"Forward' provides resources for small businesses in Illinois Quad Cities

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 3:18 AM CDT
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The Illinois Quad Cities is launching a new tool for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The service called Forward is a partnership between the cities of East Moline, Moline, and Rock Island.

"Their successful navigation of this pandemic is our successful navigation of this pandemic," Mayor Stephanie Acri of Moline said.

The tools will help connect small businesses with hundreds of thousands of dollars of relief.

"These tools help minimize the stress of the business owners. It provides a one-stop-shop to see what resources are available and it helps facilitate the application process," Mayor Reggie Freeman of East Moline said.

The online resource helps businesses identify what resources are they are eligible for, including grants, loans, and other federal, state, and local financial assistance.

"As COVID-19 has impacted the operations of our local small businesses, it has become a critically important effort to connect those small businesses to the resources that are available to support them through this extraordinarily challenging time," Mayor Acri said.

After logging in, business owners create a personalized profile. From there, the system identifies the resources available and most beneficial for the business.

"Through this partnership with the two neighboring communities, we are one of the first in the nation to bring this innovative program to our businesses. Rock Island will have 1,100 businesses invited to participate," Mayor Mike Thoms of Rock Island said.

Forward will now make resources more easily available as we navigate a new way of business.

"We're here to try and help them survive and grow in the future. So wherever we can help, please reach out and we'll do our best to make that happen," Mayor Thoms said.

Over 4,000 Illinois businesses have received an invitation for Forward in their email. If your business hasn't received one yet, you can reach out to your city. One of the ways you can