Hoping for more participants, Libertyville modifies business grant program
Libertyville has modified eligibility for its business relief grant program and extended the deadline to encourage participation.
The High-Five grant program debuted Sept. 1 offering individual grants of $1,000 for up to 200 businesses.
While there was strong interest, some of the guidelines were limiting applications from certain types of businesses that had been expected to apply, according to Heather Rowe, Libertyville's economic development manager.
By removing a requirement for two employees on a formal payroll, the village will be able to encourage various business types to apply, she said. those include family-owned businesses that take irregular profit disbursements, salons and fitness businesses that have different arrangements with their service providers, and others.
Another change allows small-business owners who have a franchise agreement but only one Libertyville location to be considered for the village grant.
The modifications were approved last week and the deadline to apply extended to Nov. 15.
Village officials in April set aside $100,000 in pending American Rescue Act funding to support up to 200 businesses with individual $500 grants.
In August, the grant amounts were doubled after the village learned it would be getting more than anticipated in federal funding. Businesses that received limited or no funding from state or federal grants or loan forgiveness programs were prioritized.
Another change authorized last week could expand the individual grant amount up to $2,000 per business, depending on the number of applications.
"We recognize that many businesses received other state and federal funding which has been exhausted," Rowe said. "These businesses may still be considered depending on the amount received and need."
The village board is scheduled to consider the first batch of $1,000 individual grants on Oct. 26.
Small-business owners who have not applied are encouraged to review the grant website for specifics.
"Our goal continues to be to reach small businesses with walk-in customer traffic in our commercial corridors to help offset their extraordinary expenditures due to the pandemic," Rowe said.