Kyle Gill: Mattoon behaved well during pandemic and sees a better future | Government and Politics

During the White House coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, Fauci said the main challenge remains a stubbornly high level of new daily cases in the country. It hovers around an average of 55,000 and has increased slightly in recent days. While this is clearly much better than the 250,000 daily cases at the peak of the winter wave, it’s uncomfortably close to the levels seen during last summer’s COVID wave.

Last year we faced major changes in our lives.

We have seen that it is not easy to adapt to health, social and economic challenges. Just like the rest of you, city officials and staff have spent many hours listening, reading, discussing and working on the changing challenges of the COVID pandemic.

The city of Mattoon is committed to addressing the issues as they have grown, and overall the city has held up well throughout the COVID pandemic.

The predicted loss of income that was projected for the city was not seen. The largest portion of Mattoon’s revenue is sales tax and we have seen an increase in tax from previous years as some of the big box stores and car dealers have seen their sales increase.

The closure of small retail stores and service establishments during the pandemic has strained the economy and small business owners.

Fortunately, 26 different businesses in Coles County have received between $ 5,000 and $ 150,000 in Business Interruption Grant Program (BIG) funds to help them weather the pandemic. The first round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) helped 349 small businesses in Mattoon receive nearly $ 25 million in forgivable loans to help keep their employees paid and employed.

The Town of Mattoon, with the help of the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce, Coles Together and Coles County Regional Planning, was able to apply for and obtain seven Small Business Stabilization Grants for Mattoon Businesses.

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