The State of Illinois recently released information about its Downstate Stabilization Program (DSP) designed to provide working capital funds to businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The State is offering grants (through units of local government) to cover 60 days of verifiable working capital for the business up to $25,000, whichever is less. This grant program is being funded through federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds that the State receives.  Information about this program is found at: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CommunityServices/CommunityInfrastructure/Pages/DownstateSmBizStabilizaition.aspx

HOWEVER, it is very important to note that the City of Pekin will not be eligible for such funding under this program because Pekin is a direct recipient of federal CDBG funds from the federal government. The DSP is only for those communities in Illinois that do not receive a direct allocation.   The City will instead receive its own additional allotment of CDBG funds within 30 days upon the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.  Under the CARES Act, CDBG will receive $5 billion in supplemental funding. $2 billion will be distributed according to the 2020 allocation formulas within 30 days. Based on 2020 formula projections and further analysis, Pekin is estimated to gain an additional $250,000 from this Stimulus allocation (this estimate and final numbers are still being analyzed).   

The State has $20 million to put toward its Downstate Stabilization Program where it will make grants until funding has run out.  $20 million divided by $25,000 per grant only allows for approximately 800 grants.  If Pekin were to create a similar program to mimic the DSP, funding would only be available for 10 businesses ($250,000 divided $25,000 max grant).  The City therefore is carefully determining its next steps and the best course of action to proceed with its anticipated allocation. The City’s goal is to create a fair and level playing field for businesses to access such funds. Therefore, further details on the City’s program will be forthcoming. The City will keep its website and Facebook page updated with any developments and will work with its business community partners, such as the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce and Pekin Main Street, to spread the word.