Sen. FeigenholtzFor Michigan Avenue and downtown revitalization

SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Sara Feigenholtz passed Senate Bill 3679 — a bill three years in the making — out of the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday with bipartisan support, meaning Illinois could soon join 45 states with permissive language to establish Business Improvement Districts.

“The pandemic dealt a blow to downtown business districts across the country. Illinois businesses are recovering, but they need the right tools to succeed,” said Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “BIDs allow businesses to set their own agenda and reinvest 100% of funds they have contributed into safety and other improvements. BIDs are a huge win for retail, hospitality and tourism sectors.”

Senate Bill 3679 sets the foundation for businesses to form a BID and collectively fund improvement projects. Business owners would have direct oversight on how the funds are utilized for projects within the district. BIDs only apply to commercial properties, meaning homeowners and residential properties would not pay any additional fees.

BIDs provide a nimble economic development tool modeled on self-governance. It carves a path for participating businesses to be empowered to address shared goals for their BID's unique needs. 

A BID’s governing board can adjust how the BID is designed to ensure each business shares burdens and benefits equitably. Projects funded by BIDs can include crime reduction, community beautification, job creation and more — all of which will attract new businesses and fill empty retail space.

“The Magnificent Mile is a destination and the gateway to our city,” Feigenholtz added. “Through BID legislation, we have the opportunity to make revitalizing downtown Chicago a reality.”

Senate Bill 3679 moves to the Senate floor for further consideration.