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Business Development Grant Program

Businesses and property owners located within the Western Avenue Business Development District (BDD) may apply for Blue Island’s Business Development Grant Program. This grant provides up to $5,000 as a 50% match for eligible exterior improvements, with an additional $2,000 for correcting non-conforming signage, and is intended to encourage architecturally appropriate design through historic preservation and the use of high-quality materials. Applicants must plan on investing a minimum of $1000 in material improvements to qualify.

Download the Business Development Grant Program Manual and Application.

Eligible Expenses

The Business Development Grant Program provides funding for improvements to existing buildings for elevations visible from a public street or alley and site improvements needed to bring the property into conformity with building, zoning, sign and design guidelines. Expenses which may be included in the grant application:

  • Façade repair and improvements
  • Design and architecture expenses from an Illinois licensed professional
  • Labor costs and contractor fees
  • Cost of materials
  • Exterior life safety and ADA compliance
  • Non-conforming signs
  • Off-street parking areas not in compliance with landscaping regulations and/or unpaved
  • Site improvements such as outdoor dining areas, removing front parking, rear entrance enhancements, bike parking or Complete Streets

Project activities begun prior to the application and approval of a Grant Program Agreement are ineligible so be sure to ask first! Contact Sean Terry at sterry@cityofblueisland.org or (708) 396-7055 with any questions.

Western Ave BDD parcels