Thanks to the BIG Program (Business Interruption Grants), local small businesses are receiving financial assistance for losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
More than $220m is in the BIG funds and will be earmarked for those businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, with a special focus on Illinois’ most economically-distressed communities.
The State of Illinois has created the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program for small businesses in Illinois suffering losses as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as communities impacted by the recent civil unrest. Applications are open and will offer over $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic, with a focus on economically distressed communities across Illinois.
Further, an announcement was made by Governor Pritzker regarding the $245m that will be available for small businesses either damaged from looting or from having to close up. He also referred to the reality that if federal funding does not come through, many businesses will have to shutter for good, resulting in thousands more being unemployed.
Regarding the BIG Program, Pritzker said:
“It was important to me and to the legislature to alleviate some of the burden that’s carried by these small businesses, particularly those facing long-standing structural barriers.”
The first round of this program offered $49m in funding for small businesses but that was focused on the ones which had to completely shut down in the spring. This next round is going to be open to businesses in all industries, with at least 50% of the grants going to businesses in rural and downstate communities.