Landmarks Illinois has launched a new grant program focused on preserving historic places in Southern Illinois in partnership with Banterra Bank, the largest, locally-owned bank in that region.
The Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program will provide monetary assistance to preserve or rehabilitate historic structures in downtowns and other commercial corridors of Southern Illinois to support economic development.
The program will provide a minimum of $20,000 in grant funding for two years to historic preservation projects — the first grant program Landmarks Illinois targeted to a specific Illinois economic development region. It is also Landmark Illinois’ first grant program offered to private building owners, developers and for-profit business owners.
The announcement was made late last month at a community event hosted by the City of Marion, Ill. Announcement representatives were Landmarks Illinois President and CEO Bonnie McDonald, Banterra Bank President and CEO Jeff May and Marion Mayor Mike Absher. Local business owner Jeff Mayer, who owns and plans to rehabilitate the historic Goodall Building in Marion, also joined the announcement.
Landmarks Illinois is a membership-based historic preservation nonprofit organization.
“Landmarks Illinois is proud to partner with Banterra Bank to provide this important grant funding for people working to restore historic places to drive economic development in their communities,” said McDonald. “Southern Illinois is a unique region in our state, rich with history, outdoor attractions and charming downtowns. The region’s historic places also add to its character and appeal and they deserve to be preserved.”
Banterra Bank originated in Ridgway, Ill., and today has 40 locations in six states – 25 of them in Southern Illinois. Its core customer base continues to be Southern Illinois, and May said it was a “no-brainer” to support this new grant program through Landmarks Illinois.
“As a lender with small business expertise, we know that when it comes to renovating historic structures for business use, financing the unexpected can be challenging,” said May. “This grant will help with some of those costs and offer credibility to a development project that may assist with further grants. We are encouraged to see how this will grow and support Southern Illinois.”
Banterra Bank and Landmarks Illinois will each provide $10,000 in annual grant funding for two years for the new grant program, with the partners having the option to renew the program at that time.
Commercial property owners, nonprofit organizations or governmental bodies working on a historic preservation project in or near a commercial corridor in Southern Illinois are encouraged to apply for grant funding through the Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program.
Grants will be awarded on a matching basis and range from $500 to $2,500, each based on project need. Grants are distributed twice a year. The first grant application deadline is July 15.
About the Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program
The Landmarks Illinois Banterra Bank Preserve Southern Illinois Grant Program was established in 2022 in partnership with Banterra Bank. Eligible beneficiaries of Preserve Southern Illinois grants are commercial property owners, nonprofit organizations or governmental bodies working on a project in or near a commercial corridor in the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development Southern Region.
Illinois counties included in the Southern Region