Federal grant funding to relieve select small businesses

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CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Rantoul village leaders are helping out small businesses that have been hit hard during this pandemic.

They’ll be giving out a total of $300,000 from federal grant money to businesses throughout the village, $94,000 of which comes from savings from similar grants from prior years. The rest is from recent federal funding offered as relief to businesses affected by the pandemic. This money comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

That $300,000 will be divided among area businesses based on need; 28 businesses have applied for that money. City leaders are now in the process of choosing who will get it.

“I think it’s perfect timing, as we move into phase three throughout the state of Illinois, more businesses, particularly small businesses, are able to open now, and then to have this additional revenue that they’ll be able to put towards their reopening process, I think really gives them some stability moving forward,” said Rantoul Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer.

Those who applied are a mixture of bars, restaurants and retail shops. They’ll find out second week of June who gets the money. Those results, along with a full list of businesses that applied, will be published online.

The City of Champaign also received a $591,549 through the CARES Act Community Development Block Grant-COVID-19 funds. Champaign receives Community Development Block funds every year as an entitlement grant.  

Champaign City Council will be talking more about how to distribute that money at their meeting on on Tuesday, June 2 during our post-Council study session. The Council report will be available tomorrow (May 29) and will include the specific programmatic considerations.

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