Last week 24 local businesses received a total of $54,265.15 in grant funds to support them during the difficulties faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible for the grant program, commercial or retail businesses must have a storefront in Champaign County (cannot be home-based or nonprofit), have fewer than 50 employees, be current on local, state and federal obligations such as taxes and assessments, been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and, if a franchise, have no more than two storefronts in the county and not be corporate owned.
24 local businesses applied for this grant program and the CEP Board of Directors agreed to assist all 24 businesses that applied. The following businesses received funds: The Half Day Cafe, LG Industrial Supply, Tommy Brooks Salon, Massage on Monument Square, The Cutting Edge Hair Salon, The Hair Closet, Carriage House Salon, Let's Eat Cake, Pam's House of Beauty, Kim's Creative Designs, Theresa's It Figures, East Lawn & Garden, Kaleidoscope, Oxner's General Store, Vape on the Square, Main Graphics, The Vintage Traveler, Brugh's Auto & Tire, Family Country Cuts, Tom's Varsity Barbershop, Paul's Catering, Metz Painting & Roofing, Jones Country Store and The Hive.
Many of the business owners were overwhelmed with emotions and all were grateful for the opportunity these funds offered. Some said they were struggling to decide whether to continue after being closed. Mike Manoloff, owner of Oxner's General Store, said, "Thanks to this grant, I'll be staying in business."
"This will improve my chances to remain apart of Urbana's Small Businesses... It also keeps a dream alive, " Tina Blakeman, owner of The Vintage Traveler.
“Our small businesses are essential to the vitality of Champaign County. We want to do what we can to help get them back on track, to continue providing jobs and valuable products and services that make our county a better place to live and work,” explained Marcia Bailey, CEP Director.