The Joliet City Center Partnership announced Friday that it distributed more than $60,000 in grants to businesses in the downtown area to provide financial relief.
The Emergency Retailer/Restaurant Grant program was created in response to business conditions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The City Center Partnership distributed $60,494 to 27 restaurants and retailers in the Joliet City Center Special Service Area this week, according to a news release.
Grant money came from funds generated by a property tax assessed in the special service area to promote economic development in the City Center.
The use of funds was flexible in nature and intended to assist businesses with operating expenses such as payroll and rent, according to the release.
“Like many businesses, our restaurants and retailers have experienced substantial decreases in income due to the statewide shutdown,” CCP marketing and event manager Lauren Las said in the release. “These businesses have invested their time and money and passion into the City Center, and there was no question that putting together these grants to give them a lifeline was the right thing to do.”
The grants of up to $2,500 were available to assist with operating expenses, including payroll and rent.
Grant recipients ranged from longtime restaurants, including Chicken-N-Spice and Vela's Tap, to the new Audiophil's Records store. They also included the Rialto Square Theatre, Joliet Area Historical Museum, Baron's Design hair salon and Paul & Mike's Transmissions.