Electric vehicle startup Rivian declined a $1 million grant from Normal, Ill., during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Rivian will not be seeking the $1 million grant offered in our original agreement with the Town of Normal," Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe wrote in an April 30 letter. "We feel these funds would better serve our community by remaining with the municipality."
Rivian opened its Normal operation in 2016 in a former Mitsubishi plant, where it employs 325 full-time workers. Scaringe credits much of the success of Rivian to the support of the Normal community, including its leadership.
The company qualified for grant money by reaching its $20 million investment into the plant in 2019.
"The impact of COVID-19 has reminded us all of the importance of community," Scaringe said in the letter. "The main asset of any community is its people, and as resources stretch thinner for every community across the world, we want to do whatever is possible for a pre-production company in our position to help alleviate pressure on our home."
Rivian has investments from Amazon, Ford Motor Co., Cox Automotive, Black Rock and T Rowe Price.
WGLT.org earlier reported on Rivian's letter.