The Business Development Team is here to connect you to resources and programs when you are ready to locate or expand your business in South Bend. Our team is responsible for the analysis, budgeting, and usage of certain Department of Community Investment funding sources, including the Industrial Revolving Loan Fund, Industrial Revenue Bonds, Tax Abatements, and Tax Incremental Financing. Additionally, the team is responsible for the management of Redevelopment Commission owned property. The team focuses city-wide while providing specialized opportunities in the downtown and various other development areas. Small or large, start-up or established, make the City of South Bend Business Development Team your first call.
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Need to work on your business or marketing plan? Contact one of the following local non-profits for no or low-cost assistance:
- Indiana Small Business Development Project Hope
- North Central Indiana Small Business Development Center
- SCORE Michiana
- Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative at Saint Mary’s
Contact Economic Resources for a listing of additional resources available for business development in South Bend.
If you own or operate a downtown South Bend business, the staff at Downtown South Bend Inc. (DTSB) can help your business increase its success – with information and resources to meet your needs.
Neighborhood Corridors Matching Grant Program
In partnership with the City of South Bend, the Urban Enterprise Association is offering a Neighborhood Corridors Matching Grant Program that provides up to a 50% reimbursement for qualifying exterior improvements to commercial, mixed use, and industrial buildings located on Lincolnway West, Linden Avenue, Miami Street, Michigan Street, Mishawaka Avenue, Portage Avenue, and Western Avenue. Detailed information may be found below:
The City of South Bend works with a variety of partners for economic and community development — public and private, nonprofit and for-profit, residential, commercial and industrial. Below are links to the web sites of those organizations.
- Downtown South Bend, Inc.
- Indiana Economic Development Corporation
- Indiana Small Business Development Corporation
- St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce
- St. Joseph County, Indiana
- US Small Business Administration
Tax Incremental Financing
Tax Incremental Financing or TIF is a method of generating revenue for the implementation of the plans developed for the Redevelopment and Economic Development Areas.
When a TIF area is established, any increase in real property assessed value due to new investment is attributed to the TIF, and the taxes generated by the increased assessed value are deposited in the TIF Allocation Fund. This is referred to as the TIF increment.
The assessed value of the area before the TIF area is established is referred to as the “base” assessed value. Taxes generated from the “base” continue to go to the local taxing units, just like they did before the TIF area was established.
The City of South Bend Redevelopment Areas are as follows:
- River West Development Area
- River East Development Area
- West Washington-Chapin Development Area
- Southside Development Area
Economic Development Areas
- Airport Economic Development Area
- Douglas Road Economic Development Area
Use of TIF Revenues
TIF revenues can be used to fund local public improvements in or serving the TIF area. Local public improvements mean the following:
- parking facilities
- acquisition of land, rights-of-way, and other property to be acquired and redeveloped
- all architectural, engineering, legal, financing, accounting, advertising, bond discount, and supervisory expenses related to the acquisition and redevelopment of the property or the issuance of bonds
- capitalized interest and a debt service reserve for the bonds
- other local public improvements such as streets, water, sewer, curbs, sidewalks, etc
These expenditures can be paid directly from TIF revenues, or through the issuance of bonds, or by reimbursement to the City.
Downtown South Bend Municipal Riverfront Development District Liquor License
The downtown South Bend Municipal Riverfront Development District (District) is a project district where 3-way liquor licenses are made available to eligible dining, entertainment, and cultural establishments for $1,000 as a way to spur development along and near our river. This District was made possible via state legislation and an Ordinance passed by the City of South Bend Common Council that designated the District and adopted eligibility requirements.
Eligibility Requirements for Businesses in the Municipal Development District
In addition to complying with all building, health, zoning laws, ordinances and all rules and regulations of the Indiana State Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC), local, state, and federal governments applicants must also meet the following local requirements annually in order to be eligible to apply or renew:
- Applicant’s establishment must be located within the Downtown South Bend Municipal Riverfront Development District boundaries.
- Focus of operation must be on a dining, entertainment or cultural experience rather than an alcohol consumption experience.
- Beverages must be served in glass containers.
- Patrons consume food at either a counter or table.
- Must be a non-smoking establishment (exception made for upscale cigar lounge).
- Cannot be a private club, nightclub, or adult entertainment venue.
- No temporary exterior signage will be permitted. Permanent, attached signage is required.
- Establishments located within the district with an existing 3-way license may not sell their existing license in order to apply for a 221-3 Riverfront license. There will be a minimum 1-year wait between the time any business with an existing license sells their license and will be able to apply for a new license.
- For Downtown Businesses: Applicant must agree to become a full-paying member of the Downtown Dining Association and/or community partners with Downtown South Bend, Inc. The dues for the Dinning Association or required commitment to Downtown South Bend Inc. shall not exceed $200 per month per establishment (as of Spring 2013 current Dining Alliance dues are $1,325 annually).
- For Businesses Outside of Downtown, and within the Municipal Development District:Applicant must agree to pay a $300 annual administration fee to Downtown South Bend, Inc.
The recommendation to the mayor will be based how strongly the committee determines:
- Granting of the license will benefit the purposes of the district, i.e. to become a cultural and dining destination for the region.
- Granting of the license and the business activity will not be detrimental to the property values and business interest of others in the district.
The above will be evaluated based on the strength of the following:
- The Physical Location
- The Operation Itself
- The Economic Impact
- Reputation/Experience of Ownership
Contact and Application Information:
Downtown South Bend, Inc.
Industrial Revenue Funds
South Bend offers financing to promote economic development, creating and/or retaining jobs, creating higher paying jobs and promoting industry in the community.
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRFs) or Private Activity bonds, are tax-exempt bonds issued by government entities, with the proceeds loaned to private companies. The interest on the funds is typically tax-exempt, making them attractive to investors and resulting in lower financing costs to the company.
The underlying purpose of the industrial development enabling legislation is to provide or preserve employment, reduce or eliminate pollution, or to increase industry within the State of Indiana. Any proposed manufacturing project should qualify under one of these broad categories.
Eligible uses for IRFs include:
- New construction
- Acquisition of real property
- Rehab or renovation of existing facilities
- Purchase of equipment
Refinancing of existing property to obtain favorable tax exempt rate of interest is not an eligible use of IRF financing.
Maximum indebtedness per project: $10 million
Maximum term is 30 years
For more information about IRF financing, or to submit an application, e-mail Angelina Billo, or call 574.235.5838.
Tax Abatement Application
For more information about how to apply for a Tax Abatement, or to submit an application, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 574.235.5838.
227 West Jefferson Blvd.Suite 1400 SSouth Bend, Indiana 46601