In Illinois, city wins $1.2 million to revitalize a distressed downtown business community in the wake of violent civil protests

On January 13, 2022, the city of Aurora, Illinois learned that it had won $1.2 million to help revitalize its traumatized downtown business community.

During the civil unrest that unfolded in the summer of 2020, 85 businesses and organizations throughout the City of Aurora were the victims of burglaries, criminal damage, and arsons,” said Aurora Police Chief Keith Cross.

This grant will allow us to protect our businesses, residents and visitors into the future and will provide real-time information that will help direct the daily response of our public safety personnel,” he continued.

The projects were evaluated based on project need, capacity, quality and societal impact.

To qualify for funds, project proposals were required to show the project would occur within the same block that experienced property damage or on contiguous blocks if required for project continuity.

This funding will assist our city in creating new jobs and growing our economy,” Assistant Senate Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) said.

Like many cities, Aurora and its business community need resources to address not only further recovery and services from the pandemic, but also public safety issues,” she added.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will provide grants to enhance and revitalize local businesses, made possible by Illinois’ historic Rebuild Illinois Capital Program, legislation supported by Holmes in 2019.

Projects for corridor improvements will repair and improve the surrounding area while increasing economic opportunities for impacted businesses.

Funds for the Rebuild Distressed Communities program are from the state’s historic $45 billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Program.

Photo of Aurora courtesy of the Office of Senator Holmes.

See Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website.

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