- Published: Wednesday, August 18, 2021 09:30 AM
Our economy is on the upswing after a difficult year, but we’re far from out of the woods—that’s why Illinois is launching Back to Business (B2B), a new $250 million small business relief program.
Read on for more information about what kinds of businesses are eligible for B2B and how to apply. If you know a small business owner in need, feel free to forward this information to them. You can also direct them to my office at 773-869-9050 or SenatorTonyMunoz.com for assistance.
And there’s something else we can all do to help our small business community bounce back: get vaccinated. It’s key to bringing down our COVID-19 positivity rates and making a full return to the places and activities we enjoyed before the pandemic.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions. Let’s keep working together toward a complete recovery!
State Senator | 1st District
What is the Back to Business grant program?
The B2B program, administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, will award eligible small businesses one-time grants of up to $150,000 to cover operation costs, staff payroll and other expenses in an effort to make up for losses sustained due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $250 million will be distributed.
Is my business eligible?
In order to qualify for a grant through the B2B program, a business must have made $20 million or less in revenue in 2019 and be able to demonstrate a reduction in revenue in 2020.
How will businesses be selected?
To direct aid where it’s needed most, DCEO will prioritize businesses in the following categories:
- Businesses in particularly hard-hit industries, like hotels, restaurants, retailers, arts organizations, fitness centers and child care providers
- Businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas
- Businesses that have not received funding through other state and federal relief programs
- Businesses that brought in $5 million or less in revenue in 2019
When and how can I apply?
The B2B application portal will open Wednesday, Aug. 18 on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/DCEO.
In the meantime, business owners are encouraged to review the program requirements and gather any required documentation. DCEO will also be hosting informational webinars Tuesday, Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. to walk interested candidates through the application process.
A variety of local and state organizations are offering assistance to small businesses looking to apply for grants through B2B. A full, searchable list of these program partners is available here.
I encourage interested small business owners to explore the program and see if their business may be eligible for aid. As always, my office can point you in the direction of helpful resources to make the application process smoother—simply contact us at 773-869-9050 or SenatorTonyMunoz.com.
Other opportunities you may be interested in…
Grants available for organizations preparing Illinoisans for the workplace
The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Apprenticeship Expansion Program are offering grants to community organizations that are modernizing and diversifying apprenticeship opportunities in Illinois.
- Apply for the Apprenticeship Expansion Program grants by Aug. 24.
- Apply for the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program grants by Oct. 4.
Student loan payment freeze extended through January 2022
The federal government has extended the pause on student loan payments an additional four months, to Jan. 31, 2022, to give borrowers more time to recover from pandemic-related job and income losses. This is great news for the 36 million Americans struggling with federal student loan debt. For more information, contact your loan servicer or visit www.studentaid.gov.
Nearly all local governments eligible for funding to support public parks
The Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program helps cover the cost of renovations, expansions and new development of public parks. Local governments can use grant funding to build playgrounds, sports courts and fields, swimming pools, campgrounds, winter sports facilities, restrooms, and more. Apply by Sept. 1 at www.dnr.illinois.gov.