Business, Local News

Homewood seeks input from small business owners to shape ARPA-funded support program

Homewood is asking local business owners to help the village shape a new business support program by completing a brief survey.

The survey will close on Tuesday, Aug. 15.

The input from the local business community will help village officials determine how to prioritize the allocation of $90,000 from the village’s American Rescue Plan Act funding for the 2023-2024 budget year.

The village currently has a non-TIF business incentive program, but the ARPA-funded program will be in addition to that, according to Assistant Village Manager Tyler Hall.

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In addition to providing contact information, the survey has three questions, each of which asks business owners to select from a list or provide a ranking of options that will help village staff shape the program.

  • As a small business owner in Homewood, what do you see as your greatest challenge in growing and sustaining your business? 
  • What local programs would be the most beneficial to your business? 
  • What factors should the village use to evaluate grant applications?

“The goal of the survey is to identify challenges that our small businesses are experiencing and then create a program that can address those challenges,” Hall said. “We are also interested to see what our small business owners believe the evaluation criteria should be for the application process.”

Hall said the new program is designed to complement the existing businesses. It is also intended to help existing retail businesses expand. 

The village has until Dec. 31, 2024, to designate how the ARPA money will be spent and until Dec. 31, 2026, to spend the allocation. Staff is proceeding to implement the identified projects, Hall said, unless the the village board decides to change priorities. 

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