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By Cynthia Haggitt
The Jersey County Board met on Tuesday, September 14 and had several items on the agenda.
The board went over the approval of the Aug. 10 minutes and moved on to new business. They made a resolution of Sympathy to the Family of Larry Alexander, the Coroner of Jersey County. Don Little and the board all gave their condolences to Kari Jo who was sworn in that night as the new coroner for Jersey County. Alexander will be taking over for her father.
The board also approved the reports from the road and bridge committe, which discussed making improvements to Delhi Road and they also approved the construction of the new bridge on Reddish Ford Road which is County Highway 10.
In other news, Sandy Hefner discussed the meeting minutes from Aug. 16 and was seeking the approval of the following grants for tourism.
“The Hamilton Primary School is in need to help restore and maintain the school property and is asking for $2,700. The second grant was for the 32nd annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair, which is held Oct. 2 and is seeking $3,000,” Hefner said.
Hefner mentioned that the fair has received a lot of buzz for tourism industry in June, but this year, it will be in October, and she said the fair anticipates a large crowd.
“In fact, we’re going to have the weather given from one of the stations. They’ll give the weather report down there after the fishing fair,” Hefner said. “And like I said, they need $3,000 and also the city is developing an historic walking tour which should help drum up business for tourism for the area.”
Chairman Little also discussed with the board the resolution of policy regarding COVID. He said he spoke with Bellweather recently and there are 100 or more employees that work for the city of Jersey County government offices who will need to be vaccinated and it has been stated that they must wear a mask at the office. The overall consensus from the board is they will visit this topic at next month’s meeting when results from the accredited polls are obtained about the mandate.
There was also a presentation to the board by Meagan McGlasson of the JCBA regarding a partnership with SIUE Small Business Development center. The presentation discussed the how they are serving as a Community Naviagtor hub of the State of Illinois Back to Buiness grant. The Community Navigators work to help local businesses access grant funding providing a step-by-step technical assistance as businesses navigate the application pool.
“In the coming months, we will be hosting a number of meetings and webinars on the grant application process. We’re excited to announce that the JCBA, in partnership with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is working to help our local businesses and not-for-profits access the $250 million made available through the new Back to Business (B2B) grant program, opened August 18, 2021,” said McGlasson. “Though the grant is available to businesses across the state, the JCBA is working hard to ensure that as many of our local businesses are able to access this opportunity as possible, free of charge.”
She stated in her speech that in order to better reach underserved businesses, the state has expanded the Community Navigator program, which provides local technical assistance to businesses, with a focus on rural, veteran, minority, and women-owned businesses. Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000 per business and can be used to cover a wide range of operations, staff, and overhead costs.
“In order to apply for the B2B grant, businesses must include their federal 2019 and 2020 tax returns. If you have not yet filed your 2020 return, that must be completed before you are eligible to apply for this grant. Businesses will also need to provide their business owner ID, a bank statement from April-Dec. 2020 reflecting their expenses, and their most recent bank statement. Anyone who receives a grant of more than $50,000 will also need a DUNS number,” McGlasson said. “ The JCBA is here to provide technical assistance to any local business or not-for-profit that wishes to apply. We can provide services from the use of our office equipment for scanning documents to step-by-step assistance in applying for the grant. Once your application is submitted, we will also be able to provide updates on the status of your application.”