As a current or potential business in St. Charles, there are multiple resources available for business assistance. Incentives may allow for financial aid to prospective or expanding businesses, especially if they fill a desired use or location, generate significant sales tax revenue, or create employment opportunities.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) - Through its incentive program, the City of St. Charles provides a process for which the developer of a proposed development can apply for a TIF district on its property. Certain criteria must be met in order to satisfy the TIF requirements. The benefits allow for the freezing of property tax increment to the development for a period usually lasting 23 years. For more information, please refer to the guidelines attached at the top of the page.
Sales Tax Incentives - Also per the City’s incentive program is the potential for sales tax rebates to companies that fill an under-served segment within the community, bring in substantial employment opportunities, or provide the City with other benefits that enhance the area. For more information, please refer to the guidelines attached at the top of the page.
Store Front Improvement Grant - The Downtown St. Charles Partnership (DSCP) offers financial assistance to downtown businesses looking to enhance their appearance through new signs, awnings, and lighting. Through this program, a business is reimbursed up to $1,000 for such improvements or additions. For more information, please contact the Downtown St. Charles Partnership at 630-513-5386 or by visiting their website at www.downtownstcharles.org.
Façade Improvement Grant - Downtown businesses seeking to renovate their building façade can apply for a 50/50 matching grant up to $10,000 in improvements. The 100% reimbursement of architectural services up to $4,000 is also available under this grant. For more information, please visit the Façade Improvement Grant web page.
Corridor Improvement Grant - Under this grant opportunity, businesses along the City’s major corridors can receive up to 75% funding of their design costs towards the beautification and physical improvements of their property. Also available are matching funds of up to 50% for plant, labor, and soil preparation costs. For more information, please visit the Corridor Improvement Grant web page.
Commercial Corridor and Downtown Business Economic Incentive Program - This program is designed to help both new businesses locating to or existing businesses expanding in St. Charles. The leasable space must be located on the 1st floor of commercial buildings in Downtown or commercially zoned eligible properties. The program offers 50/50 matching awards for structural modifications, plumbing and electrical repairs as well as life safety upgrades such as fire sprinklers and alarms. Awards in excess of $10,000 up to $25,000, require City Council approval. For more information please click on this link: Commercial Corridor and Downtown Business Economic Incentive Program.
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St. Charles also has renowned commerce and industry organizations that entitle members to a variety of benefits. In addition, by maintaining its own electric utility, St. Charles offers some of the lowest rates in the area. Other local entities also provide assistance to local businesses such as loans, counseling, and training:
Elgin Community College (ECC) Small Business Development Center
The Illinois Small Business Development Center at Elgin Community College provides numerous counseling and workforce training opportunities, among these:
- Free one-on-one business counseling and coaching
- Training workshops and seminars
- Business plan and strategic plan development
- Financial analysis, tax planning, and accounting assistance
- Formal coursework and workshops for small businesses
- Many other opportunities for education and assistance
Fox Valley SCORE
Fox Valley SCORE is a volunteer organization of current and former business owners offering free, confidential business counseling. In addition, counselors offer low-cost business workshops ranging in topics from opening a business, to computer software usage, to legal and tax assistance. The website also has numerous free, custom templates that show good practices in business financing, business planning, and bookkeeping.