Financial & Operational Resources

Financial Resources & Incentives

The first place to go when you have your plan in place is your local lender. Many banks and financial institutions can help you create a financial plan that makes sense for your business and your personal finances.

Lenders the EDC Recommends:

Better Banks: Amanda Miller, 309-272-6353, aamiller@betterbanks.com
CEFCU: Doug Reinking, 309-263-0009, dreinking@cefcu.com
Heartland Bank: Julie Cleveland, 309-284- 8406, jcleveland@hbtbank.com
Morton Community Bank: Jeremy Knepp, 309-266-5337 x 217, jeremy.knepp@mortonbank.com
PNC Bank: Jim Ritthaler, 309-263-1915, james.ritthaler@pnc.com

Morton Building Improvement Grant
The Morton Building Improvement Grant provides grants of up to $10,000 to commercial property owners and occupants for exterior structural and aesthetic improvements, interior code compliant elements, signage and permanent hardscape to support enhancing the property value. The grant is open to any business or building owner located in the Morton Business District, which is the vast majority of local businesses. The Morton Building Improvement Grant is funded through the Morton Business District Fund. Grant applications are accepted at any time and will be reviewed on a monthly basis.  
Download the Application      

Morton MicroGrant
The Morton MicroGrant provides small grants of up to $5,000 to for-profit business owners interested in starting, moving, or growing a business in Morton. Funds can be used for property improvement or acquisition, equipment purchases, inventory and working capital, and rent subsidies. The Morton MicroGrant is funded through a directed investment with the Morton EDC made by Morton Community Bank. Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis as needed.   
Download the Application

If you are considering the implementation of electric energy efficiency modifications to your commercial building to reduce energy consumption and cost, you might consider applying for ActOnEnergy, a program administrered by Ameren Illinois Utilities.  This program offers cash-back incentives for energy efficiency projects of all sizes and types including lighting fixtures and controls, motors and drives, and efficient colling equipment.
More on ActOnEnergy

The City of Morton has a designated Enterprise Zone that has been in existence since the early 1980s. By state statute, an Enterprise Zone is an area designated by a municipality for targeted business growth and economic revitalization. The Enterprise Zone stimulates economic growth and neighborhood revitalization in economically depressed areas of the state.

Incentives include the following:

  • Sales tax exemptions on building materials, some machinery, and pollution control equipment
  • Utility tax exemption
  • Investment and job tax credits
  • Dividend income, interest, and contribution deductions
  • Local sales tax relief on building materials purchased

And in addition, the Morton Enterprise Zone offers:

  • Waiver of one-half of building permit fees
  • Expedited plan review process and zoning, variance, and special use process with respect to any improvement within the Zone

How to Take Advantage of the Enterprise Zone

  1. Determine if your property, or the property you are looking at acquiring, is in Morton’s Enterprise Zone (view map here)
  2. Contact the Morton Economic Development Council to confirm eligibility of project for Enterprise Zone benefits
  3. Contact your legal and/or tax adviser(s) to find out if you would be eligible for some or all of the tax benefits
  4. Discuss the Enterprise Zone benefits with your contractor and make sure they are not charged any sales tax on purchase of building materials and equipment. You will be given a certificate to show retailers for the sales tax exemption when you successfully obtain your building permit from the Village of Morton Planning and Zoning Department.
  5. Review everything on a periodic basis with your legal and/or tax advisers.

Other Resources:
Illinois Enterprise Zone Association
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

An Industrial Revenue Bond (IRB) is a form of municipal bonding that is designated for use by private manufacturers. Projects within an Enterprise Zone are given preference for IRBs. By providing a reduced financing rate, an IRB gives small manufacturers’ access to capital (both locally and in national markets) that they ordinarily might not have. IRB’s can be issued for amounts between $1.5M and $10M, and the interest rate is generally below market value and sometimes even below prime. These loans can be at fixed or variable rates and usually have terms of 20 years. Unlike many other state and locally-run programs, IRBs can fund 100% of costs. These costs can include purchase of land, buildings and new machinery. Applicants must secure the legal opinion of certified bond counsel. For more information on this program, please contact the MEDC.

Operational Resources

The day-to-day operations of your business are vital to the overall success of your product or service and to your bottom line.  If you are searching for ways to improve or expand your production, take a look at the resources we have below.  If none of these options meet your specific needs, let us know and we can provide one-on-one support for your specific operational challenges.

Area Disposal
Area Disposal provides recycling, yard waste collection, and baling equipment, and more are available from our local waste management company.
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Better Earth Logistics
Better Earth Logistics provides commercial composting services of food scraps and food soiled paper.
More on Better Earth Logistics

Senior Consulting Projects
The Senior Consulting Projects is Bradley’s oldest business assistance program. Thousands of businesses and not-for-profit organizations have utilized teams of business students and faculty in the Foster College of Business Administration as consultants on a wide variety of business-related projects, including business expansion and organizational and operational issues.
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Senior Projects for Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
The Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department at Bradley University has been helping clients solve real world problems since 1967. In that time, students have completed projects for small manufacturing companies and service industries including city police and fire departments, local government organizations, hospitals, insurance companies, physicians, and utility companies. Projects that incorporate knowledge from a combination of the following classes are preferred: Manufacturing Quality Control, Engineering Statistical Methods, Manufacturing Design, Facilities Planning, Production Planning and Control, and Simulation of Man/Machine Systems.

IMEC
IMEC is a team of specialists who work with Illinois companies to be more productive and globally competitive. IMEC solutions help companies develop profitable business strategies, meet customer quality requirements, contain operating costs, increase capacity and on-time delivery, and solve technical operating problems such as product defects or process bottlenecks. Their focus is on preparing a company’s internal team to accelerate improvement and achieve results that will stick — long term.  Their core expertise includes business strategy, information technology, lean, quality, and safety & health services.
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