City of Springfield, Illinois

James O. Langfelder - Mayor

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Grant Application Process


SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE GRANT 2020 APPLICATION

The City of Springfield is offering grants of $5,000 to assist small businesses located within the City of Springfield in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible small businesses may request reimbursement for business expenses incurred during the period of March 17, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Qualifying expenses include:

  • Rent / Mortgage Payments
  • Utilities
  • Personal Protective Equipment and other COVID-19 related costs
  • Payroll

Applicants will be required to provide the City with documentation (receipts, leases, contracts, invoices, etc.) for the grant funds requested.

Before you begin, you can watch this video that walks you through each question of the application process and information that will be required for each


The following business types are ineligible for assistance under this grant program:
  • Home-based businesses
  • Nonprofit organizations/businesses
  • Businesses that involve the sale of medical or recreational cannabis
  • Private club or business that limits membership for reasons other than capacity
  • Businesses with at least 33% of its gross annual revenues from legal gambling activities unless the business is licensed by the City of Springfield to operate gaming terminals
  • A business in which a majority owner or member of the immediate family is an elected official or employee of the City of Springfield
  • An establishment similar to any enumerated above
  • Employ more than 50 individuals

Upon submittal, City staff will review your application for conformity with the program policies. Applications must be received by November 30 and must be complete to be considered. Applications will be scored based on the rubric below.

Narrative 20%
Year over year revenue decline 25%
Cost of unbudgeted expenses as a result of COVID 19 20%
Current business status 15%
Minority or woman owned 10%
Number of years in business 5%
Receipt of other funding 5%
TOTAL 100%

TIMELINE AND APPROVAL PROCESS

Applications Accepted November 16 - 30
Applicants must submit via the online portal.
Applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday November, 30.
Application Review December 1 - December 11
City staff will review for completeness. A review committee will independently score the narrative portion of the application. Total scores will be calculated and applications ranked for funding.
Awards Announced Week of December 14th
Qualifying applicants will be notified of award status and asked to complete a vendor request to receive grant award.
Funds Disbursed to Awardees Through December and January
 

If you have any questions prior to starting the application or during the process, please reach out to the City of Springfield’s Office of Planning and Economic Development at 217.789.2377, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.




The Grant Application Process is now closed.

   Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL INFORMATION


Answer

This is a grant. The money must be used to reimburse eligible costs. It does not have to be paid back.

Answer

Grant funds can be used to reimburse for:

  • rent or mortgage payments
  • utilities including gas, water, electric, internet, phone service
  • payroll
  • Personal protective equipment and other COVID-related expenses

Answer

  • Expenses incurred outside of the March 1 to December 31, 2020 timeframe
  • Expenses that have been or will be reimbursed through another federal program or some other funding source (PPP, SBA EIDL, DCEO, private grants)
  • Damages covered by insurance
  • Reimbursing donors for donated items or services
  • Expenses in preparation for future outbreaks

APPLICATION PORTAL AND ESTIMATED TIMELINES


Answer

The application window will be open Monday, November 16.

Answer

Businesses will be able to apply for two weeks, from November 16 to November 30.

Answer

Applicants must apply online at https://www.springfield.il.us/grantapplications.aspx. Once the application window closes (November 30), all applications will be reviewed by staff for completeness. The narrative portion of the application will be evaluated by independent reviewers from the Economic and Community Development Commission. Applications will be selected for approval based on the rubric and written narrative. Applications will be ranked based on the scores from the rubric and written narrative and grants will be awarded until all funds are exhausted. Awards will be announced mid-December.

Answer

Yes; you may call the Office of Planning and Economic Development at (217) 789-2377.

Answer

There is no process to save an application and return to it. Please make sure you have the information ready when you begin to fill in your application. Once you hit submit, your application is entered and cannot be changed.

ELIGIBILITY


Answer

Yes; businesses must have a street address within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield to be eligible for grant funds.

Answer

A business that has already received assistance may still be eligible for this grant if there are unmet needs. There can be no duplication of benefits (a business cannot pay for the same expense twice).

Answer

Applicants can only submit for the location and needs for the business located within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield.

Answer

Yes, however, an eligible franchisee applicant must have a physical operating location within the corporate limits of the City of Springfield. All funds awarded must be used for costs incurred in Springfield facilities and operations.

Answer

No; a business must be able to demonstrate year-over-year revenue loss.

Answer

No. Funds received under this grant program may not be applied against any costs that were also used to satisfy the requirements of another grant or loan program.

Answer

Yes, however, all applicants must certify that they are and were in compliance with federal, state and local laws during all phases.

Answer

Property management businesses must have a physical business address separate from a home address and must have w-2 employees to qualify as a small business.

APPLICATION INFORMATION


Answer

Please have the following information ready to complete the application:

  • EIN/SSN number
  • Legal Structure (Corp, LLC, LLP, Sole Proprietorship, Partnership)
  • The year the business was established
  • Date of operations in Springfield (may be the same as above)
  • March‐July 2019 Revenue Statement
  • March‐July 2020 Revenue Statement
  • Total Revenue from Last Submitted Federal Tax Return
  • Copy of the Business’ Last Submitted Federal Tax Return (schedule F, C or 990) and IRS determination letter (non‐profits only)
  • Net Profit or Loss or revenue less expenses on most recent business tax return
  • Number of employees (FT and PT) as of March 17, 2020
  • Number of employees today
  • Approximate amount and source of any other assistance funding (CARES Act, State of Illinois, PPP, etc)
  • Narrative of current and projected future impact on operations and intended use of funds
  • Unbudgeted expenses to‐date as a result of COVID
  • Current operating status (not open, 25% capacity, etc.)

Answer

The headcount is based on your full-time and part-time count on March 17, 2020.

Answer

Employee headcount includes full-time and part-time employees for which the entity will issue a form W-2. Third party subcontractors are not included in headcount.

Answer

Certain application information will be available publicly for all applicants: name and location of applicant, funding amount awarded. Proprietary business information that will NOT be publicly released includes revenue amounts, operating expense amounts, purpose of funding and whether other funding was obtained.

Answer

No, a grant will not be awarded if the application is incomplete, not properly executed, contains erroneous information, or lacks proper documentation.

DISBURSEMENT & DOCUMENTATION


Answer

Required documents include a completed vendor form, final executed grant agreement between the awardee and the City, plus the documentation listed in the application form.

Answer

The City intends to announce awards and begin disbursing funds beginning the week of December 14, 2020. All funds must be disbursed by the end of January 2021.

Answer

Awardees may be required to complete a brief close-out report to outline final use of funds and outcomes from fund utilization. Additional information may be requested per audit.