Fehr Graham helps clients secure Illinois grants to spur economy

Six Fehr Graham clients will receive $75,000 each to accelerate local economic recovery initiatives. Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the 42 grant recipients Tuesday.

Through the Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE) program, the state is providing $3.5 million in grants to help local governments and economic development organizations create or update economic plans to promote economic recovery.

Fehr Graham Senior Community Development Specialist Bridgette Stocks helped apply for and secure funding for these Fehr Graham clients:

  • The City of Danville will receive $75,000 for its downtown economic recovery and connectivity planning project.
  • The City of Effingham will receive $75,000 for its economic recovery plan, which will focus on residential housing and workforce housing.
  • The City of Freeport will receive $75,000 for its economic recovery planning for its downtown.
  • The City of Jacksonville will receive $75,000 for its economic recovery planning project with an emphasis on housing.
  • The City of Ottawa will receive $75,000 for its economic recovery plan focused on downtown residential development and short-term rentals.
  • The City of Robinson will receive $75,000 for its economic recovery plan with a focus on community outreach and housing.

After plans are created, DCEO will offer grantees a competitive opportunity to apply for funding for specific projects. This program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

"Cities, regions, towns and villages across Illinois understand the opportunities and needs of their own communities and the RISE program empowers them to collaborate and plan for improvements," Pritzker said. "These grants will help communities craft economic development plans that reflect the specific impact of the pandemic on their region, with the opportunity to apply for funding to put the plans into action in the future."

RISE empowers local governments and regional economic development organizations to create meaningful plans that align with the state's overarching economic plan, with a focus on specific initiatives and investments that support recovery from the pandemic.

"Under Gov. Pritzker's leadership, we are investing in cities and towns across Illinois to boost their economic recovery," said DCEO Director Sylvia Garcia. "The RISE program helps communities create meaningful plans that include tangible next steps tailored to their unique needs and opportunities. These plans will help cities, towns and regions be competitive for additional funding to support projects outlined in the plans that will improve quality of life and economic development across Illinois."

RISE grants will reimburse awardees for costs associated with developing or updating an economic recovery plan, including salaries or contractual costs, research, outreach and public meetings. The grant will also help offset expenses associated with administering the grant, such as meeting space rentals and printing. The economic development planning efforts, which are funded by ARPA, include plans focused on revitalizing commercial corridors, improving affordable housing options, supporting local workforces and more. The grantees are in all 10 economic regions of the state and awards range from $25,000 to $150,000, with an average grant award of $82,300.

See the full news release and list of funded projects here