Commercial Loan Program

The Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) Commercial Loan Program is part of a concentrated effort to benefit the community of Berwyn by stimulating business growth and improving the city's commercial areas. The BDC coordinates the program in conjunction with the City of Berwyn. The Program is capitalized by monies committed by the City and lines of credit extended by participating financial institutions and guaranteed by the City. The Program provides an incentive to existing commercial property owners and business tenants to renovate their establishments and/or expand their Berwyn operations. In addition, the Program encourages credit-worthy businesses to relocate or expand into Berwyn. The Program is not intended to compete with banks, but rather to act as an additional resource for businesses that need capital. When combined with loans from conventional sources, these program funds produce a blended below market rate financial package. Since public funds capitalize this program, the City’s participation in a project is contingent upon the project’s compatibility with the City’s economic development goals, procedures and guidelines.

Loan Types

The BDC makes loans to businesses operating in the City through several loan types, which are summarized as follows:

  • Startup Loans – loans to businesses in operation less than three years. The purposes of these loans are to encourage entrepreneurship, support new business and foster business mix diversity.
  • “Up and Comer” Loans – loans to businesses in operation a minimum of three years. The purposes of these loans are job creation, property redevelopment, increased sales tax generation, and expansion/modernization.
  • Cornerstone Loans – loans to businesses in operation a minimum of ten years. The purposes of these loans are job creation, property redevelopment and increased sales tax generation.

Loan Amount

This program is designed to provide loans greater than $10,001 to assist in good-standing existing businesses and to encourage new business projects within Berwyn city limits.


The process is as follows:

  1. BDC Commercial Loan Commission reviews applications and makes recommendations to the BDC Board of Directors.
  2. Board of Directors takes action on the recommendation of the Commercial Loan Commission and makes a recommendation to the Berwyn City Council.
  3. Berwyn City Council reviews the recommendation of the BDC Board and makes a final determination.

Loan Fee

The BDC and the City require program applicants to supply the BDC with a completed loan application and a nonrefundable application fee of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250). Closing costs which average $5,000 will be needed at the time closing. The closing costs cover the legal and administrative fees to draft needed loan documents. Applicant will be directly responsible for other items such as obtaining credit report and score, appraisal, other needed items to underwrite the loan.

Program Overview

The BDC reviews each application on a first-come, first-served basis on its own merits without prejudice with respect to age, disability, sex, marital status, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, receipt of public assistance, or borrower’s good faith exercise of rights under the Consumer Credit Protection Act.

Loan Fund Restrictions
Permitted Fund Uses: Construction, purchase of real estate, rehabilitations, machinery and equipment, installation of commercial and industrial facilities, working capital expenses, inventory, legal and accounting purposes, purchase of furniture or fixtures.

Ineligible Fund Uses: Refinancing existing debt, leasehold improvements, property tax payments and insurance premiums.

Loan Terms
The interest rate is priced at BDC prime rate plus 2. The interest rate is reviewed annually by the Loan Commission and is subject to change.

The loan term is extended for three to five year terms and may be amortized over 20 years.

Collateral and Equity
All loans must be secured. Collateral may include, but is not limited to Business and Personal assets. A Personal Guaranty may also be required. The owner must contribute 10% of the project cost in the form of equity.

General Loan Criteria

In general, the following broad criteria apples to BDC Microloan Loans:

  • Program applicant must have or able to obtain a Business License from the City of Berwyn.
  • Program applicant must be in compliance with all city ordinances including applicable building codes.
  • Program applicant must keep their businesses in Berwyn during the term of the loan.
  • Program applicant must provide sufficient financial information to justify the extension of credit.
  • Program applicant must be able to provide a business plan or revenue forecast. The BDC is available for assistance in producing these documents.
  • Program applicant must be over 21 years of age. Applicants over 18 may still be eligible but will require a cosigner.
  • The business must be for-profit. Businesses not eligible include, but are not limited to, gambling (not as primary source of funds), firearms, retail liquor, and pornography.
  • If the program applicant is an owner, he/she must have a propriety interest in the subject property for at least the length of the loan as approved. In the event of a change in ownership, legal or equitable, of the subject property, the entire indebtedness shall, at the option of the holder, become immediately due and payable.
  • If the program applicant is a lessee, the length of the lease must be at least the length of the loan as approved. Written approval of the building owner is required for all loan-sponsored leasehold improvements.
  • The City, the BDC and/or the lead lender reserve the right to seek all necessary information from or about the program applicant, including credit references.
  • The program applicant may secure the loan by a real estate mortgage, preferably a first lien, not to exceed fifteen (15) years or provide other collateral or security acceptable to the lender(s).
  • Program applicant must assume personal liability.
  • Program applicant is responsible for any and all costs incurred prior to notification of final loan status should their loan application be denied.
  • Project work must correct all code violations and conform to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • Program participant must allow the City to make permit and work progress inspections as is its legal right and obligation.
  • Upon maturity, balloon startup loans may be refinanced as Up and Comer Loans.

Commercial Loan Commission

The BDC’s Commercial Loan Committee, is composed of representatives of participating lending institutions, the President of its Board of Directors, and its Executive Director. The Commission meets monthly to review loan applications, monitor loans, and discuss initiatives.


Commercial Loan Application: English version | Spanish version


Participating financial institutions


Citizens Community Bank

Community Bank of Oak Park River Forest

MB Financial Bank

Pan American Bank

©2011 Berwyn Development Corporation | 3322 S. Oak Park Ave., 2nd Floor, Berwyn, IL 60402 - (708) 788-8100