Small Business Grants Still Available

Millions of dollars are still available through the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program for businesses who have been financially impacted by COVID-19 closures. 

The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program is a $636 million program that provides economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. Funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs.

The application for the second round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) is live on the DCEO website

In this round, nearly all businesses and non-profits with an annual revenue under $20 million are eligible to apply for the $220 million available. While nearly all are eligible, certain types of businesses will take priority or have set asides in funding:  

  1. Heavily Impacted Industries ($60m): businesses that have been nearly shut down such as event spaces, performing arts venues, museums, movie theaters, and other indoor and high contact recreational facilities.
  2. Priority Businesses apart from the industries above. These are businesses that: 
    1. Were directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by the state or local governments (so far in Region 4 and 7)
    2. Did not receive PPP or other forms of emergency aid
    3. Are independently owned retail, tourism or hospitality-related, and other hard-hit industries.
    4. Have less than $5 million in annual revenue
    5. Experienced revenue losses exceeding 50% since March

While businesses in every corner of the state will be eligible to apply, two geographic factors will get priority:  

    1. Disproportionately Impacted Areas ($70m), the map can be found on our website here
    2. Downstate Businesses ($100m), which means those not located in Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and Will counties.
    3. The application is live here. Please direct constituents to visit the overview page which can help answer many questions. We also have a fact sheet attached for your convenience. Detailed eligibility criteria can be found here.

Steve McClure

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