Jacksonville Business Has $400,000 in Aid Made Available

By Jeremy Coumbes on December 21, 2020 at 2:21pm

The City of Jacksonville announced today, specific businesses located within the city may be eligible for direct financial assistance of up to $10,000.

Struggling small businesses in Jacksonville can tap into nearly $400,000 in direct financial support that is now available. However, business owners need to act quickly as applications need to be turned in by next Monday.

Economic support payments for qualified brick-and-mortar businesses are being made possible by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The City of Jacksonville will provide the payments directly, which are funded through the Local CURE Economic Support Payments Grant Program.

Kristin Jamison, President of the Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation says time is of the essence for Jacksonville businesses to apply for the grant program, with applications being due by the end of the business day next Monday, December 28th.

Jamison says the grants are aimed at the small businesses who have been most effected by the COVID-19 pandemic: “So many of our small businesses, especially those who are in the event-related field as well as the bars and restaurants, that are under mitigation certainly need some help if at all possible. This grant has been in the works for a number of weeks as we learned how we would need to apply for it and what that would mean for the city. In a nutshell, it gives relief to our small businesses who really suffered during the pandemic, so the city is fronting the grant and then the state of Illinois through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will reimburse the city.”

Mayor Andy Ezard says when availability of the funding was brought to the city’s attention, he along with other city officials as well as the City Council all agreed it was important for the health of Jacksonville small businesses to apply for the funding.

Businesses eligible to apply are Jacksonville restaurants, bars, indoor recreation or event-related businesses that have experienced at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue from March 1, 2020, to December 30, 2020.

These small businesses must be able to demonstrate the loss of revenue due to the pandemic or mitigation efforts, and 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.

In addition, the business cannot have received Business Interruption Grant (BIG) funding to be eligible for the assistance program. Ezard says many small businesses did not apply or were not successful in attaining B.I.G. Grant funding. He says the city is working to make this funding opportunity as painless as possible for small business owners: “We’re trying to make the application process as simple as possible, but there’s certain things that BCO wants to see, but it can help the businesses. It’s not a whole lot of money. It’s not to exceed $10,000. It can be a $5,000 grant, a $7,000 grant, but maybe that will help them pay an electricity bill or bills in the past that the the shortages of some revenue that they brought in. It’s certainly not perfect, but anything that we can do to help them goes a long way.”

Ezard says the turnaround is swift with applications due due by the end of business on Monday. Business owners can download applications with complete details for the City of Jacksonville’s Economic Support Program at www.jacksonvilleil.com. Direct specific questions the Office of the Jacksonville City Treasurer at 217.479.3512 or mhall@jacksonvilleil.gov.

The City of Jacksonville collaborated with the Jacksonville Area Chamber of Commerce and Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation to launch this small business assistance program.