hunter 020420CHICAGO – In an effort to provide support to small business owners facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) announced more than $3 million in Business Interruption Grants for hundreds of businesses in her district.

“I am pleased businesses in my district received $3 million in Business Interruption Grants,” Hunter said. “First, businesses in my community were devastated by COVID-19, followed by civil unrest and looting. My heart goes out to them for all the hardships they’ve faced these past several months. People put their whole lives into their businesses, and deserve to see their hard work pay off.”

Nearly 3,000 Illinois businesses were awarded a total of $46 million in the first round of BIG grants by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 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 first round of grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 each, which may be used to help with working capital expenses, including payroll costs and rent. Pandemic-related expenses, such as PPE, training and new technology may also be covered by the funds.

Additionally, $270 million of the state’s Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) Fund is aimed to support the economic health of child care providers. Today is the deadline to apply.

“This is a much-needed award for the businesses in my district,” said Hunter. “These grants won’t solve everything that’s happened these past few months, but surely they will help equip businesses with valuable resources during this time of uncertainty.”

The BIG program is the nation’s largest economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The complete list of grant recipients can be found here.