DuPage Business Resources

BUSINESS RESOURCES & TAX INCENTIVES

WE’VE SET THE RIGHT CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS.

The leaders of DuPage County have fostered a business-friendly environment—with everything your business needs to prosper. Together, we’ll coordinate the incentives, grants and other programs that will maximize your return-on-investment, making DuPage the place where commerce thrives.

Choose DuPage can help you identify which programs would be suitable for your location or expansion projects and will facilitate meetings with the respective agencies and units of government to begin the process. Please contact us at info@choosedupage.com to learn how these programs might help with your company’s location and expansion plans.

Incentives

The ComEd® Energy Efficiency Program offers incentives to help businesses and facilities reduce energy use by improving the efficiency of their equipment. A pre-application is required. To qualify for 2020 incentives, projects must be completed and a final application submitted by December 31, 2020. Click here for a list of incentives.

Apply online at ComEdportal.anbetrack.com/Standard. For more information, email BusinessEE@ComEd.com or call 855-433-2700.

The Green Building Incentive Program enables private sector developers or property owners who implement green design standards into their projects to receive the following incentives: expedited building permit review (25%-time reduction), expedited storm water review for both incorporated and unincorporated projects (25%-time reduction), reduction of building permit, zoning and plat application fees (10% fee reduction), and expedited zoning (ZBA) and plat process. All types of construction and development projects that meet the USGBC criteria for Platinum or Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification would qualify for the incentives. For more information contact the DuPage County Regulatory Services Division at (630) 407-6700.

To learn more about the Green Building Incentive Program click here.

Illinois’ EDGE program provides annual corporate tax credits to qualifying businesses which support job creation, capital investment and improve the standard of living for all Illinois residents.

Initial qualification criteria require certain job creation and project investment requirements:

100 or Fewer World-Wide Employees; Job Creation: The lesser of 5% of world-wide employment, or 50 new full-time jobs; Investment: $0 (Applicants cannot receive more in credits than the project investment)

More than 100 World-Wide Employees; Job Creation: The lesser of 10% of world-wide employment, or 50 new full-time jobs; Investment: $2,500,000

The non-refundable income tax credit is equal to 50% of the income tax withholdings of new job created in the state. This percentage increases to 75% if the business expansion project is located in an “underserved area” census tract which meets one of the following four tests: (1) Poverty rate of at least 20%; (2) 75% or more of the children in the area are eligible to participate in the federal free lunch or reduced-price meals program for a period of at least two consecutive calendar years preceding the date of the application; (3) At least 20% of the households in the area receive assistance under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for a period of at least two consecutive calendar years preceding the date of the application; or (4) Average unemployment rate that is more than 120% of the national unemployment average, for a period of at least two consecutive calendar years preceding the date of the application.

Additional credits are also available as reimbursement for qualifying training costs. 10% of eligible training costs of newly hired full-time employees’ positions at the project may also be included as part of annual credits. Qualifying credits are identified as costs incurred to upgrade the technological skills of full-time employees in Illinois and include: curriculum development, training materials (including scrap product costs); trainee domestic travel expenses; instructor costs (including wages, fringe benefits, tuition and domestic travel expenses); and rent, purchase or lease of training equipment; and other usual and customary training costs.

Note: Training costs do not include costs associated with travel outside the United States (unless the Taxpayer receives prior written approval for the travel by the Director based on a showing of substantial need or other proof the training is not reasonably available within the United States), wages and fringe benefits of employees during periods of training, or administrative cost related to Full-Time Employees of the Taxpayer.

Tax credits amounts are calculated on a case-by-case basis. EDGE credits are processed on an annual basis, for up to 10 years, based upon employment ramp-up plans outlined by the business and agreed to by the Department.

For more information, click here.

The municipalities in DuPage County offer various incentive programs depending upon the jurisdiction. For more information contact Choose DuPage at (630) 955-2090.

One of the main tools used to spur economic growth at the municipal level in Illinois is the Tax Increment Financing District (TIF). Illinois law allows units of local governments the ability to designate areas within their jurisdiction as TIF districts. These specially designated districts dedicate the sales tax revenues and additional property tax revenues generated within the TIF for improvements within the district in hopes of encouraging new economic development and jobs. TIF funds may be used for costs associated with the development or redevelopment of property within the TIF. This can include, for example, using funds to: redevelop substandard, obsolete, or vacant buildings; upgrade public infrastructure for the development of a site for new or commercial use; and/or to clean up polluted areas for redevelopment. 

To learn more about the Tax Increment Financing District click here

Economic Development

Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance provides resources to businesses looking to locate or expand in DuPage County. Our staff can assist you in determining the best location, connect you to local utilities, workforce resources, and more. Contact us at info@choosedupage.com to learn more about site selection services.

Comcast’s 68,000+ thousands miles of fiber-dense network infrastructure in the region drives growth and spurs economic development and helps our communities compete locally, regionally and nationally. We partner with developers, economic development organizations, local units of government, and other entities to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies into their plans in order to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s built worlds. Learn more here.

With nearly 6,000 local employees, Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region serves customers in central and northern Illinois, including the Chicago area, northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan. “Like” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Facebook by visiting @Comcast. “Follow” Comcast’s Greater Chicago Region on Twitter at @ComcastIllinois.

Contact us today at economic_development@comcast.com to learn how we can partner to connect DuPage County to tomorrow.

Metro Chicago Exports is an unprecendented collaboration between the seven counties in Northeastern Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will) and the City of Chicago to increase exports from small and medium-sized companies and to support regional job growth.

For more information on Metro Chicago Exports click here.

Argonne’s Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach helps organizations tap into Argonne’s expertise, facilities, and tools to solve challenges and seize opportunities. The directorate supports these collaborations, ensuring that organizations are able to engage with Argonne efficiently and derive outcomes of mutual benefit. It’s also the entry point to the laboratory for organizations that want to develop or license technologies, processes or software that, in the case of industry, give them a competitive advantage in the global marketplace, and in the case of federal agencies or state and local governments, help them achieve their mission.

Fermilab seeks to use commercial, off-the-shelf technology whenever possible. However, that technology is seldom able to meet the demands of high energy physics use cases without further development. The close collaboration that occurs between Fermilab and its suppliers to adapt and improve existing technologies frequently results in significant improvements to the suppliers’ technology, which in turn, benefits the supplier’s commercial customers. Learn more about becoming a partner here.

Workforce Development

The mission of workNet DuPage Career Center is to help people get back to work, and to help businesses hire and train a skilled workforce. If you are a business that needs workforce assistance, please complete this online form to tell us how we can best help you.

For more information about workNet DuPage Career Center click here.

Businesses can connect with talent while teaching students valuable skills in this College of DuPage apprenticeship program. Learn more here.

Employers can train – and potentially hire and retain – high school students through this DuPage Regional Office of Education initiative. Learn more here.

Finance

Small businesses who have been negatively impacted by the credit crunch should look to Advantage Illinois, which consists of multiple programs to encourage institutional lending to small businesses, as well as the Invest Illinois Venture Fund to leverage private capital in start-ups and high-growth sectors. Some small businesses may also receive Advantage Illinois financing as part of a business assistance package.

Advantage Illinois is funded by $78 million in federal funds from the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) which is reserved in a State Treasurer’s account solely for this purpose. The program should generate a minimum of at least $10 in new private lending for every $1 of federal funding, meaning at least $800 million in private dollars pumped into the Illinois economy to grow the small business sector.

To learn more about Advantage Illinois click here.

The Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program offers tax credits to qualifying firms who invest in Illinois’ new business ventures. The main goal of the program is to encourage job growth and expand capital investment in Illinois. Participating businesses will receive a tax credit equal to 25% of the investment made directly to a qualified new business venture. The maximum amount that may be used as a basis for this credit is $2,000,000 per direct investment. Businesses desiring to be registered, as a qualified new business venture must submit a registration form in each taxable year for which the business desires registration. The registration will attest to the fact that the business is principally engaged in innovation, their business headquarters is located in Illinois and their business has the potential for increasing jobs and capital investment in Illinois. Interested firms or individuals desiring a tax credit based on their investment in a qualified new business venture must submit an application to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which attests to the fact that an investment has been made and remains in the qualified new business venture for no less than three years.

To learn more about the Illinois Angel Investment Credit Program click here.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) offers three programs that provide assistance with improving highway and rail access improvements to new or expanding industrial, distribution or tourism developments. IDOT’s Economic Development Program is designed to provide state assistance to local governments for highway improvements and access to new or expanding industrial distribution and tourism projects. The Railroad Freight Program is provided to offer capital assistance to communities, railroads and shippers to preserve and improve rail freight service in Illinois. The Truck Access Route Program program is intended to provide grants to local government agencies to assist them in upgrading roads to accommodate 80,000-pound trucks. The focus of these programs is the retention and creation of jobs in Illinois. Funding may be available for transportation improvement projects related to facilities that provide direct access to economic development projects. Projects providing access to retail establishments, office parks, government facilities or schools and universities are not eligible.

To learn more about the Illinois Department of Transportation click here.

The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) is a self-financed, state authority principally engaged with issuing taxable and tax-exempt bonds, making loans, and investing capital for businesses, non-profit corporations, agriculture and local government units statewide. IFA finances about $3 billion each year, helping generate economic growth and job creation.

To learn more about the Illinois Finance Authority, click here.

The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office offers programs that are designed to assist the Illinois business community by providing access to capital and financing at affordable rates in order to promote economic development activities that create and retain jobs within the state.

For more information about the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office click here.

Illinois Ventures for Community Action is an organization whose membership is comprised of Community Action Agencies throughout the state. Illinois Ventures for Community Action is a not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to undertake job creation and economic development activities, and to distribute any profit therefrom to its member agencies to finance activities designed to eliminate poverty in Illinois. The majority of loans provided by the organization are through the Community Service Block Grant Loan Program. This loan program is administered jointly by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, statewide Community Action Agencies and Illinois Ventures for Community Action. The Program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to new or expanding companies in exchange for job creation and employment for low income individuals.

To learn more about the Illinois Ventures for Community Action click here.

Administered through the Illinois Finance Authority, the industrial revenue bond program provides the authority with the ability to issue tax exempt industrial revenue bonds on behalf of Illinois manufacturers looking for long term financing on the purchase or renovation of fixed assets such as land, building, and equipment. Industrial revenue bonds may finance up to 100% of the total costs for qualifying projects of at least $1.5 million. Terms of the bonds may not exceed 10 years. A $1,500 non- refundable fee is required upon submission of application.

To learn more about Industrial Revenue Bonds click here.

Small Business Resources & Assistance

Allies for Community Business‘ mission is to provide the capital, coaching, and connections entrepreneurs need to grow great businesses that create jobs and wealth in their communities.

College of DuPage Business Development Center strives to advance the practice of business ownership to stimulate economic growth and development through new company formation and growth. The Center is committed to the business community with programming and customized advising and high-quality training.

There are three core programs offered under the Business Development Center, a department within the Continuing Education Division.

  • Illinois Small Business Development Center – Businesses can receive assistance in the areas of management, marketing, finance and operations. Learn More
  • Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center – Businesses can receive specialized assistance in the area of expansion through governmental contracting. Advising will meet the needs of selling to the local, state or federal markets. Learn More
  • Illinois International Trade Center – Businesses can receive specialized assistance to ensure export readiness in the global marketplace. Learn More

Comcast RISE, which stands for Representation, Investment, Strength and Empowerment, is part of Project UP, Comcast’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help provide underrepresented small business owners with access to the digital tools and funding they need to thrive.

More information and the application to apply for marketing and technology services are available at www.ComcastRISE.com.

Whether you need help evaluating a new business idea or plan, stimulating business growth, or developing long-term stability – SCORE Fox Valley can help at little to no cost. SCORE volunteers are successful real-world business professionals who volunteer thousands of hours to help existing and startup businesses succeed. The volunteers are experts with experience in areas such as; accounting, finance, human resources, consulting, import/export, law, operations, production, retail, wholesale, manufacturing, sales, marketing, management, business plan preparation, strategic planning, and many other business disciplines.

They provide:

  • Volunteer mentors who share their expertise across many industries
  • Free, confidential business mentoring in person, via email, or by video
  • Free business tools, templates, and tips
  • Inexpensive or free business workshops (locally) and webinars (online 24/7)

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States. The SBA has a variety of products and services to assist small business succeed, including:

The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program
The 7(a) Loan Program includes financial help for businesses with special requirements. For example, funds are available for loans to businesses that handle exports to foreign countries, businesses that operate in rural areas, and for other very specific purposes.

Microloan Program
The Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers. The maximum loan amount is $50,000, but the average microloan is about $13,000.

504 Loan Program
The CDC/504 Loan Program provides long-term, fixed rate financing for major fixed assets that promote business growth and job creation. 504 loans are available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA’s community-based partners who regulate nonprofits and promote economic development within their communities. CDCs are certified and regulated by the SBA. The maximum loan amount for a 504 loan is $5 million. For certain energy projects, the borrower can receive a 504 loan for up to $5.5 million per project, for up to three projects not to exceed $16.5 million total.

To learn more about the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) click here.

Located in downtown Glen Ellyn, Innovation DuPage is a community built around the needs of startups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners. Through their extensive network of partners, mentors, and investors, they have the resources and expertise needed for companies to build from the ground up. Signature programs are designed to quickly take businesses to the next level, and are led by industry professionals. Their work advances the entrepreneurial ecosystem, grows the regional economy, and is defined by the successes of those they serve.

Sustainability

When a company makes sustainable choices, it’s a win-win. Not only do these practices help preserve our natural resources and mitigate environmental damage; they also have a positive impact on the business, improving its brand image, increasing productivity, reducing costs, and uplifting the surrounding community. What keeps our environment healthy also keeps our businesses strong.

As the first county in Illinois to win the Governor’s Sustainability Award, DuPage has a rich history of environmental stewardship, with communities and businesses across the region making sustainable choices for our natural world, our economy and our livelihood.

Now, as even more organizations make it part of their mission to practice sustainability, Choose DuPage has partnered with the DuPage County Environmental Division to connect local leaders to resources that promote sustainable practices. Learn more about Sustainable DuPage and tap into our resources here.

DuPage County is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. The DuPage County Environmental Division works to inform the public about environmental issues impacting their health, well-being and safety and provide recycling opportunities to both residents and businesses. Read more information about sustainability in DuPage here.

Government Contracting

The System for Award Management (SAM) is an official website of the U.S. Government. Businesses can use SAM to register to do business with the U.S. Government. SAM is also a centralized location for nonprofits to learn about grants.

Fermilab’s procurement department is responsible for purchasing supplies, equipment, and services in a cost-effective and timely manner to support the laboratory’s multiple scientific projects and drive discovery in particle physics. Fermilab acquires goods and services in a manner consistent with the Department of Energy’s small business policies. If you are a Small Business and would like to become a supplier to Fermilab, register in their Supplier Portal.

Argonne’s Small Business Program Office serves as an advocate and point of contact for small businesses that are seeking contracting opportunities at the laboratory. Its primary objective is to meet the needs of the laboratory with responsible and reliable small business concerns that deliver high-quality goods or services, on time and at a fair and reasonable price. The office strives to enhance the small business community by supporting recognized superior performers and offering guidance and support to help grow those small business concerns.

Industry-Specific Resources

To learn more about the Advanced Manufacturing industry in DuPage County, visit our webpage.

To learn more about the Data Center industry in DuPage County, visit our webpage.

To learn more about the Electric Vehicle industry in DuPage County, visit our webpage.

To learn more about the Food Processing & Distribution industry in DuPage County, visit our webpage.

To learn more about the Healthcare industry in DuPage County, visit our webpage.

To learn more about Nonprofits in DuPage County, visit our webpage.

To learn more about the Professional Services industry in DuPage County, visit our webpage.

To learn more about the Transportation, Logistics & Warehousing industry in DuPage County, visit our webpage.