martinez floor 103020CHICAGO – To help offset financial losses amid the pandemic, Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is pleased to learn 32 businesses in the district she represents have received financial assistance from the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program, and she is encouraging more to apply.

“The small business community is among the hardest hit by the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Martinez said. “These funds will support operating costs while they adjust to mitigation and ensure their employees are compensated appropriately.”

In the district Martinez represents, 32 businesses received a combined total of more than $1.1 million in grants. Each business received between $5,000 and $150,000 to be used to help cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic. 

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded the grants this week, as part of the second round of the BIG program. However, applications will remain open until all of the funding is spent. 

“Although these grants will offset some costs, nothing compares to the support of the community,” Martinez said. “I encourage residents to continue to shop at their local small businesses, especially when planning for the holidays.”

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are available on DCEO’s website

For a complete list of awardees, click here.