Economic Development Frequently Asked Questions

How does the City promote growth and development?

The City Manager’s Office has two staff members who serve as points of contact for the business community to advance the City’s goals for physical and economic development.  These staff members assure that the City’s activities to support development are well-coordinated, and they work to build positive relationships between the City and the business community.

The City also provides financial support to community agencies who promote the City’s economic vitality, including the Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Corporation and Convention and Visitors Bureau.   City Council members and staff also serve on these boards to represent the City and its interests.

Does the City provide taxpayer dollars to businesses or development projects?

The City has adopted specific programs to help achieve its economic development goals.  These programs provide development funding or short-term tax relief based on established criteria. To qualify for City funding, a project should be located within one of the City’s three Tax-Increment Financing Districts (downtown, east University Ave, North Campus), within the City/County Enterprise Zone, or within an area designated for infill redevelopment assistance.

Generally, the City does not invest in private business or development unless the project qualifies for one of the established programs. Occasionally, the City contributes to the cost of a public capital project that benefits both a private development and the public – these are done by Council-approved development agreements and

I am interested in expanding my business (or locating a new business) in Champaign.  Does the City have any incentives or programs that may be of assistance to me?

The City has 6 economic development incentive programs that may be of assistance to companies desiring to locate or expand in Champaign.  They are generally tied to job creation/retention particularly for industrial development or in the high tech industry; neighborhood revitalization; and investment in the core of the community.  For more information about each of the programs or to see if your business would qualify for assistance, contact Teri Legner, 403-8710.