State of Illinois officials are urging community-based organizations in areas that experienced civil unrest on or after the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 to apply to receive a portion of $10 million in grant funds.
The grant program, called Corridor Improvements for Rebuild Distressed Communities, “will support capital investment in commercial corridors that have experienced property damage,” state officials said on March 19.
Eligible applicants for the grants may include “nonprofits, local governments, business improvement districts, special service areas, and others” that are located in one of the eligible zip codes that experienced property damage last summer.
Eligible applicants must also “demonstrate that the proposed improvements will occur at a location where businesses experienced property damage due to civil unrest during the relevant period on or after May 25, 2020.”
Oak Park’s 60302 zip code was among the list of zip codes eligible for the grant funding.
Wednesday Journal reported in June 2020 that eight businesses in Oak Park and one in River Forest sustained damage overnight on May 31, 2020. Half of the businesses damaged in Oak Park were located on North Avenue.
“While the pandemic has presented unfathomable challenges for all small businesses, some have been faced with a difficult, second rebuilding following damages related to civil unrest,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“The RFP’s funding is an important tool for repairing and enhancing the commercial corridors and increasing economic opportunities for small businesses which our communities rely upon,” said Ciere Boatright, vice president, CNI, Real Estate and Inclusion.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and its partners will accept grant applications between April 5 and June 7.
An informational webinar will be held on March 26 for interested applicants. For more information on the program, visit: www2.illinois.gov/dceo.