$1.75 million in CARES Act funding available for small businesses and public service agencies in Madison County

Aug. 11, 2020

$1.75 million in CARES Act funding available for small businesses and public service agencies in Madison County

EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County will open an application process on Monday to grant $1.7 million to businesses and public service agencies for COVID-19 relief. 

Madison County residents impacted by COVID-19 will be able to apply starting Aug. 17 for federal virus relief money to be distributed through Community Development Block Grant as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act. The Grants Committee voted Monday, Aug. 10, on the plan. 

The CARES Act makes funding available to local governments to provide grants to small businesses and public service agencies impacted by COVID-19.  

Chairman Kurt Prenzler said the county was notified in April that it would receive $1,755,949 in CDBG funding through the CARES Act to help those affected by the challenges of COVID-19. 

“The challenges faced during this time have been devastating, especially on small business owners,” Prenzler said. “The CARES funding can assist in helping those who may qualify for the grant.” 

Madison County received the additional CARES Act funding aside from $2.985 million in CDBG funding. Madison County Community Development administers the CDBG funding. 

The CDBG funding, which is made available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides annual grants to states and localities to invest federal dollars in communities across the country. Madison County is a designated entitlement county, which allows it to receive CDBG funds directly from HUD rather than through the state of Illinois’s competitive funding program. 

Alton and Granite City manage their own CDBG funding and will be responsible for taking applications within those communities. 

For those applying in Alton and Granite City contact:

Board member and Grants Committee chair, David Michael, said the grants awarded to the small businesses and public service agencies would be based on the ability of the applicant to demonstrate need. He said the grants are reimbursement grants. 

“They have to have already spent money either on PPE or building modifications or if they were forced to close and they are still paying rent and utilities, that can all be reimbursed," Michael said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and we wanted to make sure this funding went to those who are the economic drivers across the county.” 

Community Development Administrator Trudy Bodenbach said they anticipate the final applications would be brought to the Oct. 14 Grants Committee for approval. She said with that the County Board would then take action on Oct. 21 with distribution of funds starting Oct. 22. 

The county will award $1.5 million to businesses and $250,000 to public services agencies. 

Applications will be available online at www.co.madison.il.us/community_development/index.php

Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis for all submissions with complete and qualifying applications. Award amounts will depend on estimated net loss between March 1 and July 31, adjusted for other COVID-19 funding received by the business, including Paycheck Protection Program loans. 

Small business grants will be awarded as follows:

  • Businesses with 1-5 employees will receive $5,000
  • Businesses with 6-10 employees will receive $10,000
  • Businesses with 11-25 employees will receive $15,000 

To qualify for a small business grant, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Business suffered from business interruption caused by required closures resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Expenses as a result of the business interruption should exceed the amount requested since March 1, excluding those covered by insurance or reimbursement from any federal program.
  • Business suffered economic damages from business interruption caused by COVID-19 exceeding $5,000 since March 1, excluding those covered by insurance or reimbursement from any federal program.
  • Business employed 25 full-time equivalent employees or less.
  • Business is physically located within the boundaries of Madison County, Illinois.
  • Business is not a home-based business and occupies commercial space.
  • Business has been operating since at least Oct. 1, 2019.
  • Business can demonstrate ongoing business operations as of Feb. 29.
  • Business is expected to be fully operational after local and state emergency guidelines are rolled back.
  • Business is not a publicly traded company.
  • Business does not have any current unpaid liens and is not operating in violation of any state, federal or local laws.
  • No owner, officer, partner, or principal actor of the business has a felony conviction for financial mismanagement within the last two years for which he or she is still serving a sentence (including prison, parole, and probation). 

In addition to the above criteria, one of the following CDBG eligibility criteria must also be met to qualify:

  • The owner’s household income (including all adults at their home address) is below the income limits below, per HUD income guidelines per income verification.
  • The business is located within a Low-to-Moderate Income Area (LMA) as per HUD guidelines via census tract data.
  • The funding will help retain at least one full-time or part-time position for a person from a Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) household, as per HUD income guidelines, who is at imminent risk of job loss without the funding (Note: this includes furloughed workers). It is anticipated that the funding would be used to supplement or aid job retention, rather than as a sole means of retaining a worker. Employees must have been on payroll as W-2 workers and be considered Low-to-Moderate Income to be considered for retention. 

Public services grants will be awarded as follows:

  • A maximum of $20,000 will be awarded to agencies to provide public services needed in response to COVID-19.
  • The goal is to make available flexible financial resources to businesses/community-based and medical organizations to enable essential service delivery to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.  

To qualify for a public services grant, organizations must meet the following criteria:

  • The activity will have income eligibility requirements which limit the activity exclusively to low and moderate income persons; Non-profit agencies, public agencies and Community-Based Development organizations are eligible to apply for COVID-19 grant funds. 
  • The agency must be able to document COVID-19 hardship, as well as demonstrate funds will benefit primarily low and moderate income in Madison County.