ellman 052320NAPERVILLE – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, small businesses are still facing added financial hardships, and State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is urging local businesses to apply for assistance through the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

“The challenges that have been created due to this pandemic are truly unprecedented,” Ellman said. “So many in the community have worked tirelessly to follow the latest guidelines. It’s great to see another round of these grants coming to these well-deserving businesses.”

The BIG Program has allocated $220 million in the second round for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and more to help them stay afloat through these uncertain times and make sure they have the means to open safely in the coming months.

BIG funds can be used to help businesses cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic.

To ensure funds are distributed across the state and across business type, $60 million has been specifically allocated for heavily distressed industries, including indoor recreation facilities and amusement parks.

During the program’s first round of funding last month, it granted more than $40 million to small businesses across the state. Businesses in Will and DuPage Counties were awarded over $500,000 in $10,000 to $20,000 grants during the first round.

“These funds have and will continue to give businesses the ability to reopen with the new guidelines and provide a safer environment for employees and customer,” Ellman said.

Applications open tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 17 and can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website alongside a full list of criteria.