Economic Development


The RiverBend Growth Association, in conjunction with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Madison County Community Development and other public agencies, can offer a wide range of economic development financing programs which are designed to help maintain, locate and expand business operation in the Riverbend. These programs can provide low-interest loans and/or loan guarantees at fixed rates. Other incentives are:

  • Tax Increment Financing districts – TIFs- offer redevelopment financing, job training assistance, and infrastructure development
  • Revenue Bonds for certain manufacturing and commercial uses
  • Grants and low interest loans for infrastructure improvements
  • Foreign Trade Zones offer distinct advantages for companies importing and exporting goods
  • Grants and consulting assistance for technology and business development
  • Grants and assistance with employee recruitment and training
  • The Riverbend Enterprise Zone offers these various incentives: property tax abatement, investment tax credits, sales tax exemptions, job tax credits, and utility tax exemption
  • Opportunity Zone located in Alton

Private and public financial institutions in the St. Louis metropolitan region offer an array of financial support services to businesses in the bi-state region. The two most common sources of business financing, debt and equity, are available here. However, St. Louis’ and the Riverbend’s significant economic growth, its pro-business attitude, and its sizeable financial community make these common sources of financing uncommonly beneficial to you. Our banks, savings and loans, and credit unions are acquainted with dealing with the needs of businesses in today’s economy. They are accustomed to working with short deadlines, fast track issues and major business financial transactions.

Numerous financial programs are available at the local, state, and federal levels to help your business lower the cost of expanding an existing business or locating a new facility in the Riverbend. In addition, there is an increasing amount of aid available from the private sector for economic development projects.

The Riverbend region offers distinct advantages in financing. While firms may take advantage of the variety of state programs, the Riverbend region has numerous financial assistance options available.

  • Madison County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Economic Development Loan Program
  • Enterprise Zone Financing Program

Madison County Community Development | 618-692-8940

Tax Increment Financing

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a method for financing economic development and redevelopment in Illinois municipalities. Tax increments can be used on an annual basis to finance project costs such as land acquisition, site clearance, building rehabilitation, and the construction of public infrastructure. Bonds backed by the incremental revenues may also be used to accomplish these activities. In the Riverbend region, these communities have TIF districts:

City of Alton – Greg Caffey, 618-463-3533

Village of Bethalto – Gary Bost, 618-377-8051

Village of East Alton – Darren Carlton, 618-259-7714

Village of Godfrey – Mike McCormick, 618-466-3324

City of Grafton – Mike Morrow, 618-786-3344

Village of Hartford – Bill Robertson, 618-251-2681

Village of South Roxana – Bob Coles, 618-254-7460

City of Wood River – Steve Palen, 618-251-3100

Illinois State Treasurer – 312-814-1700 or 217-782-6540 |

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity – Grants & Loan Programs

Grants and Loans (

Small Business Administration |  (

USDA Rural Development |

Illinois Finance Authority |