Quotes Tony Munoz FBCHICAGO – 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.


IYIP FBWith deep concern for young people facing high rates of unemployment due to the COVID-19 crisis, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) encourages youth employment service providers to apply for grants to help provide more jobs and support to those in need.

The Illinois Youth Investment Program grants are targeted to provide jobs and support for people ages 16 to 24 in some of the most underserved communities across the state.

The IYIP, administered by DHS, supports at-risk youth who are seeking long-term, career employment. Providers interested in serving young people in their area can apply for grants through Aug. 3 online at DHS’ website.

Grants are awarded to providers who can assist at-risk youth with short-term, long-term and industry-specific career development opportunities. In addition to employment support, IYIP also provides participants with support services for their physical, emotional, social and mental health needs. Questions about IYIP and other DHS grants can be answered online or by calling 800-843-6154.

munoz071419CHICAGO— The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) will make $7.1 million in funding available to organizations providing support services and resources to communities hit hardest by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and State Senator Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is encouraging interested organizations to apply immediately.

“COVID-19 has had an awful, disproportionate impact on minority communities. These communities that have been severely affected by the pandemic cannot afford to deal with an additional crisis,” Munoz said. “The funding opportunity will assist individuals and families who are in jeopardy of losing their homes, access to food or other needs due to the flexibility of the grant.”

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Munoz070920SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Broadband announced Thursday that the McKinley Park Development Council is among the first recipients of the Illinois Connected Communities grant program.

“Broadband access has been an issue for communities across the state for some time now,” Munoz said. “Current events have not only underscored the issue, but made it clear that we need to make internet available in every household.”

Illinois Connected Communities is a partnership among the Illinois Office of Broadband, the Evanston-based Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, and local philanthropy groups. The program is designed to engage a first-year cohort of communities through best practice curriculum, expert consultation, and a state grant of up to $15,000.
“The McKinley Park Development Council has been working to improve our community since 2017, and this grant will allow them to continue their work by expanding broadband access,” Munoz said.

By the end of the 12-month program, each Illinois Connected Community will have completed a community-driven, broadband strategic plan that articulates the community’s broadband vision and identifies an action plan for progress toward improved broadband access in the areas of community and economic development, education, civic engagement, healthcare, agriculture, and more.

This initial investment is part of the governor’s 4-year plan, Connect Illinois, to bring universal access to communities across Illinois. Connect Illinois may release a second round of grants later this year.

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