City of Chicago Programs

ESDC works with businesses to empower them to grow. Pilsen’s rich and vibrant culture, amazing food and art, and proximity to world-class universities and medical district attracts many businesses. We’re able to provide HUBZone resources such as TIF, SBIF, and Federal Empowerment Zone programs.

Local Industrial Retention Initiatives (LIRI): ESDC supports the growth and development of over 200 businesses of all sizes in Pilsen’s Industrial Corridor, which helps expand employment opportunities in the community. The Pilsen Industrial Corridor (PMD 11) covers 907 acres along the Chicago River on the southern border of Pilsen.

  • The Industrial Development Division of ESDC empowers the manufacturing district by attracting individual businesses through City of Chicago, Cook County, State, and Federal incentive opportunities that promote manufacturing growth. ESDC serves as a liaison to municipal agencies to identify opportunities for expansion and suitable locations for new businesses, fulfilling its commitment to increase the quality and quantity of jobs available to residents of Pilsen.

  • Local Industrial Retention Initiative (LIRI) – City of Chicago

  • Economic Development Incentives – City of Chicago

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)

TIF is a funding tool used by the City of Chicago to promote public and private investment across the city. Funds are used to build and repair roads and infrastructure, clean polluted land, and put vacant properties back to productive use, usually in conjunction with private development projects. More information at

The TIF District Business Database is an interactive map that depicts all the businesses located within the TIF District. All of these businesses have access to SBIF and TIF funds to initiate renovation and rehabilitation projects on their infrastructure. To see if you qualify for TIF/SBIF funding, click the interactive map to see if your business lies within the boundaries.

TIF Works & TIF 50/50

Stimulates business success by funding workforce-training costs for companies located in TIF districts. With TIF Works support, businesses can become better equipped to improve performance and productivity, expand product lines and gain new customers.

Businesses can benefits with training programs that promote growth and increase profit, adapt to new technologies and equipment, expand into new markets.

Check if your business is eligible!

Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF)

The SBIF program uses TIF revenues to help owners of commercial and industrial properties within specific TIF districts repair or remodel facilities for their own business or on behalf of tenants. More information at

SBIF grants are provided to property owners after remodeling work is completed and all expenses are paid. Vacant business property is eligible, but grants are not paid until the space is occupied by a business tenant.

Empowerment Zone (EZ)

Qualifying businesses in EZs are eligible for employment credits (up to $3,000 yearly per EZ resident employed). EZ businesses are eligible for low-cost loans through EZ facility bonds, increased Section 179 tax deductions, partial-exclusion of tax on capital gains upon the sale of certain assets, and other incentives. Businesses in EZs that build or substantially rehabilitate commercial property may be eligible for up to $10 million in Commercial Revitalization Deductions to rapidly increase their depreciation. More information at

Hub Zone

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities. The federal government has a goal of awarding 3% of all dollars for federal prime contracts to HUBZone-certified small business concerns. More information at


Neighborhood Business Development Center: ESDC helps businesses resolve zoning and licensing issues and facilitates tasks requiring interaction with local or city government offices. We work with a variety of public and private officials to assist in planning the City of Chicago and Cook County improvement projects to ensure that our neighborhood’s needs are addressed. ESDC seeks to promote businesses by publishing an annual business directory and producing a variety of local events during the year, including Mole de Mayo in May and Buen Provecho! in September.


Housing Resource Center: ESDC is a designated Housing Resource Center (HRC) funded by the Chicago Department of Housing. We provide housing information, solutions, and community events & workshops to assist low- to moderate-income homeowners and residents. ESDC has outreach programs offered throughout the city.

For more information, contact Natalie Velazquez

312-733-2287 ext 3 or