Moline B.O.O.S.T program looks to strengthen local economy using ARPA funds

Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 11:51 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - The City of Moline announced it is dedicating more than $1 million of American Rescue Plan dollars to help boost economic growth and support local businesses in Moline.

“The idea is to support long-term business growth, not just write checks,” said KJ Whitley, Moline’s Community Development Manager. “There is a learning curve to opening or expanding a business. The program’s foundation includes mandatory educational workshops and follow up mentorship that will assist our seasoned and future business owners be successful in their endeavors. We are reinvesting in our community and the people in our community.”

The goal of this is to accelerate business growth and give opportunities to entrepreneurs, city leaders said. Also to grow the business districts.

“So we want to see businesses accelerate under this program, and we want to help our entrepreneurs move forward in their dream of owning a business. We want to revitalize our neighborhoods and our business districts, and we want to continue to thrive as a vibrant community,” Whitley said.

According to city officials, the B.O.O.S.T program will also target specific economically challenged areas of the city such as the Illinois 92 corridor, 15th and 16th street commercial corridor, Avenue of the Cities, Olde Town and Uptown and the SouthPark Mall area.

Businesses that are accepted into the program, have the opportunity to get small business forgivable loans from $10,000 to $80,000.

  • The largest portion of the funding would go to general assistance up to $50,000, which covers marketing, lease payments, and interest expenses, and more.
  • If the money is used for a business to become ADA Compliant, they can get up to $15,000.
  • Moving a business to the Avenue of the Cities or Southpark Mall would net an additional $10,000.
  • Hiring new employees that stay with a business for six months straight can bring in up to $5,000.

Full details on eligibility requirements and what types of businesses are non-eligible can be found HERE.

The main goals of B.O.O.S.T are:

  • Business Acceleration
  • Repurpose and fill vacant storefronts
  • Revitalize struggling business district
  • Maintain and create employment opportunities
  • Provide opportunities for entrepreneurs
  • Support a vibrant community that is a travel destination