Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce announces Business Development Grant

Published 10:30 am Friday, February 3, 2023

NILES — A vision is becoming a reality. 

An endowment supporting the Greater Niles Chamber Business Development Grant has been established by the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce with the proceeds from the 2019 sale of the Four Flags Plaza management to General Capital. The sale also brought considerable upgrades to the Four Flags Plaza facility following the transition to new management.

In addition to the fund and recognizing that the Four Flags Plaza building was due for renovation, the Chamber Board negotiated the sale to General Capital after they made the commitment to implement building upgrades. The immediate beneficiaries were the 88 residents of the apartments, some of whom were longtime residents and many of whom were low-income, seniors, and veterans.

The Chamber worked with the Hunter Foundation to invest the proceeds from the sale in a fund designated exclusively for local economic development and revitalization. The newly endowed Greater Niles Chamber Business Development Grant will provide awards in perpetuity for local businesses seeking to expand or invest in their company, and by doing so, in the community.

The Chamber will invite applications twice a year from new and existing businesses that are planning to invest in the greater Niles area. The first application period will be open until March 31.

“Funds can cover a variety of expenses, including building renovations, façade improvements, equipment purchases, and can be a multi-year project,” said Ryan Boeskool, Executive Director of the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce. “Winning applicants will include a vetted business plan, matching funds, and demonstrate a positive economic impact in the greater Niles community. The Chamber plans to issue up to $100,000 a year in community grants.”

“The Greater Niles Chamber Business Development Grant was conceived as a renewable source of local business development funds. Our community generated these dollars, and they will be invested right back into the community,” said Mark Weber, Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce Board Member and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Michiana. “It is rewarding to be a part of a community that reinvests in itself. The deserving residents of the Four Flags Plaza now have a better place to live, and the community has a perpetual source of development dollars to attract and invest in the next generation.”

Grant applications and timeline are available by contacting the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce at 269-683-1833 or