Second round of funding from Business Interruption Grant available

BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses.
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Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 9:56 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Business Interruption Grant program is a $636 million program developed by Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19.

BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. Funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities and other operational costs.

Applications for a second round of funding are now live. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois. The applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with funding priorities. Additional time needed to submit will not impact your eligibility or chances of receiving a grant.

A $220 million second round of BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, but with a particular focus on businesses downstate, in disproportionately impacted areas and for heavily impacted industry and regions – representing businesses that have been unable to reopen or operating at a severely diminished capacity since the spring.

DCEO has begun issuing awards to more businesses in Round 2 – with over $46 million expended to over 1,200 businesses in the current round. To view a list of current Round 2 awards made – please view here.

Round 2 will include:

  • $60 million for heavily impacted industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks and more.
  • $70 million for disproportionately impacted areas, defined by zip code for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19. 
  • More than $100 million for downstate communities.

Apart from the $60 million for heavily impacted industries, the following types of businesses will be prioritized:

  • Businesses directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by state or local governments.
  • Independently owned retail.
  • Tourism- and hospitality-related industries.
  • $5 million for livestock production disruptions. Applications will be available in the coming weeks from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
  • Loan Forgiveness for Illinois small business emergency loan recipients. Grants will go to businesses that have received loans or remain on the wait list and the program will sunset.

Businesses outside the categories listed above are also eligible to apply and receive funding under the program but may be reviewed later than priority businesses. All businesses will receive a decision on their grant application within four to six weeks of application submission.

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