HB 5005 Belt1SPRINGFIELD – With strong support from State Senator Christopher Belt, a new law signed Wednesday aims to spur economic growth and enhance benefits under the Grocery Initiative Act – a law Belt led in 2023.

“Grocery stores that open in or around food deserts need all the support possible in order to remain accessible for residents,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “This law recognizes the importance of the Grocery Initiative Act and allows these stores to qualify for additional assistance from the state.”

The new law expands eligibility for incentives under the Illinois Grocery Act, allowing grocery stores located in an Enterprise Zone — a designated area with available tax incentives aimed at stimulating economic growth in underserved areas — to apply for the High Impact Business program. Previously, grocery stores could only apply for assistance under the Grocery Initiative Act or the HIB program. Under this new law, eligible grocers can apply to both programs, making it easier for stores to open and thrive within food deserts.

Additional provisions in the law include incentives for electric vehicle manufacturers; tax credits for companies that manufacture microchips, semiconductors and component parts; and expanded eligibility for businesses under the Illinois Economic Development for a Growing Economy program.

“Investing in our state’s business development is essential if we want continued progress and vitality,” said Belt. “This isn’t only investing in our enterprises; it is enhancing our communities, creating jobs and building a bright economy for future generations.”

House Bill 5005 goes into effect immediately.