Cook County board providing tax incentives to businesses expanding, renovating grocery stores in food deserts

The Cook County Board is taking a dramatic step to bringing more grocery stores to communities considered food deserts. 

The board is providing tax incentives for businesses to expand or renovate existing grocery stores, or build up vacant commercial space.

Cook County has more areas considered food deserts, where residents must travel a half-mile or more for fresh, healthy food, than anywhere in the state.

It can have a significant impact on more than just what is for dinner.


"Such a huge need when we talk about cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, asthma, all of that contributes to the social determinant of health," said 6th District Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller.

The incentives include a 10-percent reduction in taxes over 10 years with the option to renew.

Cook County is hoping it will encourage smaller grocers to open up shop and employ community members.