The City of Champaign prides itself on being business-friendly and proactive in attracting new developments that will grow our local economy. The City offers several programs in targeted districts and throughout the entire city. Planning and Development staff are always available to discuss opportunities to engage in public/private partnerships.
The City of Champaign/Champaign County Enterprise Zone is a state-authorized tool to stimulate economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in economically depressed areas. Businesses located (or those that choose to relocate) in a designated Enterprise Zone may become eligible to obtain special state and local tax incentives. The local program offers an abatement of the city, county, park district, mass transit, community college, and city township property taxes on the increased value of the project. The program also offers access to a waiver of sales tax for permanent materials used on the project and purchased in the State of Illinois. Projects must meet the criteria for one of the programs below to access this incentive.
- Targeted Neighborhood Improvement Program – Rehabilitation of existing owner and renter-occupied single-family housing
- Affordable Multifamily Housing Program – New and Rehab of Multi-Family Structures
- Commercial District Enhancement Program – Commercial rehab and new construction
- Employment Expansion Program – Employment generating rehabilitation and new construction
- Historic Structure Rehabilitation Program – Additional benefits for properties on the Local and National Register of Historic Places
- Tourism Development Program – New and Rehab of properties generating significant tourism traffic
Contractors engaged in a current Enterprise Zone Project are required to submit this contractor form to receive their Building Materials Sales Tax Exemption Form.
* Note: All contractors who take advantage of the Sales Tax Abatement portion of the program are required to submit an Illinois EZ-1 form to the Illinois Department of Revenue. For more information on state reporting of incentives, visit the Department of Revenue website.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
Tax Increment Financing is a local tool that aids in the redevelopment of existing buildings and infrastructure within the TIF district. The City currently has four TIF Districts that collect property tax revenue from the increased value of new projects into a special fund that reallocates the money back to the districts through programs and incentives. Below are programs available in the Downtown and East University Avenue TIF Districts. There are currently no incentive programs being offered in the North Campustown and North Mattis Avenue TIF Districts. Learn more about TIF Districts
- Major Redevelopment Incentive Program
- Residential Improvement Program
- New Construction Assistance Program
- Storefront Improvement Program
Small Business Incentive Program (No new applications accepted until FY 19/20 Budget Approval)
The City of Champaign wants to be the place where small businesses start and thrive! To help our young businesses grow, we have developed our Small Business Incentive Program. This program is targeted at new and existing small businesses by offering financial assistance for legal, financial, marketing, and training expenses.
The City will cover 50%-75% of the one-time service cost up to $7,500 depending on where you plan to open your business or demonstration of financial need.
Applicants must be enrolled as a client at the Champaign County Small Business Development Center and have completed at least one introductory course in starting your business. Applicants must be starting their business within the city limits of Champaign.
Follow completion of those prerequisites; the applicants can choose the services they need to start their business and pair up with a vendor(s) that have pre-registered to participate in the program. We are always looking for existing businesses that offer services in the following categories. If you are one, please contact the Planning and Development Department to register as a program provider.
These services are designed to assist businesses with the development of marketing strategies that can propel their business. Funding excludes the cost of marketing campaigns such as television, radio, or print advertising.
- Assistance with developing a marketing strategy
- Website consultation
- Logo design
- Social media assistance
- Advertising photography and videography
These services are designed to assist businesses with filing all of the relevant documents needed to overcome the legal hurdles to opening your business.
- Company formation and bylaw documents
- State and Federal filings (excludes the filing fees)
- Employment agreements
- Non-disclosure/non-compete agreements
- Office space lease review
- Copyright and trademark applications
Financial and Payroll Services
These services are designed to assist businesses with the one-time expenses associated with setting up their financial systems.
- Initial counseling session
- Payroll admin and tax withholding forms
- Quarterly and annual financial statement forms
- Assistance with bookkeeping software setup
- One year subscription of bookkeeping software
- Point of Sale technical assistance and equipment purchase
Each applicant in the program will be awarded $1,000 in Educational/Training Credits that can be applied toward completion of approved business educational courses or certifications needed to open the business.
- Certification courses
- Small Business Training
- SBDC and SCORE Seminars
If you are ready to start your business, contact the Champaign County Small Business Development Center to begin your business today.
Industrial Development Program
The Industrial Development Program (IDP) was developed to encourage the creation and retention of industrial jobs in the City of Champaign.
Eligible IDP projects must meet the following criteria:
- Project Definition: To qualify as an industrial project, the primary use of the land and buildings must be of manufacturing, assembly, wholesale, and/or warehouse/distribution nature.
- Property Improvements: The applicant must complete permanent property improvements (either an expansion of an existing facility or construction of a new facility).
- Job Retention or Creation: The project must result in the creation or retention of at least twenty (20) jobs paying a minimum of two times the minimum wage. The created or retained positions must be permanent, full-time, or full-time equivalent (FTE) positions created or retained as a result of the project.
City of Champaign Diversity Advancement Program (CDAP)
The City of Champaign Diversity Advancement Program (CDAP) is a program designed to strengthen the use of businesses owned by women, racial/ethnic minorities, and other identified socially disadvantaged groups as defined in City purchasing and contracting policies, and to build capacity for these businesses through mentoring and training, and to develop and sustain a diverse pool of qualified businesses used by the City of Champaign.
All successful applicants of City incentives will be required to fulfill the terms of the program by making a good faith effort to expand opportunities within their project. To help achieve these goals, the City now makes available a Certified CDAP Vendor List, which can aid a property owner in finding a qualified minority or women-owned businesses. To learn more about this program, visit the CDAP website.