BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The city of Bloomington is working to share money with people and businesses hit hard by COVID-19.
City leaders in Bloomington want to use federal funds to get community members back on their feet and keep businesses afloat. The program is giving $1,000/month, to each household for three consecutive months. That money will go to directly to where you need it most, be it your landlord, the bank, or utility company.
The Community Development Block Grant is given to cities for infrastructure, but because COVID-19 has affected the lives of many, Bloomington leaders are taking roughly $420,000 and using it in a different way.
“This is a version of community development,” said Mayor Tari Renner. “It’s not just bricks and mortar. Under the guidelines of the federal government we can choose to invest in people not just bricks and mortar.”
While most of the money is going to families, City Manager Tim Gleason says, what makes this plan unique, is that $150,000 is going to businesses.
“It was very important that some of those funds go toward struggling businesses,” said Gleason. “We are not going to recover from this anytime soon, but getting that money that’s putting them on the right pathway to get beyond all of this.”
Residents say they’re glad the city is offering this money because it shows city leaders are putting them first.
“I feel so lucky my life has been relatively uninterrupted, but I know for a lot of people that is not the case,” said Jenna Mamer of Bloomington. “I’m sure for those people this is something they will very grateful for.
Others say, this plan shows the city is trying to be a model for the future.
“I think its great it will help people out with bills and finances as many people get through this rough time,” said Brendon Boucaud of Bloomington. “I don’t know of much cities that would do this.”
Mayor Renner says the work here is not done. If the need for more money arises the council will brainstorm ways to provide that aid.
Those looking to apply can go to the city’s website or can visit a teller at Grossinger Motors Arena.