The City of Springfield will begin accepting online applications for a newly created Small Business Assistance Grant program beginning on Monday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 a.m. and continuing through Nov. 30 at 5 p.m.
Eligible small businesses can receive a one-time grant of $5,000 for reimbursement of business expenses incurred from March 17-Dec. 31, 2020. Qualifying expenses include rent or mortgage payments, payroll, Personal Protective Equipment and other COVID-19 related costs.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our community and have been one of the hardest hit industries during this COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Mayor Jim Langfelder. “We understand more work needs to be done to support our business owners. However, we hope this step will relieve some of their stress as they face a difficult next couple of months.”
The city has earmarked $200,000 of federal CARES Act money to help small businesses experiencing economic hardships due to the pandemic, along with an additional $400,000 from an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity COVID assistance grant.
Businesses must be located within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield and have 50 or fewer employees. Home-based businesses, nonprofits, private clubs that limit membership and businesses that involve the sale of cannabis are not eligible to apply.
“Businesses in our community are vitally important, not only for the goods and services they supply, but for the jobs they create,” said Valera Yazell, director of the city’s Office of Planning & Economic Development. “Without the commitment of business owners, our Springfield economy would not be what it is today. That is why we are honored to provide business grants to those owners who are working each and every day to provide services and goods for us.”
The application will be available on the city’s website at www.springfield.il.us/grants.
The first grant awards will be announced on Monday, Dec. 14 and distribution of funds will continue through the end of January 2021. Questions about the grant application can be directed to the City of Springfield’s Office of Planning & Economic Development at 217-789-2377.