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The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program is a $636 million program developed by Governor 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 as defined in the eligible cost list found below.
The first round of funding provided a $49 million boost for businesses throughout Illinois, with grant funds deployed to roughly 2,800 businesses spanning 400 towns and cities, and in 78 counties throughout the state.
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 (DIAs) 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.
The second wave of funds includes the following provisions to ensure a wide distribution of funds geographically and across business type:
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.
To view the application and to apply, please click here (link).