Pritzker: $14 million in emergency grants goes to 700 bars, restaurants, hotels

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 3:53 PM CDT
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Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), in partnership with Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana, awarded $14 million in small grants to over 700 small bars, restaurants, and hotels.

Bars and restaurants received an average grant of $14,000 while hotels received an average grant of $30,000. The grants can be used to support working capital, like payroll and rent, job training and technology to support shifts in operations including more use of carryout and delivery.

Awards for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program were drawn from existing DCEO funds budgeted for tourism promotion, job training, and general operations. More than 450 small bars and restaurants received an average grant of roughly $14,000 while more than 250 small hotels received an average grant of $30,000. Applications were accepted by Accion from March 25 through April 1st and the lottery to select grantees was held from April 4th to April 7th.

The awarded businesses are located across the state of Illinois. Approximately one-third of the businesses receiving grants are located outside of Cook and the collar counties.

“With hospitality businesses among the first hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, this initiative has delivered much needed working capital to the smallest of hospitality businesses to allow them to survive and continue to make payroll in the opening weeks of this crisis,” said Erin Guthrie, Director of DCEO, “The funds granted through this program will serve as a critical stopgap for these businesses as many of them seek federal assistance.”

A list of resources available to small businesses is published and updated periodically