PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Peoria Economic Development Department has opened up applications for the Recovery, Income, Startup, and Expansion, or RISE Program. 

“Really our small independent businesses are mostly those that have up to 20 employees at most, but again the program is open to those as long as you have 500 employees or below as part of the small business administration guidelines,” said Peoria Assistant City Manager Kimberly Richardson.

The RISE Program has an initial $300,000 funded through the American Rescue Plan Act, and if it is successful, more money could come in.

It’s geared toward helping those local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“What this funding allows us to do, is for those, like where we’re at today, to expand their business so that they can be able to attract more customers. Or to entice new employees, so they are able to afford to bring on additional support, or to get ahead of the supply chain issues, so they can order more supplies,” said Richardson.

Business owners can apply for potentially up to $50,000 dollars in assistance from now to June 10. The Assistant City Manager said she wants as many businesses to apply as possible.

“They’re some qualifiers due to the federal guidelines, but they also provide us some flexibility. And so, we want to be mindful that restaurants are automatic qualifiers, hospitality businesses are automatic qualifiers, and gyms and recreation facilities are automatic qualifiers,” said Richardson.

The owner of the hosting restaurant, Julia Salvatierra, said that now is the best time for this grant to open to Peoria small business owners, like herself.

“I’m relaxing with this grant, because this year is the start of the future, and we need to be ready for the future,” said Salvatierra.

Find an application here.