DCEO released new guidance overnight about the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Grant Program.
First, an established business that has come under new ownership in the last three years is eligible to apply, assuming you can provide the financial information for previous years.
Second, in the new information released, it was pointed out that in addition to applications, which includes the financial information being available to the public during the public hearing process, once the application is submitted it can also be requested through the Freedom of Information Act through the State of Illinois. Essentially anyone can request the financial information you have to include in the grant. I do not say this to discourage anyone from applying for this grant, but I do not want anyone to be surprised by this information either.
They also clarified that this money has to be used for working capital (employee salaries, general operating expenses, inventory and advertising/marketing expenses). Costs incurred prior to the date of grant award are not reimbursable under this grant program.
If you choose to apply for this grant and receive it, you will be required by both the City and the State of Illinois to file documentation showing that the money was used for the intended purpose.
Additionally, the guidance added the following business are ineligible to apply:
- Businesses that have both essential and non-essential activities.
- Not-for-profit businesses.
- Independent contractors.
- Franchises or chain businesses.
· As this grant is federally funded, businesses that involve the use of cannabis for medical and/or recreational purposes are not eligible to apply.
· Private club or business that limits membership for reasons other than capacity.
· A business that derives at least 33% of its gross annual revenue from legal gambling activities, unless, subject to the Department’s approval, the business is a restaurant with gaming terminals.
· Business engaged in manufacturing or selling at wholesale, tobacco products, vaping, liquor or sexually explicit materials or in the business of manufacturing or selling firearms at wholesale or retail.
· Liquor store, an adult bookstore, non-therapeutic massage parlor, strip club or nightclub
· Pawn Shops
· Storage facility, trailer-storage yard or junk yard
- A business in which a majority owner or member of the immediate family is an elected official of the unit of local government making the application and receiving the grant.
· An establishment similar to any enumerated above; or
· Any other business subsequently deemed ineligible by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.