A grant opportunity for businesses has been released. Applications are now live for $85 million in new grants to help businesses and communities recover. Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) on Tuesday released applications for two new business and economic recovery programs.
Both programs offer priority for small businesses whose operations were heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic, for those located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), as well as those in communities damaged by recent civil unrest. DIAs are low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases. These programs are the latest in a series of grant programs designed to offset the economic impact of COVID-19 for businesses and communities across Illinois. New Business Interruption Grants Program, The first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) will provide $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses and DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses mid-July.
Specifically, the program includes support for:
- Businesses in Disproportionate Impacted Areas (DIAs) – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
- Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing at least 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each
- Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each. Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each
Applications are available for review on June 23. Applications will be accepted starting June 26 and the application closes on July 7 at 5:00 p.m.