquisition of land or building; purchase or installation of fixtures; construction, reconstruction, installation, or rehab of building structures or real property; leasehold improvements; working capital expenses such as inventory, employee salaries, general operating expenses, and advertising/marketing expenses).

Small Business Community Navigator Program – The Small Business Community Navigators Program is a support program for small businesses in the State of Illinois. The program targets businesses in Illinois who are identified as underserved including minority, rural, veteran and women owned businesses. Underserved businesses may find resources difficult to access, or simply be unaware of services and resources available. The Small Business Community Navigator Program is specifically targeted at alleviating these issues and reducing the barriers underserved businesses often face when trying to access relief program dollars.

The program is a hub and spoke model, bringing together community organizations from across the State of Illinois. The spokes will offer grassroots engagement with small businesses to assist with access to grants, financial planning, marketing outreach, and technical assistance. Community Navigators will be tasked with informing the Illinois business community of state small business relief grants, as well as federal support available from the Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury. Community Navigator assistance may include applying for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, Shuttered Venues Operators’ Grants, Restaurant Revitalization Grants, traditional SBA loans, and other opportunities.

Community navigators provide the following services:

  • Outreach to hard-to-reach or underserved businesses to raise awareness of opportunities for federal or state support
  • 1-on-1 technical assistance to small businesses to help them understand eligibility and apply for economic support
  • Offer services in multiple languages
  • Share information on small business barriers with DCEO to ensure programming is accessible

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 costs can include 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. 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.  Examples of eligible costs include 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.  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)
  • 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)

Municipal Façade improvement grantsMunicipalities sometimes provide grants to businesses locating in their jurisdictions to make improvements to their facades. Programs will usually be used to encourage downtown property owners to improve their buildings “curb appeal” as well as provide grants to beautification projects for city property as deemed appropriate.

  • Waterloo Façade Program: The property must be located within the outlined area of Downtown Waterloo as stated by the committee. The improvements to be made must be pre-approved and completed within six months of city council approval. The City of Waterloo will match approved improvements dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00 (50/50) and dollar to three dollars for an additional $5,000.00 (25/75) for approved projects. Only expenses actually incurred (documented by receipts or lien waivers) are eligible to be reimbursed; additionally, all labor costs associated with projects proposed for reimbursement must comply with the City’s Prevailing Wage Ordinance and Illinois State law. Only building owners are eligible to apply. For a complete description of the program and its eligibility requirements go to Waterloo Incentives.

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.