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Will County to Create Second Grant Program for Small Businesses
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Will County to Create Second Grant Program for Small Businesses

Program to prioritize businesses in areas impacted most by COVID-19

Building on the success of its recently completed small business grant program, Will County has taken steps to begin creating another program designed to provide financial assistance for small businesses.

The Will County Board approved the move during a special meeting on Friday, Feb. 26.

In anticipation of another round of stimulus funds provided by the federal government through the American Rescue Plan, the Board took the pro-active steps to authorize the County Executive to create the Small Business Stimulus Grant Program.

“Our Will County community has been impacted on many levels and this is one of our efforts that we continue to advance to help all our residents,” said Speaker Mimi Cowan. “Working together we are aggressively seeking to help those throughout our diverse community that still need relief from the COVID crisis. I am confident we will offer help to those in the underserved areas of Will County.”

The grant program will be designed with a particular focus on those businesses that have not received prior aid from the County as well as businesses in the hardest hit areas of the County.

“Our small businesses and working families hit hard by the economic impacts of COVID-19 need continued assistance, and this framework approved by the Board today will ensure that disproportionately impacted communities and businesses receive their fair share of support,” said County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

With funds provided by the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act passed by the federal government last spring, Will County created the Small Business Grant program, which provided $21 million in grants to 1,500 small businesses.

The program offered assistance to businesses with a physical location in the county, fewer than 50 employees, and annual revenues under $5 million. The grants specifically helped with expenses such as payroll costs, rent or mortgage payments, and the purchase of personal protective equipment and sanitation supplies directly related to the pandemic.

“The County Board will work with the Executive’s office to finalize the details of this business relief program so that we ensure it reaches those that need the help,” said Minority Leader Mike Fricilone. “I am confident in the next few weeks the details will be made clear and we will be able to move forward.”

Details about the grant program, including the amount of available support will be made available upon the passage of President Joe Biden’s proposed American Rescue Plan.

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