Kankakee Works Grants Program

The City of Kankakee has allocated over $350,000.00 of its federal American Rescue Plan Act award to fund a local small business grant program titled Kankakee Works. This program is intended to respond to the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency by focusing on the needs of for-profit small businesses within City limits.

 

Purpose

The City of Kankakee has allocated over $350,000.00 of its federal American Rescue Plan Act award to fund a local small business grant program titled Kankakee Works. This program is intended to respond to the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency by focusing on the needs of for-profit small businesses within City limits. Grant awards up to $30,000 will help businesses keep their doors open, protect local jobs threatened by the pandemic, support community recovery, and increase resiliency.

Eligible businesses may apply for cash assistance to help mitigate the impacts of revenue reductions associated with the pandemic. The City expects to award approximately 20 businesses a one-time cash grant.

This is a reimbursement program; award payments will be made following execution of a City/Grantee contract and the City’s receipt, review, and acceptance of expense documentation. Grantees will be reimbursed for eligible expenses with appropriate documentation in an amount not to exceed $30,000.00. Expenses must have been incurred between March 3, 2021 and October 31, 2024.

To expedite reimbursement, applicants are encouraged to apply for funding to cover expenses already incurred and for which the applicant has the required documentation. Evidence of expenditures must include sufficient information for the City to determine what the expense was for, to whom it was paid, and when it was paid. Supporting documentation may include copies of cancelled checks, bank statements, credit card statements, and/or vendor receipts.

Timeline

Application Round Opens: Tuesday January 16, 2024
Submission Deadline: Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Public Presentation: TBD
Award Announcements: Tuesday, March 12, 2024 (Tentative to Council approval)
Contract Start Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
Contract End Date: Tuesday, December 17, 2024
Last Date to Submit Reimbursement Request:  Friday, October 18, 2024       

Applicant Eligibility

Preference will be given to MBE (minority-owned,) WBE (women-owned) and VBE (veteran-owned) businesses, and to those that occupy a vulnerable sector as defined by the U.S. Treasury; this includes but is not limited to restaurant/dining, retail, hospitality, arts and entertainment, or another service sector.

Preference will be given to micro-businesses; this is defined as a business that resides in Illinois and is licensed or registered to do business in Illinois, independently owned and operated, not dominant in its field, and employs 10 or fewer fulltime equivalent (FTE) employees.

Per the Final Rule on Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, the U.S. Treasury recognized

“impacted” and “disproportionately impacted” small businesses eligible to receive funding for this program.

A small business is “impacted” if it meets the City’s definition of small business (50 or fewer employees) and can demonstrate and provide evidence of a negative economic impact caused by the pandemic.

A small business is “disproportionately impacted” if it meets the definition of small business as defined by the City (50 or fewer employees), is located within a Disproportionately Impacted Area or Qualified Census Tract, and can provide evidence of a negative economic impact caused by the pandemic. Types of evidence may include:

  • Decreased revenue or gross receipts
  • Financial insecurity
  • Increased costs created directly by the pandemic
  • Reduced capacity to weather financial hardship created by the pandemic
  • Challenges covering payroll, rent, mortgage, and other operating costs

 

In addition to providing evidence of negative economic impact caused by the pandemic, to be eligible for an award, a business must:

  • Be a for-profit business based within City of Kankakee limits and have a valid business license
  • Have 50 or fewer employees
  • Be registered to do business in the Illinois unless the business is a sole proprietorship
  • Be registered as a DBA if the sole proprietorship does business under a name other than the owner’s
  • Be independently owned and operated and not be dominant in its field of operation
  • Have been operating in the City of Kankakee prior to March 1, 2020.
  • Not be facing any pending litigation or legal action
  • Not have any business owners, including all managing members and/or officers, who have been convicted of financial crimes within the past three years
  • Not have received alternate federal, state, or local grant funding to cover the same costs and/or uses included in this application
  • Not be suspended or debarred from the use of federal funds
  • Not be a franchise, unless the franchise is not a subsidiary of a larger corporation

 

Eligible Uses of Funds

Businesses may use funds to mitigate financial hardship, such as declines in revenue resulting from periods of closure. Grants are for costs not yet incurred by the date the American Rescue Plan Act was passed (March 3, 2021). Expenses incurred between March 3, 2021 and October 31, 2024, are eligible for reimbursement.

Grants funds may be used for:

  • Payroll and cost of benefits
  • Rent
  • Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Installed Equipment (e.g., oven, refrigerator)
  • Other Equipment (e.g., computer, software)
  • Product inventory
  • Signage
  • Technical Assistance, counseling, or other services to assist with business planning needs
  • Improvements to ventilation
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Other physical improvements to processes or location to comply with social distancing or other directives issued by the County or State due to the pandemic (e.g., outdoor dining furniture)
  • Workforce needs such as training, certificate programs, attraction efforts, etc.

 

Other Potential Eligible Use of Funds

Applicant should contact the Economic and Community Development Agency prior to submitting an application for the following:

  • Capital Improvements, including but not limited to, rehabilitation of commercial property, storefront and façade improvements
  • Childcare and transportation costs for micro-businesses

 

Ineligible Uses of Funds

  • Costs incurred prior to March 3, 2021
  • Loss that bears no relation or is grossly disproportionate to the type or extent of harm experienced due to the pandemic
  • Payment of non-business expenses (e.g., personal credit cards, family car, home repairs)
  • Direct financing to political activities
  • Religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization and/or those that promote or inhibit religious interest
  • Economic hardship incurred for reasons other than the pandemic
  • Costs previously covered by alternate federal, state, or local grant funding
  • Payment of fines or federal or state taxes
  • Purchase of drugs, tobacco, or alcohol
  • Food and entertainment
  • Bonuses
  • Non-business travel