The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced today a new initiative to invest $12 million to support investment in places designated as opportunity zones. The agency will be issuing a competitive notice of funding opportunity in the coming days. Governor J.B. Pritzker announced this new program at an event to announce a commitment by Fifth Third Bank and the Chicago-based Decennial Group to invest approximately $20 million in Illinois’ opportunity zones.
Jacksonville, South Jacksonville, White Hall, Pittsfield, Rushville, Beardstown, and Ripley are some of 327 areas in the state that have all been designated as distressed or economically underserved census tracts. DCEO will invite communities, nonprofits, developers, and other stakeholders to compete for $12 million in capital grants to support projects in offering matching funds for infrastructure, utility, remediation and other site preparedness related costs for affordable housing, community development, and commercial real estate projects that will create jobs and growth. Interested parties will have 90 days to prepare and submit applications.
DCEO will host workshops and webinars across Illinois to offer additional guidance on completing grant applications and answer questions. Interested parties can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more updates and information.