The City of Elkhart along with a variety of partner organizations is dedicated to supporting a vibrant downtown community. Whether you are considering relocating your business or have been downtown for years, you’ll find a host of grants, loans and development information, as well as zoning and permit requirements.
North Central Indiana Business Center (NCI) – NCI is an umbrella organization networking between and coordinating other business assistance programs. Through NCI, new and existing businesses can access direct assistance in all aspects of starting and operating a business including identifying sources of business financing. NCI can also connect you with the Small Business Development Center and SCORE. Click here for more information.
Minority Business Development Council (MBDC) – Counseling, training, technical assistance, and access to credit are the key elements this council offers to minority businesses. Their mission is to assist underserved minority entrepreneurs (microenterprises) in starting, stabilizing, and expanding businesses. A microloan program has been created to help provide start-up, or supplemental financing to qualified minority businesses. The MBDC partners with SCORE, SBDC and ASSETS of Elkhart County to provide training to operate a successful business.
Zoning and Permit information:
Downtown Parking Requirements – The recently amended zoning ordinance does not require parking for new construction in the downtown (CBD) if it can be demonstrated that adequate public parking exists. If parking is required, the requirements are found in Section 26.7 of the City of Elkhart Zoning Ordinance available on the city site at www.elkhartindiana.org/departments. Contact: City of Elkhart Planning Services 574 294-5471 or visit the Municipal Building at 229 S. Second Street, first floor Permit Center.
Building Change of Use – When one business moves out and another moves in, the business owner/property owner must obtain a Zoning Clearance to ensure that the use is a permitted use in the downtown. Go to www.elkhartindiana.org/departments. Contact: City of Elkhart Planning Services,
Exterior Renovations – Require the issuance of a Zoning Clearance and a building permit. There are architectural standards that must be met in the downtown. Don’t forget to check the various rehab incentive programs listed at right for funding and tax credits. Contact City of Elkhart Planning Services
Installation of Signs and Awnings –Require the issuance of a Zoning Clearance and Building Permit. Go to www.elkhartindiana.org/departments. Contact: City of Elkhart Planning Services