A popular downtown Rock Island restaurant is asking the city for help so it can expand. Monday night the city council will consider grants and loans for the QC Coffee and Pancake House, also known as Koffee Break Restaurant, at the corner of 19th Street and 3rd Avenue.
Rock Island Economic Development Manager Bret Gardella says the owners, Jose and Sarah Zepeda, want to buy the building and add on to their restaurant.
"They actually lose business because they're so busy they're full all of the time. This gives them the opportunity to increase the size of their business, bring in more customers, and satisfy more customers, which obviously brings more revenue for their business and more sales tax revenue for the city."
The proposed aid package includes a facade assistance grant of up to $15,000, $60,000 from the city's revolving loan fund, and $30,000 dollars from the downtown TIF, or Tax Increment Finance, district.
Gardella says getting help like this requires applicants to be willing to invest in themselves first.
"The city is not the first source of funds for any project. We are only bridge-financing. That means the person has to have bank financing, their own input in the transaction, and then the city comes in to fill any type of gap that may exist assuming we can fill it."
Gardella says he began working with the Zepeda's a year ago to develop a business plan to help them qualify for this help from Rock Island.