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Business Incentives

Sales Tax Rebates
The City Council, in cooperation with the Business and Economic Development Advisory Group (BEDAG), developed a sales tax rebate program to facilitate business attraction and retention. New businesses making minimum capital investments of $250,000 and generating a minimum of $1,000,000 in sales tax dollars annually may be eligible for rebates. Existing businesses investing a minimum of $75,000 in capital improvements and generating a minimum of $1,000,000 in sales tax dollars annually may be eligible for rebates. Prospective applicants are encouraged to thoroughly read the Sales Tax Rebate Guidelines and Application.  All applicants are required to submit a completed application along with a non-refundable $5,000 application fee to the Office of Business Development for review and processing. Applications will be reviewed by the City Council for final approval. For more information, please contact Carolyn Hersch, Business Development Manager, at 847.926.1027

Sales Tax Rebate Guidelines and Application

Exterior Improvement Grant ProgramThe City of Highland Park is committed to supporting the local business community, laying solid foundations for sustaining a balanced and healthy business climate. The Exterior Improvement Grant Program (Program) is one of several initiatives demonstrating the City’s support for business and the community's economic vitality.  The Program provides financial assistance and an incentive to owners of commercial property and sales-tax-generating businesses operating in one of the City’s commercial districts to improve the look and functionality of their property and place of business.  The City’s contribution is a grant in the form of a rebate of up to 50% of the project cost to a maximum of $20,000. Payment shall only be made after the project is complete, paid receipts are submitted to the City Manager’s Office, and the City Council approves disbursement.  For more information, please contact Carolyn Hersch, Business Development Manager, at 847.926.1027.

Click here to download the Exterior Improvement Grant Program Description & Application.

Boutique Incentive Program

In August, 2023, the City Council supported an expansion of the City’s economic incentive offerings, designating funds to be used as part of boutique incentive packages of grants and/or low-interest loans for sought-after restaurant groups. This business attraction strategy has been successfully implemented by federal, state, county and local governments, including neighboring suburbs of Chicago. In forming this program, the City joined other North Shore communities in recognizing the value of investing in businesses that bring employment, high-volume foot traffic, sales to their main commercial districts, and vibrancy. Tailored to the specific needs of the intended restaurant and conditions of the existing space, these boutique incentive packages are developed through negotiations between the City, property owner, and prospective business operator. 

Restaurant groups interested in discussing the potential of a boutique incentive must meet the following requirements:

  • Established restaurant group
  • Min. years in business: 5
  • 3–yr. avg. gross revenue per restaurant: $3M
  • $3M minimum annual gross revenue generation throughout the term
  • Fits into the existing restaurant economy to provide new, high-quality dining and entertainment experiences
  • Ability to attract customers from inside and outside HP
  • Offer dine-in services with table servers
  • Min. square footage: 3,000 SF
  • Min. lease term: 7 yrs. without loan; 10 yrs. with loan (balloon payment. due in full aft. 7 yrs. if not renewing)
  • Must meet estab. construction and occupancy milestones 

Contact Carolyn Hersch, Business Development Manager for more information at or 847.926.1027.