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Mayor Ricky Gottman and Flo Simpson of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, spoke to the Greater Fayette Chamber of Commerce last week concerning a grant for businesses affected by COVID.
“With the number of businesses in our city who have struggled through the pandemic and continue to struggle, the State of Illinois through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are promoting another grant program aimed at helping to ease the burden of the pandemic. The Back to Business (B2B) Grant is available to all businesses who have less than $20 million in revenues in 2019 and had a reduction in revenue in 2020. My staff and I feel that this is the easiest grant to apply for yet,” stated Vandalia Mayor Ricky Gottman.
“The Back to Business Grant has a priority given to hard hit industries, disproportionately impacts areas (DIAs), of which Vandalia is considered, and businesses who have yet to receive any assistance, such as Paycheck Protection Loans (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), Business Interruption Grant (BIG), and more. Furthermore, the only information they require is a copy of business 2019 and 2020 Federal Tax Returns, two business bank statements – one recent and one from the period of April to December of 2020, and the business owner’s ID,” stated Gottman.
He continued, “We feel this is so imperative that all eligible businesses apply, we have dedicated staff to go out and get the information to businesses in our community. To help even further, we have dedicated an employee and a secure computer and scanner location within city hall during normal business hours to assist in the process. Whether you prefer assistance of someone or not, the computer will be available for use by appointment. Business owners may call Danielle Caruso at city hall and schedule an appointment at 618-283-1197, or email her at email@example.com to ensure we do not have long lines and everyone is allowed the time and attention they need.”
Gottman was one of the speakers at the Greater Fayette County Chamber of Commerce’s Lunch and Learn Program last week. Also speaking on the program was Flo Simpson, small business navigator for the Back to Business Grants.
Other qualifications for the grant, according to Simpson are that a business:
• must be an independently owned and operated for-profit corporation or LLC, partnership, or sole ownership;
• must have operated on or before December 2019;
• must have experienced a loss in revenue of at least $5,000 in 2020 due to economic disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic;
• must have had reduced operations due to the government orders, public health guidelines, or depressed consumer demand;
• must have complied with all relevant laws, regulations, and executive orders form the state and federal government, including the social distancing guidelines as promulgated by the executive orders of the Illinois governor