Barber Shop stock


Chicago – Dozens of local South Side businesses were recently awarded over $2.4 million in funding from the Back to Business Program to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the support of State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“Businesses across the state have been negatively impacted in the last two years, especially Black and Brown-owned small businesses and in the hospitality industry,” Peters said. “These grants are giving South Side businesses a much needed boost to get back on their feet as we continue to recover.”

The B2B program grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget. So far – thanks to strong support from Sen. Peters – DCEO has provided $111 million in B2B grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas.

In the district Peters represents, 81  businesses were awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $145,000 to help them cover the costs of safely staying open in these unpredictable times. Businesses ranged from barber shops to photography studios and more.

“The B2B program’s focus on hard hit sectors like restaurants, salons, fitness centers and organizations focusing on the arts really make it a nation-leading example of small business recovery,” Peters said. “I am glad to see so many businesses in our community receive this important assistance.”

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Visit the DCEO website for more information on the B2B program and view a full list of grantees here.