City Council expands eligibility for local business grant program


Daily file photo by Evan Robinson-Johnson

Downtown Evanston. City Council voted to expand Evanston businesses’ eligibility for the Emergency Assistance Grant Program.

Yonjoo Seo, Reporter

City Council voted to expand eligibility for the Entrepreneurship Emergency Assistance Grant Program Monday to all businesses that have previously received government assistance, including from the Paycheck Protection Plan. 

The amendment to the emergency assistance grant, which is funded through the Entrepreneurship Support Program, also removed the requirement for businesses to have not received the entrepreneurship grant in the past five years.

In the first few months of 2021, 11 local businesses have applied for the city’s grant, only a few of which were previously eligible. The council voted to approve the financial assistance to all 11 businesses as part of the Entrepreneurship Support Program, regardless of whether they had received government aid, and changed the eligibility requirements for the rest of fiscal year 2021. 

The program will now function through a two-tiered system of funding. Businesses that have not received funding from the federal government during the pandemic can be awarded up to $5,000, and ones that have previously received aid can get up to $2,500. Both groups can still receive additional funding of up to $1,000 for city licensing and permits.

The funding for the 11 businesses totaled about $32,000, ranging from $2,500 to $5,000 for each individual business. The Entrepreneurship Support Program consisted of $50,000 of funding for FY 2021.


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