Millions in business grants awarded across the state
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Nearly half of the $250 million Back to Business grants have been awarded to businesses throughout the state.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today $111 million of the funds have gone to business owners hit by the pandemic. Grants were prioritized for industries that struggled heavily, including restaurants, hotels, bars, salons and the arts.
“These are not loans, so businesses getting help won’t owe a cent back to the state,” Pritzker said. “I’m proud to announce that as of today, $111 million of those grants are already out the door, reaching nearly 3,000 businesses in over 300 cities, towns, and communities across Illinois.”
The funds follow the Business Interruption Grants provided in 2020 which provided $290 million to 9,000 businesses. Of those who received the Back to Business grants, 43% were applicants who applied to BIG last year but were not granted funding. The money comes from federal American Rescue Act funds.
A large portion went to Chicago-based business, but significant grants were made across the state. Springfield, Rockford, Peoria, Quincy and downstate businesses were also given grant funds. Low income areas with high numbers of COVID-19 cases and disproportionately affected areas have received 79% of grants so far.
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and under Governor Pritzker’s leadership DCEO is committed to helping those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through our Back to Business grant program,” said acting Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sylvia Garcia.
Applications are closed for the Back to Business grants, but applications will be reviewed and funds will be rewarded until the $250 million dollars are used up. Businesses can receive a grant of $5,000 to $150,000 based on what they’ve lost during the pandemic.
A list of all grantees so far can be found online.
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