Business and Economic Development

NEW - Skokie Small Business COVID-19 Assistance Grant Program Launched

In order to assist small businesses located within the Village of Skokie who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Village is providing a new financial assistance grant program to help with the cost of modified business operations. Through funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), the Village is committing $100,000 of assistance. Grants will provide up to $5,000 of assistance per business.

Per requirements set by HUD, a preliminary eligibility application for this program (Step One) is now live (CLICK HERE) The purpose of Step One is to maximize the chances for staff to identify businesses that are potentially eligible for grants and to minimize the up-front investment of time and documentation gathering.

CDBG Program Opens in new window

If you are the owner of a Skokie-based small business that has been or is being negatively impacted by COVID-19, please consider completing the online Skokie CDBG-CV Small Business Assistance Application or Step One if you meet the following requirements:

  •  50 or fewer Full-Time Equivalent (FTE’s) employees prior to March 1, 2020.  
  • In business since at least January 1, 2020.                         
  • Not owned by a publicly-traded corporation.

Priority will be given to small businesses that have not received other federal funding, including PPP, EIDL, or other SBA loans.

Qualified Expenses include items whereby cash was expended or credit card purchases were made on material items in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Expenses are reimbursable back to April 1, 2020 and must be documented by verifiable receipts.

Sample of Eligible Expenses (Not Limited To Those Listed Below):
  • Tents (purchase or rent) for outdoor dining
  • Table and chairs (purchase or rent) for outdoor dining
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies.
  • Protective barriers.
  • Stanchions, fencing, and queue management
  • Signs and display items.
  • Other costs not listed will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Those businesses who complete Step 1 - Preliminary Eligibility will be contacted regarding the application parameters for Step 2. Please note that additional information will be requested during Step Two, and the types of documentation will depend on the number of employees and whether or not the business is located in a HUD-defined income-eligible neighborhood.

For any questions or further information, please contact Leslie Murphy at 847-933-8446 or

New - July 7, 2020 Business Update

Click HERE or on graphic below to read the latest Business Update.

Skokie 7-6 update

Business Interruption Grants  Program (BIG) Launched

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has launched the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July.

In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Additional priority will be given to businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), or low-income areas that have had high rates of COVID-19 cases. Any Skokie Business in Zip Code 60077 is located in a DIA as defined by DCEO. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by experiencing eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount since March.

Specifically, the program includes support for:

  • Businesses located in DIAs Where There Was Recent Property Damage from Civil Unrest 
  • Bars and Restaurants - $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000
  • Barbershops and Salons - $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers - $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each

Businesses must have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must meet specific annual revenue criteria outlined in document below.


NEW - Phase 4 Opening Guidelines Released for June 26

restore Il phase 4 - 1 Opens in new windowTo prepare businesses and employers to implement new and updated safety guidelines in Phase 4, the State of Illinois has developed a business toolkit complete with signage, posters, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations.

Phase 4 guidelines include five new industry categories and updated recommendations for the existing categories from Phase 3. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines.

Link to Phase 4 Resources Per Industry Sector CLICK HERE

Download Phase 4 Guidelines Overview HERE

June 5, 2020 Skokie Business Update

Winter 2020 SkokieBIZ

Comprehensive List of New Skokie Businesses in 2019

Come Dine in Downtown Skokie!

Recreational Cannabis in Skokie

Fall 2019 Downtown Development Update

Welcome Sketchbook Brewing Company to Skokie!

Sketchbook 1

Mayor’s Van Dusen's Statement – Sketchbook Brewing Company's Expansion to Skokie:

In early September, the Village received confirmation that Sketchbook Brewing Company is planning to open a 14,000 square-foot brewery with an attached 2,000 square-foot taproom at 4901 Main Street in Skokie. This is an expansion from Sketchbook’s existing Evanston brewery and taproom, and we are very excited to welcome them to Skokie. The 4901 Main Street building where Sketchbook will be located is owned by Mark McCracken of PS Greetings, a decades-old Skokie manufacturing facility that recently expanded its operations on Searle Parkway to manufacture millions of holiday gift boxes as part of Walmart’s “Made in the USA” initiative. Within the last week, Mark McCracken entered into a lease with Sketchbook owners Shawn Decker and Cesar Marron for the new location that is situated on the south side of Main Street, just east of the Skokie Valley Multi-Use Trail. The site is close to Downtown Skokie, the Illinois Science + Technology Park, the CTA Yellow Line Oakton Street station and the multi-use trail, making it a very convenient location for both Skokie residents and employees who work in Downtown Skokie. Initial estimates are that the brewery will be finished sometime in mid-to-late spring 2020, with the taproom opening a few months later during the summer months. This announcement marks another significant advancement in redeveloping not only Downtown Skokie, but adjacent areas on Main Street and Skokie Boulevard. We are proud to welcome Sketchbook Brewing Company and its entrepreneurial owners!

What's The Buzz With New And Proposed Downtown Skokie Developments?  You Invited To An Open House On August 13, 2019.  Click Below For More Information!

SkokieBIZ Spring 2019 Edition 

Through thoughtful planning, overall spirit of cooperation, and a steadfast vision for growth, Skokie has grown into a thriving center of commerce, with many vibrant retail centers, commercial districts, employment centers, a strong and diverse industrial base, and extensive professional services. Businesses in Skokie appreciate their strategic location here for many good reasons.


Fiscal Resolve and Strategic Location

The Village has not increased its property tax levy since 1991, and there are no head taxes, sewer taxes or impact fees as there are in other municipalities.  Skokie geographically sits in a prime location connected by major highways and public transportation to Chicago and O'Hare Airport, conveniently accessible to suppliers, customers, and labor markets.


The Village's high bond rating attests to a strong economic health and prudent fiscal management. Skokie is the first municipality nationwide to achieve nationally accredited Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments, and a Class-1 Fire Department as rated by the Insurance Services Office (ISO).

Resident Benefits

Skokie boasts many fine cultural and recreational attractions, a high quality housing stock in a variety of styles and prices, and an excellent array of both public and private schools. Some of the country's finest universities and community colleges are also in close proximity to the Village. Thanks to the community's strong tax base, Skokie's 65,349 residents enjoy the best in school districts, parks and recreational programs.  The Village consistently ranks in the Top 5 Suburbs in which to buy a home by Crain's Chicago Business. 

Panattoni building
  1. Economic Development Division

    Phone: 847/933-8446
    Fax: 847/568-8871

  1. Len Becker

    Economic Development Manager
    Phone: 847/933-8446

  1. Leslie G. Murphy

    Economic Development Specialist
    Phone: 847/933-8447