The City of Jacksonville’s Special Studies Committee is seeking public input on Illinois’s social equity provision impacting Jacksonville. According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in order to be considered a disproportionately impacted area to qualify for the social equity program, a census tract must have high rates of arrest, convictions and incarcerations related to cannabis. Other qualifications, including poverty and unemployment, also contribute to the designation. Jacksonville’s northeast side qualifies for the provision according to a map released by DCEO back in the fall.
DCEO has launched opportunities for businesses in the areas that fall under the social equity program, known as the E3 program, to be provided with low-interest loans to qualified social equity applicants to help cover the expense of starting and operating a cannabis business. Anyone applying for a license to operate a cannabis business can include information to verify their status as a social equity candidate. In addition to offering loans, DCEO has said they will offer technical assistance and support for social equity applicants, including putting together a business plan and applying for a license. The Governor’s office has also said that it is encouraging minority business owners to apply as a part of the social equity program. To read more about the E3 program, visit this link.
The Special Studies Committee in the City of Jacksonville is seeking input from the public for any type of applications that fall under E3 program. The committee meeting is set for Tuesday, January 21st at 6:30 on the second floor of the Municipal Building to contribute to the discussion.
For those unable to attend the meeting, the committee has set up an online survey at this link for those wishing to add their input. Residents can also email firstname.lastname@example.org with individual comments. There will be additional outreach by the committee to the community through February 29th. The comments will eventually be shared to the full Jacksonville City Council at a meeting in March.