News from the Reference Desk Category: Economic

IL Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program begins June 23

From the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO):

DCEO will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs). Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Specifically, the program includes support for:

Businesses in DIAs – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each

Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing at least 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each

Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each

Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each

The application for BIG will be available on Tuesday, June 23–keep checking site for updates.

Protection for Renters During COVID-19

If you are a renter and have questions about your rights, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has some information that may be helpful HERE.

The CARES Act, which was recently passed by Congress, provides certain protections for most tenants in federally subsidized or federally backed housing, including limits on evictions and fees for not being able to make your rent payment.

Some states and local governments have taken action to offer rent relief.

In addition, there are a number of resources and professionals who can help with your housing or financial situation, including nonprofit credit and housing counselors.

Money Smart Week Goes Virtual!

Money Smart week, originally scheduled for April 4-11 this year, was canceled like almost everything else due to the COVID-19 precautions.  Financial literacy doesn’t stop being relevant, however, and so in an expanded celebration of Financial Literacy Month all April, the good folks behind MSW have created useful, educational, and insightful webinars on various topics. Each topic is uniquely relevant to our current environment and is pre-recorded so you can view them when it is most convenient for you! Just click on the links below:

-Take Control of Your Finances

-Inside America’s “Financial Diaries”

-Money and Budgeting for Kids!

-Medigap Insurance: How to Pick the Right Plan
Another canceled MSW program that will give you insights into which plan is right for you and how to use the tools available at MPPL to access related information.

 

Spanish Language Resources and Tools from the CFPB

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2018, the Hispanic population in the U.S. was made up of just under 60 million people, or nearly one-fifth of the nation’s population. The Consumer Financial protection Bureau (CFPB) has a selection of financial education tools and resources for our nation’s diverse Hispanic and Latino community that are available in both English and Spanish. It recognizes the great variation in the needs, interests, and financial well-being of Hispanic and Latino households. Its resources are intended to be useful for individuals and families during many different stages of their economic life, as they pursue the goals and aspirations that are important to them.

Back to School with Good Money Habits

It’s back-to-school time again! MPPL wants to help young patrons, in alliance with their parents, learn about good money habits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)’s Money as You Grow webpage has tips and activities that can help grow the money skills, habits, and attitudes of children of all ages. Money as You Grow Bookshelf materials helps parents and caregivers bring money topics to life during the time they are reading with their children. This program provides a list of books that are commonly found in libraries or bookstores for children ages four to ten. There are free downloadable reading guides for each book that help parents and caregivers explain key money ideas, and includes questions and activities that can help children understand and use the key ideas in daily life. Take a look and see what we have available!