K9 University is a dog boarding and training facility that started in 1992. Since then, the business has grown steadily and added additional services. This year, the owner, Ruby Madrigal, was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration Illinois Rising Star Award.

After years of leasing half of her building, Ruby committed to buying the facility and occupying the majority of the space, which required serious rehab. That is when Ruby turned to the SBIF grant, administrated by SomerCor, for help with structural repairs, facade improvements, and roof repairs. The grant is already making a difference in the business: K9 University has seen an increase in business through walk-ins because of the new facade.

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) promotes economic development by providing small businesses with financial assistance for building-improvement costs. SomerCor is the program administrator contracted by the City’s Department of Planning and Development for the SBIF program. SBIF grants use local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue to reimburse you for the pre-approved repair or rehab of your business facilities or adjacent land acquisition. You must be located within a SBIF eligible TIF district. The maximum grant assistance for an industrial property is $150K; for a single-tenant commercial property the maximum is $100K; and for multi-tenant commercial property, it is $50K. Click here if you are interested in learning more about this program.