Façade Enhancement Grants

This program is made possible by Special Service Area #50. The Facade Enhancement Rebate Program provides assistance and support services, which empowers business owners with the resources necessary to renovate the facade of their storefronts.
Enhancing the appearance of buildings serves to improve the economic vitality of the area. Better aesthetics increase property values, improve the marketability of the space and contribute to better quality of life.
Participants in this program will serve as quality examples of how to preserve the architectural character that is unique to Calumet Heights and Avalon Park.

  • Any commercial property owner, business owner or tenant of a commercial building located within SSA #50 boundaries can apply.
  • The owner or tenant must request the rebate. However, the tenant must submit the owner’s written permission with their application.
  • Business owner must have a valid business license.
  • Property must be free of liens, excluding any mortgage,

Examples of Eligible Projects

Simple changes such as removing non-historic elements from the building, repairing old materials, or adding a fresh coat of paint to the building’s exterior signals positive change and attracts new businesses and shoppers tot he community. Some other examples of eligible projects are:

  • Repair or replace windows and/or doors with compatible materials and design.
  • Pedestrian-friendly enhancements like special paving, ramps and rails.
  • Installation or repair of awnings or canopies, and signage to the curb-side of the building.
  • Brick tuck-pointing, masonry repair and/or brick cleaning.
  • Security shutters and lighting installed to the front of the building.
  • Proposals must conform to all applicable zoning, building codes and other City regulations, and will be evaluated in terms of compliance with existing ordinances, scale, size, and context with the surrounding environment.
  • Rehabilitation of a structure in the designated area should be considered a solution which respects and enhances the integrity of the building, and the impact on the district.
  • All projects must be completed within the fiscal year the application is approved. If improvements have not been done by that date, funds may be rescinded. You may request in writing an extension for up to 120 days.
  • Properties that received a SBIF grant in the last 3 years or are currently in the SBIF program are ineligible
  • If the same facade project already received funding from a different grant or incentive program, it is ineligible for additional funding through the Facade Rebate Program.
  • No property owner or business owners can receive more than one grant in 3 calendar years from disbursement of the original grant.
  • Facade grants may only be used to finance exterior, curb-side improvements.
  • A maximum grant of $5,000 per facade design is awarded and 50% or up to $500 max is awarded for a digital facelift.

Procedure for Receiving Rebate

Applications must be submitted to the Southeast Chicago Chamber before any work is performed. Applications are considered in the order they are received until all the facade funding is disbursed for the fiscal year. If the number of applications exceeds funding, a lottery will be held to determine which projects to fund, and a wait list for funding may become available.

  • Subject to some type of formal design review and approval, a pre-application consultation with the Southeast Chicago Chamber is required.
  • Commercial property owner or tenant submits a completed rebate application along with relevant supporting documents to the Chamber. The application must be complete to qualify.
  • Funded projects should be completed with the year of approval.
  • Provide proof of payment (receipts, paid invoices) for all eligible enhancements within 30 days of project completion.
  • This is a rebate program. Once the applicant has completed improvements based on specifications on the application, and if approved by the Chamber Commission, a rebate check will be disbursed.

Submitting a grant application does not guarantee that funds will be awarded.

 Showcase your business online when people search for your services or business. This service offers a 360 degree virtual tour of your space powered by Street View technology. Being able to see the interior of your store virtually helps drive younger customers and showcase your services and products in a whole new way. To learn more click the words “DIGITAL BUSINESS FACELIFT” above.

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Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 2 files.
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 2 files.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 2 files.
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.