DuPage County received approximately $15,000,000 in federal funds made available through the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Those funds have been approved for use in the Reinvest DuPage Grant Program beginning Monday, June 28, 2021. The grant program will be administered by the nonprofit economic development group, Choose DuPage.
Who is Eligible?
The grant program is available to small businesses, non-profit organizations, and certain independent contractors. The grant awards can be up to $50,000 for small businesses and non-profits, and $15,000 for certain independent contractors. The disbursement of the grant funds will be based upon eligible expenses such as operating costs consisting of payroll, rents, and utilities as well as a determination of revenue decline due to COVID-19. Key eligibility components are as follows:
- The business would need to be in operation as of January 1, 2019.
- Businesses, non-profits, and independent contractors must be located in DuPage County. Merely serving DuPage County would not qualify you for the grant.
- Annual gross revenue for business and non-profits must be less than $20 million. Independent contractors must have annual gross income of less than $250,000 and derive at least 50% of the gross income from 1099 work.
- Revenue decline due to COVID-19 is measured as the period of January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 in comparison to January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Please note it is a FULL year to year comparison. In computing the revenue decline you will need to include certain COVID-19 funding received such as EIDL advances, Paycheck Program Loans, etc. as revenue for the appropriate year.
What Documentation May Be Required?
In applying for the grant funds certain documentation will need to be provided such as:
- Full copies of tax returns for 2019 and 2020 (e.g., Forms 1120, 1120S, 1065 and 1040).
- Proof of eligible operating expenses (e.g., payroll, rent, and utilities). In the case of independent contractors, you will need to provide documentation of business use related to certain expenses such as utilities as these may have a component of personal use that must be excluded.
- Proof of revenue decline. It is recommended that financial statements from an accounting system such as QuickBooks be provided. Certain excel spreadsheets may be declined.
- Proof of good standing with Secretary of State or county. Valid business licenses may be used if those are required in the business.
- Completed Form W-9.
How to Apply?
You will need to complete an application online at www.choosedupage.com. The application will request a description of how your business was impacted by COVID-19 as well as information such as number of employees, NAICS/industry codes, and other business demographics. During the online application process, you will be required to disclose other COVID-19 funding received. As your application moves throughout the process, the documentation noted in the previous section will be requested.
It is recommended that any questions you have for the agency during the application process be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone inquiries may not be responded to.
When Does the Grant Program Expire?
The grant program will accept completed applications on a first-come, first-served basis as long as funding is available. Once it is determined that there are more applications than funding, the agency will stop accepting new applications.
Cray Kaiser is available to guide you through the grant application process. Please reach out to us for additional assistance.