The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 13, 2012

New grocery store receives city financial assistance

DANVILLE — Ruler Foods is the latest business to receive city economic development funding for its renovations.

The discount supermarket, a subsidiary of Kroger Co., is going into the former Save-A-Lot store space at Main and Griffin streets, north of Dollar General.

The grocery store is expected to open early next year.

To help with purchasing refrigeration, cold storage and other equipment and fixtures, the city is providing Kroger Co. $225,000 in funding.

The Kroger Co. is one of the worlds’ largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2011 sales of $90.4 billion. Kroger’s Family of Stores spans many states with store formats that include grocery and multi-department stores, discount, convenience stores and jewelry stores.

Also for the project, Danville Public Development Director John Heckler said $30,000 is coming from the city’s revolving loan fund.

The remaining $195,000 is coming from the city’s Community Development Block Grant funding earmarked for economic development projects.

Danville Neighborhood Development Manager John Dreher said these types of projects and any city assistance are “always initiated by way through Vermilion Advantage.”

The city earmarks a certain amount of money each year for economic development projects. The money can be used for acquisition of land, construction, infrastructure such as roadway or sewer work, tools and machinery, inventory and other renovations.

In the Ruler Foods case, with an empty building, the funding is assisting with putting in refrigerated food storage which can cost a couple hundred thousand dollars, Dreher said.

Dreher said the $30,000 from the revolving loan fund is a “forgivable loan.”

The revolving loan fund has been around in the city for about 30 years.

The program would involve low-interest loans for business renovations and help businesses get established, or assist established small businesses in growing their business, with payments returned to the city.

In recent years with rock-bottom interest rates and business people saying they can’t pay the money back, the city has given out the “forgivable loans,” Dreher said.

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