crowe 022720MARYVILLE – To offer support to small business owners facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) announced 25 local businesses will receive funds through the Business Interruption Grant program.

“Our local businesses fell victim to unprecedented revenue loss from the COVID-19 pandemic," Crowe said. “It’s reassuring to see investments going directly into our small business community, and I hope this funding can offer a boost during these tough times.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.

First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as PPE, training and new technology.


“To ensure safety for workers and consumers, the BIG program will allow businesses to prioritize safety while adjusting to new social distancing guidelines,” Crowe said. “While it’s encouraging to see businesses getting assistance, I know our work is just starting to ensure our community fully recovers from this crisis.”

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.