Business Incentives

Elmhurst has a longstanding history of public/private cooperation at all levels but particularly in the retail and industrial real estate sectors. The Economic Development Team works fervently with new and expanding businesses to create a higher standard of living for those who live, work, and do business in Elmhurst. Incentives are an investment in the future economic well being of a company and the Elmhurst community as a whole. Elmhurst offers an array of incentive programs for new and expanding businesses.

Elmhurst’s Economic Development Team proffers the following tools for your business success: Business Grant Incentives, TIF Districts and Sales Tax Incentives. These programs are designed to assist a wide selection of qualifying companies in various stages of their economic growth and as such, a return on investment through jobs, tax revenue, community cooperation, and capital investment is expected.

Business Grant Incentives

New in 2019 are three (3) Business Grant Incentive programs for businesses located in North York Corridor TIF 4, Lake/Church TIF 5, and the Downtown TIF (“development areas”). Grants available under the programs at any particular time are subject to the then available funding as budgeted from time to time by the City of Elmhurst within City of Elmhurst Tax Increment Financing Districts 4, 5, and the Downtown  (“eligible TIF Districts”)TIF.

Map (PDF) of TIF Development Areas Eligible for Business Grant Incentive Programs

Look for signs, as illustrated here, in eligible properties or contact Erin Jason (630)530-6017 to see if the site you are interested in is eligible for Business Grant Incentives.

Grant poster Final

Retail Grant

The Retail Business Grant Program is designed with the purpose of strengthening retail business activity in the development areas by attracting new retail businesses to the development areas as well as assisting existing retail businesses in the eligible TIFs with retail growth initiatives. Grants will be considered in amounts of up to $10,000 towards the reimbursement of up to 50% of verified, qualified expenditures for buildout and marketing expenses. (Grants may be approved for amounts of less than $10,000).

Restaurants may be eligible for up to $20,000 in Retail Grant awards. New or expanding restaurant facilities as may apply for an additional $10,000 in grant dollars towards the creation and installation of “black iron” exhaust systems.

Retail Grant Information & Application

Facade Grant

The Façade Improvement Assistance Program is intended to promote revitalization in the development areas by providing financial assistance to building owners for improvements made to existing commercial buildings. Financial assistance is made available to provide a significant impact on the exterior of buildings, thus improving the marketing of the development areas. The intent of this program is for building owners, and individual business owners with consent of the property owner, to take full advantage of assistance available and encourage full renovation programs. Applicants are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to 50% of verified, qualified expenditures; the maximum amount awarded toward façade improvements is determined on total linear footage of improved frontage. Applicants are eligible for $800/linear foot of improved frontage; minimum award $20,000 and maximum award $240,000. Applicants are eligible to receive an additional reimbursement of 50% of verified, qualified expenditures associated with life safety and accessibility upgrades of existing buildings up to $30,000.

Facade Grant Information & Application

Sign Grant

The Sign Grant Program is intended to promote revitalization in the development areas by providing financial assistance to business owners for improvements made to new and existing commercial signage. The intent of this program is for new owners to utilize proper signage for their business and existing business owners to upgrade outdated and legal non-confirming signage by improving the appearance and functionality of signage on commercial buildings. Applicants are eligible to receive reimbursement of up to 50% of verified, qualified expenditures up to $2,000 towards approved, permitted exterior signage only; new signage or upgrading existing sign(s) to meet current code. Preference will be given to the replacement of existing, legal non-conforming signs and removal of pylon signs.

Sign Grant Information & Application

TIF Incentives

Elmhurst has four designated TIF Districts. Property Tax revenues generated by improvements in designated TIF areas can be invested back into the district for use in land acquisition, site preparation, building rehabilitation, public improvements and to help you get your business off the ground. Through our comprehensive TIF Incentive program, Elmhurst provides redevelopment assistance for eligible projects to support property improvement and building activities, including acquisition, architectural design, demolition, engineering, infrastructure, interior remodeling, planning, signage, and site work. TIF funds can also be used by property owners and businesses to make needed improvements consistent with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.
TIF Incentive Policy(PDF)
TIF Incentive Application(PDF)
TIF District Map (PDF)

Sales Tax Incentives


Attracting, retaining, or expanding businesses for the purpose of improving the City’s economic base is the key criteria to qualify for a Sales Tax incentive. The City of Elmhurst will consider using sales tax incentives to assist private developments in those circumstances in which the proposed private projects show that significant amounts of sales tax revenue and economic activity will be realized. Sales tax assistance will not be provided to projects that have the financial feasibility (as determined by the City) to proceed without the benefit of the assistance.

Sales Tax Incentive Policy(PDF)
Sales Tax Incentive Application(PDF)