URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign County is establishing a microloan fund to help the community continue its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Partnering with the City of Urbana and nonprofit Justine Petersen, the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation announced on Friday the establishment of the COVID-19 Recovery: Urbana Small Business Microloan Fund. The loan fund aims to help disadvantaged entrepreneurs and small businesses in Urbana access affordable financial services, focusing on those who do not qualify for traditional lending.

“The City of Urbana is excited to work with Justine PETERSEN and EDC to offer financial support to Urbana entrepreneurs and businesses,” said Darius White, Economic Development Coordinator at the City of Urbana. “This is a wonderful opportunity to assist our business community with startups, growth, and expansions of businesses.”

The City of Urbana committed $250,000 of American Rescue Plan Act money to help establish the microloan fund. A total of $2 million is available in the fund, and eligible businesses located in Urbana can access small business loans of up to $50,000.

People interested in learning more about the COVID-19 Recovery: Urbana Small Business Microloan Fund are encouraged to contact Tristan Brown, Justine Petersen’s Illinois Operations Manager, by calling 217-494-0884 or by scheduling an appointment online.