Aurora is proud to foster a business-friendly environment. This is achieved in part by the close relationships we maintain with local businesses and property owners. We do our best from the start, throughout, to help you identify incentive programs that will maximize your return on investment.
From federal assistance and local tax incentives to in-house grant programs, our staff will work with you and all respective agencies to ensure your project receives the necessary financial support it needs to thrive in Aurora.
Low-Interest EIDL's for Civil Unrest Damage
Low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are available to Illinois small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, and private nonprofit organizations affected by Civil Unrest from May 26, through July 30, 2020. Applications will be accepted through July 31, 2021.
Invest Aurora Incentives
JOHN C. DUNHAM
City of Aurora Incentives
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The CDAP is a revolving loan (RLF) fund available to companies locating or expanding in the Aurora Township, typically used to acquire land, buildings, and equipment. Projects eligible for the loans will be job creation or retention projects that benefit at least 51% of low-to-moderate income individuals. Project funds loaned will be secondary to either conventional bank or other non-CDAP financings, and will not exceed 1/3 of the total project cost.
INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BONDS
STOLP ISLAND HISTORIC DISTRICT
NEW MARKETS TAX CREDITS (NMTC)
TAX INCREMENT FINANCING (TIF)
TIF districts are created to assist in the redevelopment of distressed areas. As improvements are made to an area and the value of that area increases, the incremental property tax can be used for public improvements or given to developers for additional development. Aurora currently has seven active TIF districts:
- TIF #1 “Downtown TIF” – Created in 1986 and received a twelve-year extension in 2009. TIF #1 will expire in 2022.
- TIF #2 – Expired in 2012.
- TIF#3 “River city TIF” – Created in 2000 and will expire in 2023.
- TIF #4 “Bell-Gale” Industrial Park -Created in 2005 and will expire in 2028.
- TIF #5 “West River TIF” – Encompasses Lake Street retail corridor. It was created in 2007 and will expire in 2030.
- TIF #6 “East River TIF” – Encompasses the Route 25 corridor. It was also created in 2007 and will expire in 2030.
- TIF #7 “West Farnsworth TIF” – Created in 2011 and will expire in 2034.
- TIF #8 “East Farnsworth TIF” – Created in 2011 and will expire in 2034.
Illinois State Programs
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT FOR A GROWING ECONOMY (EDGE)
• Tax credits are calculated on Illinois income taxes paid by employees’ in newly-created and/or retained jobs
• Used to offset corporate income taxes over 10 years
• Non-refundable, carried forward up to five years, and cannot be larger than a company’s annual state income tax liability.
• Demonstrate an active competition for a competing location in another state, illustrate other available options to locate outside the state, or verify credits are essential to creating jobs in Illinois
• Project must be an expansion of an existing operation or a new location (relocation within Illinois only considered with well documented business reason)
• Adds to Illinois’ export potential; manufacturing or services exported out of state are acceptable, retail trade and personal services are not considered eligible
• Companies over 100 employees must invest $5 million in capital improvements and create 25 new full time jobs in Illinois; companies under 100 must invest $1 million and create 5 new full time jobs
• Maintain jobs created and/or retained, as well as capital investments, during period credits are claimed.
Process Requests for tax credits are based on reviews of applications submitted by interested firms. Tax credit amounts are calculated on a case-by-case basis and can be as high as the tax receipt amounts collected from Illinois income taxes paid by newly hired and/or retained employees related to the project.
For more information or to request an application, contact your Regional Outreach office. Contact information is provided below:
Northeast Senior Account Manager
EMPLOYER TRAINING AND INVESTMENT PROGRAM
• Operating or locating in Illinois with planned permanent expansion, location or retention
• Expanding a business enterprise in Illinois
• Investing in new capital equipment or technologies with specialized training needs
• Expanding into new markets / exports from Illinois
• Introducing more efficient technologies / continuous improvement systems into operations
• Providing training to employees in order to avoid layoffs
Multi-company training is available for the following intermediary organizations that can provide employee training needs for multiple Illinois-based companies:
• OEMs sponsoring training for Illinois suppliers
• Business and industry associations
• Educational institutions
• Labor organizations
• Strategic business partnerships Illinois-based companies and intermediary organizations may submit grant applications that provide training activities for newly-hired Illinois employees or retaining and upgrading the skills of existing workers in Illinois.
Northeast Senior Account Manager
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG)
Invest Aurora’s Business Expansion Forgivable Loan Program is a program aimed at assisting low to moderate-income business owners in Aurora’s Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area. The Forgivable Loan Program is funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grants, administered by the City of Aurora. The Forgivable Loan Program is intended to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses attain access to capital. For more information, expand the links to the right.
HISTORICALLY UNDERUTILIZED BUSINESS ZONES (HUB Zones)
HUB Zones were established in 1997 by the federal government as part of the Small Business Reauthorization Act. Specific contracts from the federal government can be designated for HUB Zone qualifying companies. Government-wide goals aim for 3% of prime and subcontracting opportunities to go to HUB Zone companies.
Companies in a HUBZone can gain competitive and sole source contracting. Another benefit to being in a HUBZone is a 10% price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions, as well as subcontracting opportunities.
To qualify for HUBZone benefits, a business must have certification from the Small Business Administration as a small business. Then, the business must determine if it meets the eligibility requirements for a HUBZone.
The following is eligibility criteria for a HUB Zone:
- Registered with the Small Business Administration as a small business
- Principal office of business must be in a HUBZone
- Business must be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens, a community development corporation, an agricultural cooperative, of an Indian tribe
- At least 35% of the business’ employees must reside in a HUBZone (not necessarily the same HUBZone as the business location
The Forgivable Loan Program is intended to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses attain
access to capital. Eligible uses of loan proceeds include:
- Start-up expenses
- purchase supplies / inventory / equipment
- Cover working capital for staff salaries or leasing space
All eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Operate a microenterprise business (with 5 or fewer employees, one or more of whom owns the enterprise), or are in the process of developing a microenterprise business
- Operate within the physical boundary of the program service area (see City of Aurora Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area map here)
- Meet HUD low to moderate-income qualification standards
If applicants meet defined program needs, the loan amount issued will be forgiven at a rate of thirty-three percent (33%) per year, spread over a period of three (3) years.
- Any activities that may disturb lead-based paint
- Activities for adult businesses
- Activities for businesses selling drug paraphernalia, including vape shops
- Space renovation
- Personal Expenses
- Expenses incurred prior to loan approval
If there is a use you are unsure of its eligibility, please contact the Invest Aurora staff.
FEDERAL OPPORTUNITY ZONES
Opportunity Zones offer monetary incentives in communities like Aurora to investors so they can come in and build, all while cultivating economic growth and adding to the job market. This incentive was made possible by the Investing in Opportunities Act , which amended the Internal Revenue Code to authorize and assign opportunity zones to sections of a community that are of lower-income.
Opportunity Zones offer three tax incentives to investors:
- Temporary Deferral: Investors can defer capital gains taxes until 2026 by keeping unrealized gains (profit from investments that exist on paper, but have yet to be claimed) in an Opportunity Fund
- Reduction: If the Opportunity Fund investment is held for 5 years, the original amount of capital gains that an investor has to pay deferred taxes for is reduced by 10%. If this fund is held for a total of 7 years, it is reduced by another 5%, for a total reduction of 15%.
- Exemption: Any capital gains on investments made through an Opportunity Fund accrue tax-free if they are held for at least 10 years by the investor.