City Incentivizes Small Business

City Incentivizes Small Business

City Incentivizes Small Business

The City of Rochelle is working to spur local commercial and residential development with financial incentives for developers, builders & business owners. 

In an effort to grow the community’s commercial and retail base, the City of Rochelle is offering both a façade improvement program and is waiving all permit fees for construction projects to enhance or build new commercial sites.  The City is also waiving permit fees for renovation projects on existing homes when the home has been vacant for six months or more with a minimum investment of $15,000. 

In late 2018, the City Council voted in favor of waiving building permit fees and the City’s portion of the property tax bill for new homes built within the City limits.  The Rochelle Park District followed suit and offers the same property tax waiver for new homes built within the District’s boundaries.

“In order to be competitive in this market, we have to get creative,” said Mayor John Bearrows.  “Offering development incentives and funding for small business owners is something unique that Rochelle has to offer.”

The City of Rochelle hosted the first ever Realtor Summit as well as a Developer Summit over the past year to gain insight from those who are working to grow our community.  Out of these meetings came the ideas to offer financial incentives for new development and to make the development process as simple as possible.

“We’re working hard to build relationships with our local business owners and developers,” said City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh.  “They make a significant investment in our community and our team is committed paving the way for their success.”

In 2020, the City of Rochelle budget includes $30,000 for façade improvement program incentives.  Business owners are eligible for up to $5,000 in a 50% matching grant for upgrades made to the exterior of the building.  The program was offered successfully in 2019 to the Downtown commercial area and several businesses took advantage and now boast new windows, tuckpointing and paint. 

For complete program details or to apply, please contact Michelle Pease in the City of Rochelle Community Development Department at 333 Lincoln Highway in Rochelle or at 815-562-8717.