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February 21, 2024

Suffield launches loan program for business improvements

Contributed Business owners in the Suffield Town Center TIF district can now apply for loans.

Suffield is launching a grant program for businesses within its tax increment financing district.

The Town Center TIF district, which includes the areas of Main Street and Mountain Road, was established in 2017. Businesses in the district pay a portion of taxes into the TIF loan account, which now has $300,000, said Economic Development Specialist Chad Kuzontkoski.

“Now we have enough in the fund to start projects,” he said. The town is now accepting applications for the loan program. 

The district is mostly commercial, and businesses can apply for the loans for building improvements, including new flooring, lighting, interior or facade work, which could enhance the value of businesses in the area, Kuzontkoski said. 

The program is not meant to spur large-scale developments but would rather help existing businesses improve while still maintaining the character of the town center. Additionally, the loans can’t be used for projects such as mechanical work or HVAC upgrades, he said.

“The end goal is not to have new developments go in, but mostly to support existing businesses in town,” he said. “That’s really the concept of this program.”

The loans would cover 80% of approved improvement costs up to $25,000 per business, Kuzontkoski said. Applicants are required to get quotes from two contractors for any work. The application then goes to the Economic Development Commission for approval. Applicants can choose either reimbursement or payment directly to contractors through the dedicated fund.

Information on applying for the program is available on the town website,

The town has so far received one application, for an office building to replace windows. 

The application timeline runs through March 15, but could stay open if businesses need more time, Kuzontkoski said, since it could take some time for companies to envision improvements and get quotes.

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