Champaign opens up small business portal

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This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Grants of up to $15,000 for small business owners are being offered by the City of Champaign.

The city’s announcement in an email followed Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s announcement on June 17 that the state of Illinois will provide grants for small businesses under the new Business Interruption Grant program.

Illinois’ program provides $60 million of funding to small businesses, including allocations of $20 million to bars and restaurants who can’t have outdoor seating, $10 million to barber shops and salons, and another $10 million is allocated to gyms and fitness centers. 

In Champaign, the grant amount varies but the funding comes with stipulations as to who is eligible to apply for funding.

The email stipulates that businesses must be located in Champaign city limits, have proof of liability insurance, have less than 50 employees and comply with the Champaign Diversity Advancement Program, among other requirements. 

The grant also is for business expenses from April to June. Businesses can only get one grant under the program, and the grant is at first open to businesses who have not gotten another grant.

“For first 30 days of application cycle, applications will only be accepted from businesses that have not received other State or Federal grants related to COVID-19,” the email said.

Additionally, businesses who opened after January 1 are ineligible for funding. Applications for the Champaign grant open up Monday at 8 a.m., and business owners can watch the following video: https://vimeo.com/429397439, or email COVIDreliefgrant@champaignil.gov for more details and information.

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