Read more about the article Veterans Assistance Commission denials soar as demand increases and donations drop
File photo. The hands of veterans as they wait outside the meeting room for the Veteran's Assistance program on the first Monday of the month at Brookens Champaign County Building on Monday, November 3, 2014. Photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

Veterans Assistance Commission denials soar as demand increases and donations drop

The commission has assisted 432 veterans through November this year, but it has had to turn away many requests because donations that supplement the county money were down, said Brad Gould, the commission’s superintendent.

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Read more about the article Small Business Incentive Program relief grants provides ‘much needed’ financial assistanceDarrell Hoemann
Habitat for Humanity, Champaign Executive Director Chad Hoffmanon in the Restore in Champaign on Friday, December 11, 2020. Photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

Small Business Incentive Program relief grants provides ‘much needed’ financial assistance

Forty-eight out of approximately 90 small businesses in Champaign received a total of $520,000 in grants from the Small Business Incentive Program COVID Relief Grants. The money for these grants came from the Federal CARES Act fund. The city council amended the pre-existing Small Business Incentive Program so that the program could be used to distribute this new funding in an efficient and productive way.

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Read more about the article Limited funding prevents West Urbana brick sidewalks from being accessibleSydney Wood
A brick sidewalk in need of repair located near the intersection of South Busey Ave. near West California Ave. in Urbana. Photo taken November 2, 2020.

Limited funding prevents West Urbana brick sidewalks from being accessible

Despite ongoing major road construction within West Urbana, multiple stretches of brick sidewalks that do not meet the standards of the federal disability act will not be fixed. Urbana City Administrator Carol Mitten said the City doesn’t have the finances to correct every non-ADA compliant sidewalk in Urbana that is outside of MCORE’s construction zone.

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Read more about the article County Forest Preserve says tax referendum is “not a partisan issue”Champaign County Forest Preserve District
Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet's Lake of the Woods preserve, one of the six forest preserves run by CCFPD.

County Forest Preserve says tax referendum is “not a partisan issue”

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District is a week away from learning if voters will support its plea for an increase in taxes to support catching up on more than $4 million in backlogged capital projects. The referendum proposes an increased tax levy of 0.0160 to 0.1033 percent. The district decided not to increase its tax levy before a tax cap implementation in 1996.

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Read more about the article Campus crime reports significantly different; Some call for reform of federal Clery ActUniversity Housing
Campus crime locations include residence halls, such as Hopkins Hall, which had at least 13 incidents in the 2020 fall semester at the University of Illinois.

Campus crime reports significantly different; Some call for reform of federal Clery Act

Last year, 233 criminal incidents occurred on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus according to the 2019 annual security and fire report, mandated by the federal crime reporting law for colleges known as the Clery Act. But the university’s daily crime log routinely reports many more incidents. Some law enforcement officials said the Clery Act guidelines can be confusing and unclear for crime reporting and can lead to ‘unintended harms’, especially in the wake of COVID-19, which may make campuses appear less safe than reality.

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Small Business Administration announces grants for civil unrest damages

Champaign County businesses that suffered damage from looting may eventually be included in funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA), a spokesperson said last week. John Dwyer of the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency, said in a phone call that over 50 businesses were affected by looting. The SBA announced in an email on June 26 it would be providing grants to Illinois businesses affected by civil unrest between May 26 and June 8.

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Champaign Park District revenue declines

The Champaign Park District, facing at least $1.8 million in lost revenue, is set to meet July 22 to discuss its budget for the upcoming year. Part of the budget, which includes grants and the park district recently applied for a Rebuild Illinois grant. It is also in the process of applying for an Illinois Emergency Management Agency grant, but Wallace said in a phone interview Thursday that the grant has shifted to being administered federally and so the grant is more limited in scope.

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Read more about the article Champaign opens up small business portal
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Champaign opens up small business portal

The City of Champaign announced in an email that it is offering grants of up to $15,000 for small business owners. The email comes in the wake of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s announcement June 17 that the state of Illinois will provide grants for small businesses under the new Business Interruption Grant program. Illinois’ program provides $60 million of funding to small businesses, including allocations of $20 million to bars and restaurants who can’t have outdoor seating, $10 million to barber shops and salons, and another $10 million is allocated to gyms and fitness centers.

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Small Business Administration opens disaster relief portal

The Small Business Administration has re-opened its Disaster Relief portal for small businesses in Illinois. In the June 16 email, the Illinois branch added that Illinois small businesses can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance in addition to loans. The email stipulated that advances won’t need to be repaid and that a business may get an advance even if it isn’t able to get a loan.

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