2021 grant recipients announced: $40K to downtown businesses

Aurora Downtown approved small business grants totaling nearly $40,000 this week. The announcement serves as a bellwether that downtown businesses are ready for post-pandemic growth.

Aurora Downtown, the nonprofit group that oversees the downtown Special Service Area, will distribute grant funds to 13 businesses.

Aurora Downtown’s Business Attraction and Retention (BAR) Committee offered a variety of small business grants of up to $5,000 to downtown businesses. The group announced the grants in February, and businesses had until May 1 to apply. 

The 2021 BAR grants will go towards awnings, signage, building improvements, and marketing efforts. Recipients include The Yetee, Wyckwood House, The Riverfront Playhouse, Endiro Coffee, QT3 Fitness, Heath Holding LLC, JH Real Estate Partners, The Perch, Payton’s Photography, Aurora Historical Society, Aurora Regional Fire Museum, Fox Valley Music Foundation, and Kathryn’s Place.

Some of the projects include theater soundproofing at The Riverfront Playhouse, jazz concerts hosted by The Venue at Mundy Park, a safety exhibit at the fire museum, new signage identifying occupants Aurora Public Art and Aurora Historical Society at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, and a free rejuvenation day at The Perch (pictured). 

Most recently, the BAR committee has funded such projects as new awnings at La Quinta de los Reyes and The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange and new signage and flooring at AKA Dance.

Photo by Donnell Collins: BAR grant funds will allow Amy Jackson, owner of The Perch, to bring a new, free event to her studio in downtown Aurora. The Perch’s Rejuvenation Day will feature yoga, meditation, painting, and chair massages.

See more of Donnell’s photos for his Driveby Photo Shoot Stopby series HERE.