Has your small business been affected by the pandemic? If so, the City of Urbana is here to help!

In response to the economic hardships experienced by small businesses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Urbana is launching the Small Business Assistance Grant Program in an effort to retain jobs and stabilize local businesses.

This Program is a gap financing program in response to the COVID-19 outbreak for businesses that have lost business as a result of social distancing. It is also intended to support businesses that want to open new lines of business in response to the crisis, such as manufacturing medical supplies needed to respond to the disease or providing cleaning or in-home health services.

The City of Urbana Community Development Services Grant Management Division has developed programs to create a combined funding mechanism that will serve businesses with up to fifteen (15) employees at the time of application. Grants provided will be up to $10,000 per business.

For a business to qualify for assistance through the CDBG-CV Small Business Assistance Program, they must meet the following criteria:

1) Business must be located in the City of Urbana

    • Applicant is 51% + majority owner of business

    • Owner/applicant is a qualified Low/Mod Income household (for businesses with no more than 5 employees) OR business commits to retain at least one FTE job held by a Low/Mod Income household

2) Owner is 18 years or older

3) Owner has or will have a valid Social Security number or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)    
4) Grant funds may be used for:

    a. Employee wages and benefits (including fringe benefits associated with employment, such as health insurance)

    b. Accounts payable

    c. Rent 

    d. Utilities

    e. Equipment/supplies

    f. Personal Protective Equipment 

    g. Signage

    h. Business modifications or retooling to meet new social distancing standards 

    i. Other COVID-19-related costs

5) Business must show the impact of COVID-19 through the most recent financial statements.

6) Provide payroll or other documentation to show history of employees on payroll.

7) Priorities shall be given to minority and women owned business applicants on a first come/first served basis.  If necessary, funding may be prioritized to the business retaining greatest number of low – moderate-income FTE employees.  

8) The HUD Part 5 definition of annual (gross) income shall be the method used in calculating annual income of employees.
Ineligible businesses: payday grant businesses, liquor and tobacco stores, pawn shops, firearm or other weapons dealers, adult entertainment, or home-based businesses operating without appropriate zoning and/or permits.
Applications will be reviewed by City of Urbana staff. If an application is incomplete and requires additional documentation, applicants will be notified and given 2 business days to respond or submit necessary documentation. If the applicant is unable to complete the application, it will be denied. 
Grant Terms:

• Maximum request: $10,000

• Minimum request: $1,000 

• Project report provided to City within 60 days of final fund draw down


Please submit questions to: Sheila Dodd,
Please submit completed applications to: Alyssa Jaje, 

Go here for more business resources to help during the pandemic. 

Grant Awards:


Urbana received 37 applications for Small Business Assistance totaling over $321,000.  The applications were received June 19 through July 16.   The budget for this program was $250,000 in CARES Act funding.  The grant review team consisted of staff from Human Resources/Finance, the Executive Department, Economic Development and Grants.  The team set priorities for funding as follows: Minority and Women Owned businesses (MWB), businesses with a brick and mortar building in Urbana, businesses retaining the greatest number of employees, and for profit businesses.  Funding was limited to for profit businesses as there were other local funds available in the community for nonprofit agencies.

After a review of all applications, 28 were recommended for funding of which 16 were minority owned and 7 women owned businesses.

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Last modified:Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 09:17
- Author: BridgetB