YORKVILLE – Kendall County is taking active steps to distribute American Rescue Act Fund monies and encourage applications from small businesses and nonprofit agencies.
The county has $24 million in federal funds at its disposal to help mitigate the devastating financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grant money must be allocated by 2024 and spent by 2026, County Administrator Scott Koeppel said.
Much of the money is to be used by county, particularly the Health Department, Koeppel said.
Funds also are being earmarked for the State’s Attorney’s and Public Defender’s offices to deal with the overwhelming backlog of court cases, Koeppel said.
Meanwhile, the county is working to hand out a total of $2 million, in two phases, to nonprofit agencies and organizations serving Kendall County residents.
Earlier this month, the Kendall County Board approved nine grants totaling more than $200,000 to a variety of social service agencies, as well as organizations including the Kendall County Fairgrounds Board, Oswego Senior Center and the Yorkville American Legion Post 489.
Most of those grants were for the maximum of $25,000.
The board approved three more grants, each for $25,000, on Oct. 19.
The recipients include the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce, Family Counseling Services of Oswego and Parkview Christian Academy of Yorkville.
Yorkville Chamber Director Sherri Farley said the chamber’s 2020 revenues were down significantly due to an inability to hold fundraising events.
Farley said the grant money is expected to be used primarily to cover staffing expenses.
The pandemic’s effect on fundraisers, the increased demand for social services and the inability of non-profits to cover payroll and rent expenses is the reason behind the grants.
Koeppel said the non-profit organizations are free to use the money for payroll, utilities, mortgage payments and other expenses.
The county board also approved the expenditure of $8,000 with Pesola Media Group of Yorkville to develop a marketing plan, including a website and Facebook page, to help with the Rescue Act money distribution.
“We need more people to apply,” Koeppel said. “We need public engagement.”
The catch for some organizations that have applied, Koeppel said, is that they did not file a tax return, which is a requirement for receiving a grant.
The grant marketing plan is expected to be aimed not only at the nonprofits but small businesses, which were forced to close during the worst of the pandemic and then needed to invest in new partitions, sanitation supplies and other equipment when they reopened.