In response to the pandemic, many Macomb restaurants and other businesses spent money this year to create outdoor seating areas. Some of those businesses could be reimbursed for that expense.
Mayor Mike Inman said the state will award the city a $200,000 grant to help local businesses cover the cost of outdoor furniture, heaters, and other items – though there is one stipulation.
Inman: "They have to be compliant with the current mitigation efforts in order to be awarded."
TSPR: "So restaurants and other establishments that are serving people inside right now would not be eligible?"
Inman: "They would not. According to the grant standards that’s not part of the program."
Inman said Community Development Coordinator John Bannon came up with the idea for the reimbursement program and the Western Illinois Regional Council helped the city with the grant application.
The money comes from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Inman emphasized this is a grant program – not a loan program – so the businesses won't be required to pay back the money. Businesses can receive up to $10,000.
"Our hospitality industry seems to have taken it considerably on the chin and our goal is to get money into their hands as quickly as possible to help keep them afloat," Inman said.
"Think about going out and buying a patio set for yourself, and multiplying that by six or seven times. You've probably got several thousand dollars wrapped up in that."
Inman said the funding will be handed out on a first come, first serve basis. Businesses must apply for the grants and submit their receipts by Monday, December 7, 2020.
"We have not received the actual dollars from the state yet, just a notice of the award. We're looking forward to dispersing that out to those grantees," Inman said.
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