Rock Island government and businesses feeling the brunt of the pandemic

4 The Record

City is making second round of grants available

This year of the pandemic is taking a cumulative toll on public health and economic health.

You don’t have to go far to see it.

A few businesses in downtown Rock Island closed in recent weeks — restaurants specifically.

Owners say limits on capacity and being unable to serve customers indoors doesn’t make sense from a business standpoint.

That’s before the most recent restrictions imposed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

The city’s providing some financial relief in the form of grants to try to keep them afloat, but those resources are limited.

Rock Island’s city government is seeing that lost business play out in tax revenue.

That’s directly impacting the budget.

The city council will consider raising the property tax rate for the second straight year.

Rock Island’s latest proposal calls for a tax rate of 2.92 cents on assessed property values.

That would be an increase of almost 6 and a quarter percent from last year.

A first reading on the budget will go to the city council in mid-December.

This is subject to change.

These aren’t the best of times in a lot of places.

You can argue Rock Island is taking more than its share of lumps.

We talked about that this week on 4 The Record with Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms.

Thoms evaluated the impact the pandemic has had on Rock Island shared what he thinks about the businesses closing in The District and estimated what the city had lost in revenue so far. 

The city council recently gave the green light to a second round of emergency grants worth a total of $292,000.

Eligible businesses could get anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000. More than 60 took advantage of the first round.

Thoms addressed how much this helps and how far he thinks it really goes.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

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