Business relief beyond PPP

The Paycheck Protection Program is the largest and has received the most news coverage, but it is far from the only government program that has helped businesses survive 2020. 

In addition to the almost $43 million that came to Monroe County through PPP, five other federal and state funding sources supplied nearly $9 million to local entities last year. 

The most money, by far, came from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program run by the Small Business Administration. 

The goal of that program is “to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” per the SBA’s website. 

Businesses who got loans through that program have 30 years to pay them back with a 3.75 percent interest rate, while nonprofits get a 2.75 percent interest rate. The funds could be used for working capital and normal operating expenses like rent, utilities and debt payments. 

There are two types of loans: normal EIDL loans and EIDL Advance loans. The former are forgivable, while the latter are not. 

The SBA does not provide loan amounts for the advance loans, but it does for the regular ones. 

The latest information shows that 121 Monroe County entities received $7,845,700 from EIDL loans. 

The largest loan of $500,000 went to Hari Investments in Columbia, while the second biggest was for $200,000 for All About You Limos in Columbia. 

Thirty-three entities got loans of $100,000 or more. 

The smallest loans were for $1,000. Five businesses got those, and 25 received loans under $10,000. 

Of the establishments that received EIDL loans, 64 were in Columbia, 56 were in Waterloo and one was in Hecker. 

The SBA did not provide business names or addresses for 32 of these businesses, citing “personally identifying information.” 

It also redacted that information for 91 recipients of Advance EIDL loans. 

Though the amounts are unknown, the SBA reported 289 Monroe County entities received funding through that part of the program. 

There were 150 places in Columbia, 124 in Waterloo, eight in Valmeyer, six in the Fults zip code and one in Hecker that got money. 

The second largest sum came from an Illinois program called Child Care Restoration Grants. 

That is part of the Business Interruption Grant program, with the restoration grants going to child care centers and family child care homes licensed by the state and currently serving children in their communities. 

A total of 15 local businesses received $851,040 from this funding source. 

The largest recipients of grants were Caywood’s Youth Center at $122,220 and The Backyard Learning Center at $97,020. Those facilities are both in Waterloo.

The BIG program overall was the third largest source of assistance. 

This program aims to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic using federal funding provided by the CARES Act. The money can be used for working capital expenses and unexpected expenses stemming from efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. 

According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, it is the largest program of its kind in the country.

As the Republic-Times reported in August, La Belle Vous Salon & Day Spa and Beauty Network, both in Waterloo got $10,000 grants, and grants for $20,000 went to Doggie Mac’s and Sunset Overlook in Columbia and Crazy Train Saloon & Grill, Pound 4 Pound Fitness Center, Route 3 Bar & Grill and Vintage Wine Bar in Waterloo. 

Newly released information shows 13 other Monroe County businesses got money from this program. The two largest grants, each for $150,000, went to the Audio Visual Center of St. Louis County and Crown Linen Services, both in Columbia. 

Overall, $785,000 has flowed from the BIG program to here. 

The total is much smaller for the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Fund, which the DECO operates to offer businesses of up to 50 employees the chance to partner with local governments to get up to $25,000 in working capital. 

Four local businesses have taken advantage of this program: Infinity Tan & Spa, Heartland Travel and Beauty Network, all in Waterloo, and Back Street Wine & Dine in Hecker. 

Total funding received by those companies is $64,350. 

The smallest amount of money came from the state’s Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, which aims to help those businesses make ends meet during the pandemic.

These funds can be used to support working capital and technology purchased to support shifts in operations like increased use of carry out and delivery. 

Just $55,000 has come to Monroe County from this program. That money went to The Corner Pub in Valmeyer, Freeda’s on Main in Renault and Marie’s Ice Cream Shop and the Hampton Inn in Columbia. 

Each of those businesses got $10,000, except for the Hampton Inn, which received $25,000. 

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James Moss

James is an alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mass communications and applied communications studies. While in school, he interned at two newspapers and worked at a local grocery store to pay for his education. When not working for the Republic-Times, he enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and spending time with his friends.
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