Small Business Capital Investment Grant Program



The local business community is the lifeline of the Village of Gurnee. Through local sales tax and other user-generated revenue, property owners of the Village of Gurnee are able to enjoy all the amenities provided without a Village property tax. The Village Board and Administration recognize and appreciate the value, hard work, and investments made by the small business community and has allocated funds to provide financial relief to eligible local businesses during these unprecedented times. 

On Monday, September 20, 2021, the Village Board approved $250,000 for a Small Business Capital Investment Grant Program to assist small business' economic growth by making capital investments they may not have been able to do otherwise (and which have not already been paid for by other forms of government assistance). A program such as this will enhance business operations and the value of the commercial real estate. The Small Business Capital Investment Program authorizes each qualifying applicant to be granted up to $10,000 in 1:1 matching funds for capital projects, subject to funding availability. Grants will be paid on arrears upon submittal of paid invoices and a signed affidavit of completed project. 

Eligible Applicants

A business of any size located within the Village of Gurnee corporate limits is eligible if it meets all the criteria below:

  • Generates sales tax, food & beverage tax or amusement tax and is current with remittance of all such taxes payable to the Village
  • Must have a Village of Gurnee business license and be properly licensed in all other respects (excludes home occupations)
  • Must be in good standing with the Village of Gurnee, compliant with all obligations
  • Must not be associated (including as a franchisee) with a brand of 20 or more locations, with one exception: businesses associated with national brand that has changed locations within the Village of Gurnee during the eligible period, incurring eligible expenses in so doing
  • Excludes grocery, pharmacy, fuel stations, packaged liquor, vape/smoke, body modification establishments, professional services, hotel/motel.

Qualifying Expenses

Funds for the Small Business Capital Investment Grant Program are intended to provide financial assistance to make capital improvements that will add lasting value to the property. 

Qualifying expenses include:

  • Construction, interior or exterior 
  • Parking lot improvements no less than resurfacing
  • Capital equipment if permanently installed
  • Patio/structure of a permanent nature
  • Façade improvements/restoration improvements
  • Awning installation
  • Signage-exterior
  • Building - exterior repair, restoration improvements
  • Lighting - exterior
  • Plumbing, electrical, HVAC improvements
  • Accessibility improvements
  • Carryout/Curbside pickup reconfigurations, including permanent signage
  • Improvement or installation of automation,  high efficiency materials or permanent technology to building

 Non-Qualifying Expenses

The Small Business Capital Investment Grant Program is for capital improvement; therefore cosmetic improvements do not qualify. Examples (not inclusive) of cosmetic improvements include:

  • Painting
  • Installation or replacement of finishes
  • Sealcoating
  • Most items not requiring a building permit.

Otherwise non-qualifying items may be considered at the discretion of the Village if undertaken as part of a larger, qualifying project.

Any project expense that has already been funded with other public sources - federal, state, or county - will not qualify for funds from the Small Business Capital Investment Grant Program. 

Improvements not specifically listed as eligible or ineligible are subject to review and approval by the Village. Grants may be awarded in part, if not all expenses are eligible.

Reimbursement Process

Applicants awarded funds from the Small Business Capital Investment Grant Program must submit receipts of substantial completion for the approved capital project and sign the provided affidavit of completed project within 60 days of completion. All required documentation, including pictures of completed project, must by submitted to The Village will then provide the applicant a one-time reimbursement of the approved amount. The business applying for the grant will provide a W-9 upon notification of grant award. 

Small Business Capital Grant Standards:

The Small Business Capital Grant Program is an opportunity for the Village to give back to its business community which made sacrifices and adapted to the everchanging COVID-19 requirements. By implementing this program, the Village has to ensure several precautionary measures are complied with in order to protect investments by the business, property owner and Village.

Each applicant ensures:

  • The property or entity applying have confirmed no liens exist on the proposed location prior to or upon completion of the grant-funded project.
  • The business and contractor will obtain necessary permits and comply with all Village permit requirements.
  • The applicant will complete the project within 18 months of award notification.

Applications for the Small Business Capital Investment Grant will be accepted until funds are fully expended. All completed applications must be sent to

To Apply

To apply, download the SBCG application. Once completed, email the application and any supporting documentation to


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be found here.