Arlington Heights to roll out business relief package next month
On the heels of providing $20,000 to needy residents in the wake of the coronavirus, Arlington Heights officials said Monday they're putting together a financial relief package to help businesses.
The village has already agreed to defer business payments of some taxes and fees, but officials are set to unveil a formal assistance program next month that considers input received from individual business owners and the chamber of commerce, according to Village Manager Randy Recklaus.
"We wanna make sure that what we put together reflects the needs businesses have that have gone unmet by state and federal packages to date," Recklaus said during an online village board meeting Monday night.
Village officials are also looking at ways to be flexible with village business regulations, Recklaus added.
The business relief program is set for discussion at the next board meeting in May. While the meeting scheduled for May 4 has been canceled, meetings could still be held May 11 or May 18.
Recklaus also told trustees Monday night that requests to the village's emergency assistance fund have shot up in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program -- which provides money to residents experiencing temporary economic hardship for basic needs like rent and utilities -- typically receives six to eight requests per month.
But in the last month alone, there were 62 inquiries, and 35 formal applications, Recklaus said.
So far, 18 have been approved, giving out a total of about $20,000, he said.
To keep up with the workload, Arlington Heights officials are temporarily moving staff from other departments to the health and human services department, which administers the fund.
Most of the program is funded by the nonprofit organization Arlington Cares, which has received $17,000 in donations since the onset of the coronavirus.
"It shows the community is stepping up," Recklaus said.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, Recklaus also said Monday the village has identified some $1 million in spending cuts to its current budget, with other belt-tightening measures still to come.