anne eickstadt photo Belvidere Republican
Zulma and Arturo Torres, with son David, accept a $15,000 Back to Business grant from Poplar Grove President Owen Costanza.

By Anne Eickstadt


The Village of Poplar Grove recently announced the distribution of more than $100,000 to businesses within the village limits. As supporters of small business, President Owen Costanza and Village of Poplar Grove officials realized the importance of getting crucial dollars back to those businesses who were struggling from the financial implications brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants were awarded on Thursday, Jan. 21, with the final recipients receiving their checks at the HydeOut Bar & Grill, 13502 Julie Dr., Poplar Grove.

Costanza said, “The village took the opportunity to apply for grant money through the State of Illinois’ Local Coronavirus Remediation Emergency Support Program.”

This program, also known as Local CURE, awarded the village $100,081. “This gave us the means to provide much-needed assistance to Poplar Grove businesses who are struggling amongst mitigation restrictions sand the overall impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The grant recipients may use their awarded grant funds to pay for things such as inventory replenishment, payroll, rent, utilities, and other operating costs, many of which were met with continuous struggles due to the effects of COVID-19.

“Through a thoughtful, organized process,” said Boone County Treasurer Curt Newport, “the Village of Poplar Grove, in cooperation with Growth Dimensions Economic Development, was able to collect applications and identify Village of Poplar Grove businesses hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Recipients of the Back to Business in Poplar Grove Grant are:

HydeOut Bar & Grill; AIDA Electronics & More, Inc.; Matthew J. Noble – Bull Riding; Overall Automotive; Poplar Grind, LLC; Generations Dental; Bravo Pizza & Italian Restaurant; and Arturo’s Mexican Restaurant.

As these businesses and their employees continue to pivot to meet the demands of mitigations and public safety, this grant will help ease some of the economic burdens these hardworking individuals have had to endure.

Ron Smith of Overall Automotive said, “We received $10,000 and it will help keep my guys employed.”

“This is very much appreciated,” Helga Smith said. “It was a nice surprise better than winning the lottery. Hopefully, it presents a good luck start to the new year.”

Arturo’s Restaurant’s Zulma Torres said, “This means a lot. It’s going to help a lot with our bills. It will help with our advertising and get the business going again.”

“It will help a lot,” said Arturo Torres. “Through COVID, we used a couple of credit cards to keep going and this will help pay bills. Thank you to the community who have been very supportive of us.”

Boone County, as part of Region 1, recently moved into Tier 1 Resurgence Mitigations, allowing for loosened restrictions on restaurants and some businesses.

Acknowledging the struggles of the past 10 months, Boone County Chairman Karl Johnson said, “With Region 1 and Boone County back in Tier 1 Mitigation, we remain hopeful that we can continue to move beyond the sacrifice our residents and businesses have made to keep our public safe. We’ll continue to work with Poplar Grove and other Boone County municipalities to ensure our businesses and the entire community see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel.”

“We remain steadfast in our approach to finding available COVID resources,” Newport said, “as we work with Poplar Grove, our local governments, elected officials, community members, and Forward Boone partners.”

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