ST. CHARLES – The St. Charles Business Alliance plans to provide financial assistance to businesses struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Re-Open St. Charles Support Grant is intended to provide financial help to reopen businesses located in St. Charles that have been closed or have seen significant reduction in revenue due to the pandemic," Jenna Sawicki, executive director of the St. Charles Business Alliance, told aldermen during a St. Charles City Council meeting May 29.
The Alliance has set aside $150,000 for the grant, and each business can apply on a first-come, first-served basis, she said. Businesses can apply for up to $5,000. To apply, go to stcalliance.org/supportgrant.
The grant program is part of the Alliance's Back to Business Plan, which it unveiled to aldermen May 29. The Alliance also will be crafting promotional videos that feature local business owners along with a cameo by St. Charles Mayor Ray Rogina.
"We have partnered with Love Productions to have professional videos made to showcase that St. Charles is ready to get back up and running and serve our community," Sawicki said.
The video will be available on streaming services and channels such as CNN, HGTV, NBC Sports and more. The Alliance also continues to move forward on bringing the "Be You" sculpture to the new East Plaza/Riverwalk that is part of the First Street project. The Alliance has been working with Chicago-based artist Matthew Hoffman, an artist known for positive/inspirational art installations.
In addition, the Alliance will host the St. Charles Pickup Restaurant Week from June 8 to 14. The event will feature 20% off orders of $20 or more (excluding alcohol, tax and gratuity) at participating restaurants.
"We believe this will have immense benefit to the restaurants that do not have outdoor seating options while also catering to those in the community that would feel more comfortable with pickup than a sit-down option," Sawicki said.