Financial help is coming to several Jacksonville businesses this week.
Forty small businesses located within the City of Jacksonville are receiving up to $10,000 in pandemic relief grants, thanks to a program offered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Funded through the Local CURE Economic Support Payments Grant Program, the City of Jacksonville is providing economic support payments to qualified, brick-and-mortar businesses that have experienced interruption of business due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
In the announcement made this afternoon, Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard says he is personally delivering more than $380,000 in grants to 40 Jacksonville businesses this week. He says the assistance is significant, especially as the majority of these businesses are still being negatively impacted by mitigation efforts.
“I just felt that it was appropriate that I touch base with the businesses and share in a small way that we know what they have been going through and just trying to help them out. I’ve had good interaction and I always like talking to our local businesses. It’s good the city could step up in a small way and help out.”
Businesses that were eligible for the program included Jacksonville restaurants, bars, indoor recreation or event-related businesses that could demonstrate at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue from March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020, due to the pandemic or mitigation efforts.
Ezard says some who applied did not qualify for a grant due to requirements set out by DCEO such as those who received B.I.G. Grant funding were not eligible to apply. He says though it was a small number that did not get funding.
“Basically everyone that applied who qualified got a grant. There were some disqualifications but you know, we wanted to give the money out. We didn’t want to go through and take things out and nickel and dime folks because, you know what, the city felt it was appropriate that we needed to take this big step.
And if later on down the line there are some inaccuracies, then you know what, the city was doing the right thing for these folks and we need to have a little skin in the game so to speak for helping these folks through this terrible pandemic.”
The City of Jacksonville is providing the initial funding to the small businesses through its municipal reserves. The state will reimburse the city for grant awards.
The small businesses receiving the grants are required to spend the proceeds to reimburse costs related to payroll, mortgage or rent, utilities or expenditures accrued to make the business safe for its employees and customers, including personal protective equipment and e-commerce technology.