“We are very thankful to the Champaign County Commissioners for funding this important initiative,” Kyle Hall, president of the CEP Board of Trustees, said. “The COVID-19 grant fund can really make a difference in our county. It will help small businesses bridge the gap in revenue during the shutdown and help them meet safety requirements for reopening, so that consumers will return to them with confidence.”
Through 5 p.m. May 15, qualifying local businesses may complete and submit a simple application for $500 to $2,500 in grant funds, at www.champaignworks.com/PayItForwardGrant.
Businesses may submit their applications directly from the website. But if they prefer, they may print out the application form, complete it, and drop it in the Champaign Economic Partnership mailbox (next to the CEP office door, inside the ATM lobby of Security National Bank, 3 Monument Square, Urbana), or email their completed, scanned application to the CEP at email@example.com, by the 5 p.m. May 15 deadline.
“The commissioners want to support the health and vitality of the Champaign County business community during the pandemic,” said County Commissioner Steve Hess, who serves on the CEP Board of Trustees. “Through this grant fund we want to help our local businesses get through this crisis by supplementing the support they’re getting from the state and federal government.”
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.
CEP Director Marcia Bailey said the grants may be used for operating expenses such as rent, utilities, payroll, and the cost of supplies and modifications needed to comply with safety requirements for reopening. Grant money cannot be used for taxes or other assessments. Grant recipients will be required to report to the grant committee how they spent the money.
“Our grant committee desires to make this a self-perpetuating fund so that money will be available to support future economic sustainability in our community,” Bailey said. “Through the Pay It Forward provision of the program, we will encourage grant recipients to contribute financially to the Champaign County Small Business Grant Fund once their businesses are back on their feet – in an amount equal to or greater than their grant.”
She added, “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.”
For grant guidelines and the application, visit www.champaignworks.com/PayItForwardGrant
Data show county’s communities are stable, with opportunities to build on a strong base.
By Christopher Selmek, Urbana Daily Citizen - firstname.lastname@example.org
The North Lewisburg Village Council voted to begin the process of creating a police department on Tuesday. The council went into executive session to discuss the village’s current policing contract, then returned to public session for the vote. According to Mayor Cheryl Hollingsworth, the village will continue to contract with Mechanicsburg until the end of the year.
Following the executive session, council decided to offer the position of police chief to Mechanicsburg Police Capt. Scott Bodey, who had been assigned to the village. Bodey accepted the position, Hollingsworth said.
“We’ve been talking about this for a year, since our separation from the county sheriff’s office, and we always wanted to be more independent,” said Hollingsworth. “We’re very grateful to the Mechanicsburg Police Department for all their good work. I’ve talked with Mayor (Benjamin) Layne and Chief (John) Alexander in Mechanicsburg, and everyone has been very supportive of our decision.”
Council unanimously approved the scheduling of Spring Clean-Up Week from April 25 to May 1. This will coincide with the county’s Scrap Tire Disposal Day and Electronic Waste Day, scheduled for April 25. Council discussed having Dumpsters available, but delayed setting dates due to the absence of village Administrator Andy Yoder.
Council unanimously approved a residential trash contract extension, which Fiscal Officer Jennifer McCombs said had been negotiated by Yoder at a lower price than the village’s current rate. Under the new contract, seniors 65 and older will get a discount of 10% and every resident will get a 96-gallon trash can for free.
Also at this meeting, council unanimously approved changing council meetings from 7 to 6:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month.
“I was reading the very first minutes to the first council meeting for the village of North Lewisburg, and they decided that they would start the meeting at twilight, and I thought that was the sweetest thing,” said Hollingsworth. “But we have a specific time since we have clocks now.”
Village of North Lewisburg, Ohio
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