On Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced the opening of the second round of the Business Interruption Grants program. These grants will be available to all small businesses statewide that experienced losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Tuesday, the application is available on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website, www.illinois.gov/dceo, to review. Applicants can start gathering the necessary information.
The DCEO will begin to accept applications Thursday afternoon. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted.
Funding for this round is about $200 million, with more than half of the funds earmarked for businesses downstate.
Of this funding, $70 million will be invested in disproportionately impacted areas and $60 million in heavily impacted industries. A map of the DIAs can be found on the DCEO website.
Heavily impacted industries are defined as having annual revenues of $10 million or less and have been closed or operating at a very diminished capacity since mid-March and are likely to continue to do so until Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan.
These industries include the following:
• Event spaces
• Music venues
• Performing arts venues
• Indoor recreation
• Amusement parks
• Movie theaters
• Charter/shuttle buses
While these priority areas are part of the program, the BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) that had $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and has experienced losses because of COVID-19. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses.
The DCEO will host a series of webinars about this program. You can register for any of the webinars by using the links below:
• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sept. 23: illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e61db6e1bf4f7af4fdcc54544027f0235
• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30: illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=ee94b00d843ec9aab65c49acc33d41942
• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Oct. 7: illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e236cb57ca8f146097a0eabf19155d4c1
• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Oct. 14: illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e1b2877876f223c4252cc1ead2d17ce88
• 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Oct. 21: illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=eb1058a62e1cdd864f497a5dadc0d0290