$5,000 relief grants available to eligible Antioch small businesses
Financial relief will be available to eligible small business owners in Antioch through a $150,000 grant program.
Developed by the economic development task force and unanimously authorized for funding this week by the village board, the program will provide up to $5,000 to independent restaurants, stores, coffee shops, salons/spas and others affected by COVID-19.
Applicants must be within the village, have 25 or fewer employees, annual sales of $500,000 or less and be current in their local taxes.
"From all the shops I've talked with, they're very excited about it because they need it," said Heather Fenzel, who operates Family Heirloom Antiques from a 1915 house on Route 83 south of the downtown area.
In addition to state or federal support, village officials have deemed it to be "critically important" to provide additional local support for small businesses, according to the grant description.
"Our small businesses are the lifeblood of Antioch's identity (and) our historic downtown is important to our residents and our tax base," said village Trustee Mary Dominiak, the board's liaison for economic development.
Eligible expenses include payroll/employee retention, rent/mortgage incurred after March 21, modifications related to COVID compliance or to support enhanced public health, and operating costs.
Ineligible expenses include marketing, costs incurred before March 21, costs paid by other COVID-19 grants or loans, or work bonuses, severance pay, property taxes or related fees or payments due the village.
Applicants must demonstrate need by documenting a decline in gross sales. Applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by Mayor Larry Hanson, and grants must be approved by the village board.
Grants will be ranked based on the impact on the business, if approved.
"I've talked with a lot of them already who are interested," said Mike Garrigan, the village's community development director.
Fenzel started the "Shop Antioch" initiative about four years ago. A small business supporter, she said she does not regard other shops as competitors and that a broader overall selection will attract more visitors and help business.
An event Friday night, for example, was to have 21 stores participating to stay open beyond normal hours. Organized through social media, about 600 respondents said they were interested in attending, Fenzel said.
The deadline to apply for the small business grant is 4 p.m. Jan. 29 at village hall, 874 Main St. Visit the news link https://www.antioch.il.gov/.
"It will absolutely be helpful," Fenzel said of the grant program. "We can see Antioch realizes how pivotal these businesses are."