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Will County Opens Application Period for ARPA Economic Development Funding
Mike Theodore
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Will County Opens Application Period for ARPA Economic Development Funding

Applications to support a post-COVID economic recovery are open until December 30, 2022

Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and County Board leadership today announced the open application period for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. The County has dedicated $10 million of ARPA funding for an Economic Development Grant Program that addresses the negative impact of the pandemic and provides direct aid to impacted industries. 

“These funds are an historic investment into our local economy, households, and businesses,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “I invite organizations, non-profits, and small businesses to apply for this grant opportunity.”

The Will County Executive Committee voted in September to establish the grant program, which is separated into two categories of programs that support impacted households and direct aid to impacted industries.

“The Will County Board has worked to ensure that the ARPA funds are distributed to those most in need across Will County,” said Board Speaker Mimi Cowan. “Our goal has been that these funds are allocated equitably to those residents and businesses that were hurt by the COVID pandemic, but who also need the boost to support longer term recovery and growth.”

Programs that can apply for funding include those managed by community groups, childcare agencies, small businesses, and non-profit organizations to address affordable housing, financial services for unbanked and underbanked residents, and education.

Direct aid to impacted industries, including to both small businesses and non-profits, is aimed at mitigating financial hardship caused by the pandemic. This can include supporting payroll and benefits, costs to retain employees, and operating costs.

“The Board has worked together across the political aisle to find the best use for these funds,” said Board Minority Leader Mike Fricilone. “We encourage all our local businesses, entrepreneurs and other industries that have been negatively impacted in the past few years to apply for these funds. We want to support all the communities across our region.”

Will County has been allocated $134.1 million in ARPA funding as part of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. To guide the allocation, the Executive Committee separated the allocation into the “pillars” of Health, Infrastructure, Economic Development, Local Government Unmet Needs, and Revenue Replacement.

“The work that the members of the County Board and Executive’s office have done will distribute these ARPA funds fairly should have long term benefits for every part of the County,” said Majority Leader Meta Mueller. “If your organization or business has a need, please apply for these grant dollars and reach out to our staff with any questions.”

Applications for health programs are due on December 30, 2022. They can be found online at www.willcountyillinois.org/arpa.

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