Three Cass County businesses were among 65 businesses to receive the first round of grants awarded as part of the new Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program from the state. 88 Bar & Grill, Kathy’s Kitchen, and Triple Creek Farm received a combined $65,700 of the $1.3 million released from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
The fund was created to support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois that have experienced a negative impact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through the program, small businesses of up to 50 employees can partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. While funding will directly benefit small businesses, applications must be submitted by a unit of local government, such as cities, villages, and counties.
Based on criteria including demonstration of project need, financial feasibility, and job retention, DCEO awards grants to the applying local government who then administer the grants to businesses. Cass & Morgan Counties have submitted more than a dozen applications to DCEO for area small businesses since the application process opened.
Upon execution of the grant, DCEO will release 25 percent of the funding to the business. DCEO estimates businesses will receive money within 10 days of their application being approved. Businesses are required to apply to DCEO to receive the remainder of the funds. Another round of funding for small businesses is expected later this month.