Grant program for Urbana small businesses extended


Cameron Krasucki

Siam Terrace sits quietly at 212 W Main Street in Urbana on Nov. 11. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity just extended the deadline to apply for a small business grant in Urbana.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has extended the deadline for applications for small business grants in Urbana under the CURES-ES program until May 28.
CURES is a COVID-19 relief fund started by the DCEO that allows local governments to request economic support from the state, which is then given out to local businesses. The City of Urbana was given $500,000 under the CURES program to give out to Urbana businesses, of which $252,020.91 was given out to 28 businesses last fall, according to a press release by the Urbana Economic Council.
“The state gave us the opportunity to apply for modification and extension to the grant, which we applied for and just received to hopefully
grant out the remaining 200-and-20-some thousand dollars to our businesses,” said Stepheny McMahon, coordinator in Urbana economic development.
This second round of grants will deal out the remaining amount of money to local businesses. Businesses in Urbana can reapply for additional funding from the grant, up to the maximum total of $20,000.
In asking for a modification, the City of Urbana requested that rent utilities be included to help those businesses who were struggling to pay them. All eligible expenses are between March 1 and Dec. 30 of 2020, so businesses can only be reimbursed for costs during that time.
Businesses must turn in eligible receipts and proof of payments before they can be reimbursed for costs.
According to McMahon, the city has a longer timeline when it comes to the grant process as compared to the last cycle.
“We don’t have to close out our payments until the end of June, whereas last time we had a very fast timeline and some businesses told me they just didn’t have the time to submit the application and gather all their receipts,” McMahon said.
A full list of businesses that obtained funding and details on the monetary amounts received can be found on the Urbana Relief Grant website.
McMahon says that these grants can help with the overall cash flow in Urbana, as sales were so low during the pandemic.
“It’s our goal to disperse all of the remaining funds, to get that in the hands of businesses who need it,” McMahon said.

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