CHICAGO – Small businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic may now apply for another $175 million in aid money through the state’s Business Interruption Grant program.
This second round of funding is open for small businesses with annual revenues of less than $20 million. Grants are particularly for companies in heavily impacted industries, in disproportionately impacted areas, in downstate communities, for priority businesses, and for agriculture, according to a press release from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Grants in the BIG program range from $5,000-$150,000 per business and the funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities, and other operational costs.
So far, the BIG program has paid more than 4,000 grants totaling $95 million to 469 communities across the state, the press release said. Nearly half of all grants have been provided to minority business owners – including 10 percent for Latinx-owned businesses. And nearly half of the grants have been extended to disproportionately impacted areas, meaning those suffering higher case counts and experiencing underlying economic distress.
“Since the time this crisis first hit, the State of Illinois has acted swiftly to implement emergency relief programs to help offset losses to help our small business community—essential to our economy—to weather the storm,” said DCEO Director Erin B. Guthrie in the press release.
The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program is a $636 million initiative developed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly to support thousands of small businesses.
The Business Interruption Grant application can be found at: