Since 1983, the Illinois Department of Commerce has awarded approximately $140 million in Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) Economic Development grants to more than 180 local units of government throughout the state to help them provide financial assistance to businesses locating or expanding within their boundaries. As financial assistance projects are repaid, the communities place the moneys in locally-administered Revolving Funds (RFs) that can be used to fund future economic development opportunities within each community. An estimated $100 million of those funds are already back in circulation, helping more than 3,300 businesses obtain the capital they need to expand operations in communities.
While most RFs do not make large financial assistance packages, the contributions are an integral part of a business' overall financing package, leveraging larger amounts of private sector dollars. In particular, RF dollars can be an important source of "gap financing" for small, rural businesses.