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Governor Pritzker Launches $30 Million Grant Opportunity for Community Revitalization

Press Release - Friday, April 26, 2024

Eligible entities can now apply for funding to accelerate economic growth and community revitalization

CHICAGO - Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) launched $30 million in funding for the Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets Capital (RDMS, $20 million) and Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE, $10 million) programs to revitalize commercial corridors and downtown areas throughout the state and accelerate local economic recovery initiatives. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process.

"Small businesses are the heart and soul of communities across Illinois," said Governor JB Pritzker. "To boost job creation and improve local infrastructure and amenities, my administration is investing an additional $30 million to support downstate commercial corridors and downtown areas. I highly encourage all eligible organizations to apply for this transformational funding."

The Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets Capital program (RDMS) will provide grants for construction, repair and modernization of public infrastructure and amenities to boost jobs, improve quality of life and stimulate economic activity for communities that have experienced disinvestment. The goal of this program is to drive investment in infrastructure and public amenities that will invite more people back into Main Street districts and local city centers. The second round of RDMS funding builds upon $106 million in RDMS grants provided in 2022 - the state's largest Rebuild Illinois investment focused on community revitalization.

"We empower our communities by connecting people with the resources they need to make the changes they want to see," said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. "Downtown spaces are hubs for connection; people want to spend time together in public spaces when those spaces are clean, functional, and vibrant. I strongly urge communities that have experienced generational disinvestment to apply."

Projects eligible for RDMS grants must be located in a commercial center or downtown area and may include, but are not limited to roadways, parking and public way improvements, investments in parks and venues or plazas for public use, sustainability upgrades, structural repairs, and mixed-use or transit-oriented development.

"The State of Illinois continues to prioritize promoting economic growth in communities throughout every corner of the state," said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. "Through the RDMS and RISE programs, qualified entities are encouraged to apply for grant funding to revitalize downtown areas and boost economic recovery in areas that need the most support."

Through the RISE Implementation Program, the State is allocating funding toward economic development projects or initiatives identified in plans produced with support from RISE Local and Regional Planning grants to accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible projects may include capital and non-capital projects such as water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure, investment in affordable housing, local workforce development programming, retrofitting or renovating facilities and buildings, investment in site readiness for business development, and tourism promotion programming.

"The RISE and RDMS programs will provide vital funding to help revitalize downtown areas across the state," said Senator Mike Halpin (D-East Moline). "This funding is essential to Illinois' continuous efforts to boost our local economies and get people back on Main Street."

Qualified entities for both programs include EDOs, local units of government and private for-profit and non-profit businesses. RDMS projects must be located in a commercial corridor or downtown area, and RISE projects must be aligned with a RISE Planning grant recovery plan. Applicants must demonstrate consistency with applicable local or regional economic development plans and provide letters of support from elected officials and other community stakeholders. Successful applicants will demonstrate that their project will address barriers to economic growth and/or stimulate economic growth and recovery. Eligible entities are limited to one submission.

"Supporting our downtowns and Main Streets is essential to maintaining strong communities across Illinois," said Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago). "The hearts and souls of our neighborhoods are often found in our local city centers, and the RDMS and RISE grant programs will accelerate economic growth that will be felt for years to come."

Through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), qualified entities can apply for grants, with awards ranging from $250,000 to $2 million, with a minimum 25% match required for local units of government and 50% match for all other applicants. Applications will be accepted until July 22, 2024, at 5:00 p.m.

"The RDMS and RISE programs are providing critical grant funding to communities that need it the most," said Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea). "From revitalizing downtowns and commercial corridors to supporting economic development projects, the State of Illinois is committed to promoting growth throughout the state."

To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, and register for the information webinar please visit the DCEO website. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to for application assistance. To help applicants prepare to apply for funding, DCEO will be holding a technical assistance webinar on May 1 at 10:30 a.m.

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