hairdresser 081820DEERFIELD — As small businesses continue to face financial hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) is pleased more than 50 businesses throughout her district have received nearly $900,000 in combined assistance through the Business Interruption Grant Program.

“The small business community and its hardworking owners hold a special place in my heart, and I’m happy they will receive much-deserved assistance,” Morrison said. “Between being shut down for weeks and the extra cost that comes with keeping employees and customers safe and healthy, these business owners need as much help as we can possibly provide them.”

A total of 53 business in the district Morrison represents received a combined $870,000. Each business received between $10,000 and $20,000 to be used to help with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, training and new technology.

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.

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.