The city of Peoria has plans to create a Small Business Assistance Grant fund - but it's unclear when the money to kickstart it will arrive.
Peoria will receive about $1.7 million in Community Development Block Grant, or CDBG, funds from the federal CARES Act to dole out to small businesses struggling to survive during the COVID-19 economic crisis.
"The city is in a position where we are getting extra grant money from the feds for CDBG, and we are exploring different options to where we can leverage that money the best to help those businesses out," said Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis on Wednesday.
But Ardis says that money hasn't come in yet, and probably won't arrive as quickly as expected. Cities like Peoria and Pekin receive CDBG money directly from the federal government, and thus aren't eligible for participation in the statewide Downstate Stabilization Fund.
The city of Pekin currently has $1 million in assistance funds available, but the council used money from the city's general fund to get it started immediately, with hopes of recouping those costs from the federal government later when the CDBG funds arrive.
The Peoria City Council is currently discussing cuts and borrowing to fill a $31 million budget hole created by COVID-19 and its accompanying economic crisis.
We’re living in unprecedented times when information changes by the minute. WCBU will continue to be here for you, keeping you up-to-date with the live, local and trusted news you need. Help ensure WCBU can continue with its in-depth and comprehensive COVID-19 coverage as the situation evolves by making a contribution.