We have some exciting news to share! Prairie Food Co-op has been awarded a $807,000 grant as part of the Rebuild Illinois (RBI) Downtowns and Main Streets Capital program. This grant is part of a larger initiative by Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), in which $106 million in capital grants was awarded to 50 commercial corridors across the state. This grant was VERY competitive, so it is an extra honor that PFC was selected!
What is this grant?
This is NOT the potential federal grant sponsored by Congressman Casten (see below) that we may receive at the end of the year. This grant, the RBI Downtowns and Main Streets Capital Program, is designed to support local commercial corridors, with concentrations of businesses that experienced difficulties during the pandemic due to declining foot traffic, tourism, and business from downtown offices. The program drives investment in infrastructure and public amenities to fuel economic activity as more Illinoisans visit their local business districts.
What does this mean for our store?
This grant money will put us in a much stronger position to move quickly on a site that meets our criteria for success. (Catch up on our latest update on our site location search.)
While we missed out on the 109 S. Main St. opportunity, we are investigating other sites that we think will perform just as well, if not better, than 109 S. Main. This money will help us secure a site in our community when the opportunity arises, and offset or eliminate the need of any future capital-raising campaigns!
So, what's next?
Prairie Food Co-op is ALSO in contention for a $847,000 grant, submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Sean Casten. From Rep. Casten’s website, “$847,000 in funding would be used to fill the funding gap for the Prairie Food Co-op. This project will revitalize the economy, support the growth of local microbusinesses, and create $1.5 million in revenues for local agriculture and local food businesses. This capital investment will construct and equip DuPage County’s first community owned grocery, which will fulfill the objectives of the committee by: - creating 50-80 living wage jobs with opportunities for advancement and comprehensive - benefits, - creating steady income streams for over 300 local urban, suburban and rural Illinois farmers and producers - generating $13M in economic activity, and - stimulating the creation of 8-12 micro-businesses.” (Read more about this opportunity.)
We Got This
We're very excited to see what the future holds for our community-owned store, and are grateful for the support we've received at the state level thus far. We feel confident in where we are, and believe in our mission and in you, our Owners. Together, we got this!
If You Haven't Joined the PFC Family Yet, Celebrate This Great News By Becoming a PFC Owner Today!
Prairie Food Co-op Ownership is just a ONE-TIME $200 fee for which you will receive perks and discounts when PFC is open and the right to run for the board and vote for the board. But there is so much more that your Ownership does!
This is your chance to help fund the store that will:
- Expand access to safe, healthy, and sustainable foods that are transparently labeled, ethically sourced, and accessible to all
- Support 150+ local farmers & food producers
- Encourage sustainable practices to reduce energy consumption, pollution, contamination and our carbon footprint
- Create more than 35 local jobs that pay fair wages
- Capture $5M that would otherwise leave our county or state
- Generate $8M in local economic activity annually