Glen Ellyn extends COVID-19 relief for businesses

  • Glen Ellyn awarded a $5,000 grant to Blackberry Market on Main Street downtown.

    Glen Ellyn awarded a $5,000 grant to Blackberry Market on Main Street downtown. Daily Herald file photo

 
 
Updated 1/21/2021 9:36 AM

Glen Ellyn is extending a COVID-19 grant program delivering up to $5,000 in aid for businesses trying to stay afloat during the pandemic.

The village will now accept grant applications through the end of March, though some trustees have indicated a willingness to revisit the cutoff date again.

 

The village started the program in September with federal CARES Act funding distributed by DuPage County. Trustees allocated $150,000.

But so far, officials have dispersed $110,236 to qualifying businesses, leaving $39,765 in funds available and enabling the village to continue fielding requests for financial relief.

"I still think we're going to be in for another three, four months of some tough times here, so whatever we can do to continue to help the businesses I'm all for," said Trustee Gary Fasules, who was named acting village president this week to replace Diane McGinley, who stepped down to move out of state.

The village has received grant applications from 28 businesses to cover costs related to operational changes wrought by the pandemic.

Eligible expenses include the purchase or rental of outdoor furniture, tents or heaters used for al fresco dining. Restaurants and retailers also can apply to offset costs from installing safety partitions, floor decals and signs promoting COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Six grant recipients are located outside the downtown core. Half of the applicants received the full $5,000 grant.

Thirteen of the 28 businesses submitted total expenses well above that threshold, suggesting there's still a need for assistance, Trustee Craig Pryde said.

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The board plans to re-examine the grant program in February when financial planners will give a broader economic update. At that time, trustees could consider providing additional funds if the village has exhausted the $150,000 allocated for the program.

"I would not be opposed to putting more money in it if there's more people coming forward," Fasules said.

The village did not make income loss an eligibility requirement.

"The county and the (Paycheck Protection Program) and all these other programs required a lot of information to be provided as far as their profit and loss and what their numbers were," Economic Development Coordinator Meredith Hannah said. "And we said, 'No, we just want to know what you had to buy to reopen.'"

If the funds aren't depleted, Trustee Kelli Christiansen proposed sending the remaining grant money to the Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce to help businesses in other ways.

"With that extension to March 31, my primary goal would be to approach those businesses that have not applied and encourage them to apply so that we can have an equitable distribution of the funds," Christiansen said.

The village reviews the applications and documentation of expenses on a first-come, first-served basis.

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