Time is running out for businesses in the City of Jacksonville to get assistance through a special grant program. Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce President, Lisa Musch, says that the grants are targeted directly at brick-and-mortar restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, and those shops and small businesses directly impacted by COVID-19.
Musch says that businesses need only prove that they have lost at least 25% of revenues because of the pandemic: “The grants go upto $10,000 of their total verified eligible expenses, so it’s looking to reimburse cost and losses such as inventory, personal protective equipment and supplies to help promote health and safety – kind of like the plexies that a lot of restaurants have put up, compensation, rent, technology to facilitate e-commerce, any professional services that they need to install or get those things going for them. It also any costs of operation in accordance with those things, so you know a lot of options for them to be able to use. Now, one of the caveats of the program is that if you received the PPP, then you cannot use the expenses that you used during PPP for this grant also; so say you had PPP in April and May, then those expenses would not be applicable to this grant that you know- no double dipping per se.”
Musch says many businesses likely already have all of the information required for the grant at their fingertips if they had previously applied for similar programs through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The City of Jacksonville has partnered with DCEO for the $387,000 available to local businesses.
Musch says that her office at 155 West Morton Avenue will be able to help those in submitting applications to the City Treasurer’s Office at the Municipal Building along with several other local entities: “Our office at the Chamber, JREDC, we are happy to assist in answering questions or getting you the information that you need. I know the city is also available to do that for you, Brittany at the Visitors Bureau, Judy at Main Street is also helping. They are helping push out the information so really just you know give one of us a call. We’re happy to get you you know an answer or point you in the right direction.”
Musch says she understands that it’s a tight turn around for the applications, which are due by 5PM today, but it’s an opportunity that everyone in town wanted to provide to local businesses. The City of Jacksonville had been awaiting word from DCEO since December 11th on whether or not funding would be available to the city’s small business. They finally received word of the funding on December 21st. For any questions, call the Chamber Office at (217) 245-2174.