Aurora is proud to foster a finance-friendly business environment. This is achieved in part through the close relationships our team maintains with local businesses and property owners, and area financing agencies. 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 assistance it needs to thrive in Aurora.
Invest Aurora Incentives
Download the guide to learn where to find financial resource programs, prepare supporting documentation and submit a complete application.
City of Aurora Incentives
FINISH LINE GRANT
The Finish Line Grant program is geared towards assisting property owners with rehabilitation and property improvement projects. With the Finish Line Grant, the City is not only supporting local commercial and mixed-use property owners, but our goal is to increase the economic viability of downtown Aurora as a whole.
INDUSTRIAL REVENUE BONDS
The City of Aurora has the ability to issue tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds (IRBs) on behalf of manufacturing companies to finance the acquisition of fixed assets including land, buildings, equipment, and also new construction and renovation. IRBs provide financing rates that are lower than conventional financing.
RIVER EDGE REDEVELOPMENT ZONE
The RERZ has three main functions: to create new jobs, stimulate the local economy, and to revitalize significant buildings, sites and neighborhoods. It was designed by the State of Illinois to help redevelop properties facing environmental challenges adjacent to rivers in Illinois, like the Fox Valley River. This program provides tax credits for developments located in these redevelopment zones.
STOLP ISLAND HISTORIC DISTRICT
A nationally designated district that allows property owners to qualify for the historic preservation tax credit program providing that the building is income producing and adheres to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The federal tax credit can be worth up to 20% of the cost of rehabilitation.
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 #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)
This program is provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Illinois Economic Development for a Growing Economy Program (EDGE) offers special tax incentives for companies to locate or expand their operations in Illinois. EDGE allows companies to reduce their costs of doing business compared to related costs in other states.
For more information, expand the links to the right.
EMPLOYER TRAINING AND INVESTMENT PROGRAM
This program is offered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) assists Illinois companies in training their workforce to increase the productivity and competitiveness for Illinois businesses in the global economy. ETIP enhances job opportunities for employees in Illinois and keeps workers’ skills on pace with the latest technologies and business practices. For more information, expand the links to the right.
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 (CDBG), 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.
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.