Two Mundelein businesses are first beneficiaries of town's latest grant program

Two very different Mundelein businesses are the first beneficiaries of a municipal grant program designed to help entrepreneurs cover relatively small expenses.

The Sunny Days Nail Salon. 724 S. Butterfield Road, and a human resources operation called PeopleTu, 700 N. Lake St., each will receive $5,000 from the village's Stimulate, Training, Assist and Recover program, or STAR program.

The salon intends to purchase five chairs and related equipment as part of a remodeling effort, village documents indicate. The equipment is expected to cost $15,500.

PeopleTu, also known as People Architectural Group, is a one-person operation that will use its grant to pay a part-time employee being brought on for three months to recruit clients, documents indicate. The total expense is expected to be $12,000.

The village board unanimously approved the grants Monday night.

The STAR program was created by the village's economic development commission and the village board as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Taylor Wegrzyn, a senior planner with Mundelein's community development department.

"Businesses often did not know what kind of assistance would actual provide a benefit to them, only that they needed some sort of help," Wegrzyn said.

Launched as a pilot program last year, the effort makes grants of up to $5,000 available to business owners, covering up to half the total cost of a project.

The cash will be doled out as reimbursements.

The STAR program is much more modest than the village's Business Incentive Grant program, which offers grants of up to $25,000 for renovations or aesthetic improvements. The BIG program has a $100,000 annual budget, while the STAR program's annual budget is $50,000.

The STAR program offers grants for more types of projects or purchases, however.

The best proposals will stimulate the local economy, further develop the local workforce, support the business through a particular hardship, or help a business survive the pandemic, Wegrzyn said.

"Essentially, the business must demonstrate a clear hardship or a clear benefit to the greater community which could not be achieved without the requested assistance," Wegrzyn said.

Trustee Tim Wilson said the STAR and BIG programs "are just a couple of tools we have in our toolbox to support local businesses."

To learn more about the STAR program, visit

To learn more about the BIG program, visit

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