- Published: Friday, August 14, 2020 10:14 AM
CHICAGO – In an effort to provide support to small business owners facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) announced local businesses will receive a combined $1.7 million, including $450,000 for Latino-owned businesses, through the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.
“It was one of my priorities during session to ensure we were able to provide support to those businesses that have been struggling throughout this pandemic,” Munoz said. “My district is home to so many businesses owned by people of all backgrounds, and it’s important to preserve the cultural and economic contributions they make to Chicago and Illinois.”
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.
First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as PPE, training and new technology.
To ensure ongoing support for Illinois small businesses, the State of Illinois has planned future rounds of funding, including a special program for child care providers. The application deadline for this program is Aug. 14.
The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.