Roselle creates programs to help restaurants and other businesses
Roselle is planning to reduce license renewal fees for businesses and incentivize residents to support restaurants and other eateries in town.
Village officials this week talked about two programs designed to help local businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We wanted to be mindful that all businesses had to encounter some increased cost to operate during this pandemic," Trustee David Pileski said. "So it's important that we give them some relief while they try to get reestablished."
As part of the first program, businesses that renew their annual business and liquor licenses will receive a 25% discount. The cost of a business license varies depending on the business. The cost to renew a liquor license is $500.
The second program would give residents a one-time credit of $25 on a future water bill if they spend a combined total of $100 or more at local restaurants and two gas stations. To qualify for the voucher, residents must spend money at one or more of 58 participating businesses between March 1 and May 31.
The list of participating businesses will include Elena's Catering, Lynfred Winery and Maria's Mexican Restaurant. Franchises such as Jimmy John's and Wingstop also have agreed to participate,
Officials said the two gas stations were included because they have eateries.
"It makes sense from a government perspective to be as equitable as possible with regard to these programs," Trustee Lee Trejo said.
Residents will need to submit a completed form and their original receipts to the village's finance department to receive a credit for their water bill.
The plan is to implement both programs by March 8. To pay for the programs, the village is going to use money from its $9.2 million in general fund reserves. The village expects to lose $43,255 in revenue because of the fee reductions.
The village may consider direct relief to residents. Ideas for how that could happen are expected to be discussed during the March 8 village board meeting.
• Trey Arline is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.