Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) released a new round of applications for grant programs to help with the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses and communities in the state.
The grants include the new Business Interruption Grant (“BIG”) and Rebuild Distressed Communities grants. The grants are $85 million in total.
The first round of BIG will provide $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG program is available for up to 3,500 businesses and the DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July.
Priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Additional priority will be given to businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (“DIAs”), or low-income areas that have had high rates of COVID-19 cases. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by experiencing eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount since March.
The program includes support for:
- Businesses located in DIAs Where There Was Recent Property Damage from Civil Unrest: $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each.
- Bars and Restaurants: $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000.
- Barbershops and Salons: $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each.
- Gyms and Fitness Centers: $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each.
Businesses must have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must meet specific annual revenue criteria outlined in document below. The DCEO will be accepting applications on June 26, 2020 and are due on July 7, 2020. The application can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/C19DisadvantagedBusGrants.aspx.
The second program, Rebuild Distressed Communities, is a $25 million economic recovery program to support Illinois businesses that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during protest and demonstrations on or after May 25, 2020. The Distressed Capital Program will reimburse the costs to repair structural damages, including repairs to storefronts and entrances, improving electrical systems, and restoring exterior work.
We will continue to monitor business assistance programs both locally and at the state level and will provide updates when warranted. Please contact us with any questions you might have. We are here to help you make it through these challenging times.