On or before March 1, 1994, the Department shall issue a Request for Proposals that invites individuals, not-for-profit corporations, and small businesses to submit proposals to develop enterprises that use secondary materials that are collected in municipal and business recycling programs for the manufacture of recycled-content products. Grants to qualified applicants shall not exceed $50,000 for any one proposal. The Department shall provide grants in an amount not to exceed $150,000 during any one fiscal year. The terms of the grants shall be determined by the Department. This program shall operate for a period not to exceed 2 years.
     The Department shall give priority to proposals that will create small scale businesses in economically depressed areas. In determining the most viable proposals, the Department may consider, in addition to its regular market development program guidelines, the nature of the business, its capital needs, benefits to the community, program budget constraints, local financing opportunities, and the type of secondary material that will be used as feedstock in the reuse or remanufacturing process.
     The Department shall hold at least 2 informational meetings in the State to publicize the existence of this recycling economic redevelopment Request for Proposals and shall provide technical assistance to any potential respondent desiring such assistance. Grant recipients shall prepare and submit to the Department a one year progress report which the Department shall summarize and submit to the General Assembly along with recommendations on measures that the State can undertake to stimulate small-scale market development ventures, particularly in economically-depressed areas.
     None of the provisions of this Section shall limit or affect other programs administered by the Department pursuant to this Act.