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Development Incentives

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The City of Janesville works with companies to pursue funding/incentives using the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's (WEDC) programs that are appropriate for their projects.  As one of Wisconsin's "Connect Communities", Janesville has direct access to several State funding programs through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Please contact Mr. Gale Price, Economic Development Director at (608) 755-3059 or for more information.

Downtown Redevelopment and Reinvestment Assistance 

The City of Janesville utilizes its Tax Increment Finance authority to facilitate redevelopment projects in the downtown in a number of creative ways. In addition, the City administers a Revolving Loan program which provides low-interest financing for improvements to existing downtown buildings. 

Downtown Revolving Loan Program 

The Downtown Revolving Loan program was authorized by the Janesville City Council in June of 2014 with an initial investment of $54,000. The City’s investment was made through the appropriation of proceeds from retiring Tax Increment Finance districts, and is being supplemented by matching $10,000 commitments from each of the following local lending institutions: Blackhawk Community Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Blackhawk Bank, Johnson Bank, Old National Bank, and First National Bank and Trust. 

The Downtown Janesville Revolving Loan Program is available to eligible applicants seeking to make improvements to buildings they own or operate out of in Downtown Janesville. Eligible activities include façade renovation, creation/improvement of upper story residential units, investments in commercial tenant spaces, and more. Applicants are required to coordinate a pre-application conference with the program officer prior to submitting an application. All completed applications will be reviewed by the Revolving Loan Review Committee, which meets on the second Thursday of the month at 3:30 pm at Janesville City Hall.

0136100382 - SW Rear View"The Revolving Loan Fund allowed me to expand the remodeling effort and avoid having to put off other projects until a later time.  I found the forms relatively easy to fill out and city staff actively looked for ways to simplify the process.   That project went so well, I used the same program to remodel an apartment in my building.  I would encourage other building owners to see if this program could help them in whatever needs that they may have.    These small scale improvements along with the larger investments will go a long way to make our downtown more attractive." - Bill Sodemann

View and Share the Revolving Loan Fund Brochure!

Min. Loan Amount $10,000 $2,500 $500
Max.Loan Amount $50,000 or 25% of total project cost, whichever is less $25,000 or 50% of total project cost, whichever is less $5,000 or 90% of total project cost, whichever is less
Interest Rate WSJ Prime Rate minus 1% (min. = 1%) WSJ Prime Rate minus 0.5% (min. = 1%) 0%
Term Up to 10 yrs. Up to 10 yrs. Up to 7 yrs.
Conditions 10% min. equity 10% min. equity
10% min. equity


Historic Preservation Tax Credits for Income Producing Historic Buildings

Greene Bros., Gray Goose, Historical Photo

Exterior-rendering-2, Gray Goose
The Greene Bros. Leaf Tobacco warehouse at 207 N Academy, was built in approximately 1896.  Restoration of this iconic building was made possible in part to state and national historic tax credits.  Image source: current owner provided city staff with images.
Several areas in Downtown Janesville are within designated historic districts. The National Parks Service administers the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit, which returns 20% of the costs for rehabilitating historic income-producing buildings to owners as a direct reduction in their federal income taxes. The Federal program is supplemented by the State of Wisconsin's Historic Preservation Tax Credit program, which returns an additional 20% of the cost of rehabilitation to owners as a discount on their Wisconsin state income taxes.

The Wisconsin Historical Society Funding Research Portal can help identify private and public sources of assistance for projects related to the documentation and preservation of Wisconsin's historic places. Assistance includes grants, low-cost loans and tax credit programs. There are funding programs administered by federal, state and local agencies as well as private organizations. Eligibility, application forms and level of competition vary according to the goals of each grant provider.

Tax Incremental Finance (TIF)

What is it?

TIF is a state regulated finance tool municipalities may use to finance infrastructure, encourage development or redevelopment projects that “but for” the financing tool, would not otherwise take place.  

Why use it?

TIF not only helps expand a municipality’s tax base, but also aids business expansion, retention, and encourages orderly development or redevelopment within the city.  Improvements in the area must significantly enhance the overall value of real property within the district.  Project costs must relate directly to eliminating blight, rehabilitation, or conservation of the area, or promote industrial development.  TID incentives encourage private investment and may include land acquisition and/or building rehabilitation/construction.  In return, the developer guarantees an assessed property value and/or the retention or creation of additional jobs over a period of time.

How does it work?

TIF 101 GraphicWhen a Tax Incremental District (TID) is created, the property tax base for all taxing entities (the municipality, schools, county, and technical colleges) is held constant for the life of the TID. Any new increment created by development or redevelopment within the TID is collected by the TID fund and used for eligible improvement projects. The TID is dissolved once the projects within the project plan are complete, there is a positive balance and the bonds for the projects are paid off.  The positive balance and the value of the tax base is then distributed proportionally to the taxing entities.

Tax Incremental Financing Forgivable Loans

The City of Janesville actively uses TIF with the intention of improving the local economy.  Incentives are based on two operating guidelines: (1) for new construction either on a green field site or the expansion of an existing facility with the resulting new tax increment or (2) for the leasing of existing manufacturing or distribution space. Note: TIF incentive proposals are project specific and will include additional considerations involving the number and quality of jobs created, jobs retained, type of business etc. Additionally, all TIF incentive proposals are subject to final approval by the City Council during an open session public meeting.  Since January 2015, the City Council has approved ten (10) TIF agreements, creating 1,760,000 square feet of new industrial space; $100 million in new value; and 849 new jobs over the next three years.

TIF "Gap" Financing Program

This program is designed to provide loan funding to help companies have increased access to capital for expansion purposes.  The purpose is to assist in the financing of job-creating expansion projects which cannot be adequately financed using only private sector and equity funding. Without the TIF loan filling the remaing financing gap, the project would not go forward.  

Gap loans are made to for-profit businesses located in specified TIF areas within the CIty of Janesville. For a complete list of eligible businesses, eligible uses of funds and details of the application process, you may find the brochure here, or contact Economic Development Director, Gale Price.  

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