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Deadline: Funding Opportunity with 2019 Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Program

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) sets forth the requirement of the 2019 Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (the Department) Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Program. The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment’s (OMEE) newly created, statefunded capital and infrastructure program, as per Public Act 100-0586, aims to equip minority-owned firms with resources to create jobs, build scale and capacity, increase revenues, and expand regionally. The grant announcement is open to minority owned businesses located in underserved populations. Capital access remains the most important factor limiting the establishment of minority-owned businesses. It also inhibits the ability of economic growth in minority and underserved communities. In 2012, according to the US Census, there were 795,129 nonminority-owned firms compared to 311,684  minority-owned firms. The goal is to ensure minority enterprises have an equal opportunity to contribute to the growth of Illinois’ economy and serve as an advocate for businesses, entrepreneurs and start-ups in traditionally economically-disadvantaged groups.

The goal of this program is to improve the quality of life of Illinoisans. The funded project must meet bondable requirements set forth in 30 ILCS 420, The Capital Development Bond Act of 1972. Specific projects include, but are not limited to:

  • The renovation or expansion of existing buildings;
  • Acquisition of real property and new construction;
  • Purchase of essential equipment;
  • Rehabilitation of publicly owned real property; and,
  • Installation of public facilities (including street, sidewalk, and other site improvements).

The successful grantee will be required to report on the expenditure of funds and the specific improvements rendered as a result of this funding. Using the Periodic Financial and Performance reporting templates, grantees must be able to relate financial data to performance accomplishment that support the Department’s mission to improve the quality of life for Illinoisans. Performance measures as outlined in 2 CFR 200.76 dictate performance goals around tangible, measurable objectives around number of jobs created and the successive economic development from private investments in attracting, retaining and growing business activity.

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