Rockford small businesses could receive money through a CARES ACT grant program

Published: Nov. 9, 2020 at 9:32 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Small businesses in Rockford are only one step away from receiving more financial aid from the CARES ACT.

“These are businesses that are struggling to survive and are overwhelmingly minority and women-owned,” said Karly Franzen, Rockford’s director of community and economic development.

In May, Rockford received $1.2 million in grant money. It’s part of the CARES ACT called the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Fund that’s already helped 49 businesses.

“The fact of the matter is these are small businesses, a microenterprise is 5 or fewer employees and the owner is a low to moderate income individual,” Franzen said.

The second round of the CARES ACT supported states, so Rockford didn’t see any of that money, but now the third round of funding is available and Rockford is set to receive just over $1 million, which will help specific types of businesses.

“It’s based on community risk and impact by the coronavirus,” Franzen said.

“We are super excited to help those businesses because so many of them don’t qualify for the other coronavirus loans,” said Alderperson Bill Rose.

Rose along with the rest of the planning and development committee members passed the resolution with no questions.

“We just want to make sure that our small businesses know that the city is hearing them, we are here for them and we are going to continue providing whatever kinds of service we can,” Rose said.

Now the resolution will go before the full council for a final vote, which Rose says will pass with flying colors.

“We want small businesses to know that this is a city to set up shop. We are going to support you in any means necessary and let the business community know that Rockford is in support of them,” Rose said.

Meanwhile, the codes and regulations committee approved the schedule of events for Stroll on State. It starts Nov. 28 with a tree lighting and fireworks show. Then every Saturday through Dec. 19 families can visit Santa in the city hall lobby, which will also need final approval by the full council.

The codes and regulation committee also approves a tobacco enforcement program which is a partnership between the city and Winnebago County Health Department.

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