Cover repairs or deferred maintenance issues that threaten your business’s financial future with a grant of up to $50,000.
Do you own a commercial property that needs structural repairs or modern updates? Are you looking to launch a business in your neighborhood? Invest DSM can help you make improvements to enhance your customer experience and protect your financial footing when deferred maintenance comes due.
Let us help you with your building — so you can focus on your business.
For Commercial Property Owners and Small Businesses
Grant Amount: Up to $50,000
- Designed for business owners and commercial property owners located in our Special Investment Districts.
- Covers interior and exterior deferred maintenance, repairs, code compliance issues, and facade updates.
- Receive a matching grant, dollar-for-dollar, to cover half of what you spent (maximum grant of $50,000 per retail bay).
- Additional matching grant of up to $10,000 available to cover pre-development costs, such as architectural drawings or an environmental study.
- Get 70% of your costs covered on external aesthetic improvements (signage, window display, facade) when you work with one of our artists on your custom design.
Are You Eligible?
To be eligible for the Commercial Grant program, you must:
- Own or lease* a property — a portion of which must be commercially zoned — within one of the Special Investment Districts.
- Be current on all municipal and county dues, fees, and taxes.
- Remove the headaches of operating a business in an old building.
- Get help covering expensive deferred maintenance.
- Express your business’s identity and values through artistic design choices.
- Attract new customers with a more pleasing environment.
- Receive one-on-one consultation, advice, and technical support from our specialists throughout the entire project.
- Keep your doors open when an unexpected repair expense rears its ugly head.
Get help with code compliance upgrades when moving into a new space.
Pre-Development & Design Costs
- Design assistance (architectural, etc.)
- Project feasibility studies
- Interior design assistance
- Window display design assistance
Building & Site Upgrades
- Updates to façade, signage, or awnings
- Replacement or repair of roof, windows, or doors/doorways
- Major systems replacement/code compliance upgrades
- Public art (i.e. murals, etc.)
- Exterior site improvements: outdoor patio space, concrete work, landscaping, parking lot repaving/restriping
- Energy-efficiency upgrades: installation of solar, wind, etc.
“Without Invest DSM, we would not have been able to afford to fix our major structural issues. We would have had to sell the building.”
One of the major highlights of 2021 was completing the renovation of Chuck’s Restaurant, a long-time anchor business in the Oak Park / Highland Park neighborhood. Stabilizing their historic building so they could continue to operate was incredibly important to the overall health and success of the business district.
This project began with fixing a roof leak that had been plaguing the building for several years and grew into a $1.4 million full-building renovation project. The renovation addressed the roof leak and major structural issues, updated the mechanical systems, refreshed the facade and the interior of the restaurant space, and, perhaps most importantly, renovated four upper-story apartment units that had been sitting vacant for over a decade. These apartment units not only provide new housing units in the district at affordable rents but also create an important source of income for the building owner.
The project would not have been possible without our amazing partner, Neighborhood Development Corporation — who bought the building in order to manage the construction project and stabilize the finances — as well as the restaurant owners who invested significant capital from their own pockets. Invest DSM is thrilled to have played a role in helping to save this important neighborhood icon.