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Belt encourages local businesses to apply for the second round of Businesses Interruption Grants

Published: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 03:39 PM

pexels rfstudio 3059745EAST ST. LOUIS – More than two dozen local businesses saw relief from the first round of Business Interruption Grants, leading State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) to encourage more small businesses facing economic hardship to apply for the second round.

“Our state is continuing to support small businesses during this pandemic, and business owners who face financial struggles because of the pandemic should take advantage,” Belt said.“Twenty-five local businesses are currently benefiting from the first round, and I hope to see more area businesses benefit.”

Holmes: Small businesses may apply Thursday for second round of BIG Grants

Published: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 03:37 PM

theater 091620AURORA – Small businesses continue to confront financial hardships as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is encouraging business owners to apply for assistance through the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

“So many local businesses have faced unprecedented challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and I’m pleased we have another round of grants available to help them get back on their feet,” said Holmes. “Our small businesses have been resourceful and flexible in adapting to new safety guidelines, and I hope this will give them the assistance they need to bounce back.”

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 this time of crisis and ensure they have the resources to open safely in the coming months.

BIG funds may 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, and another $70 million has been set aside for businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas, or low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19.  For a full list of eligible zip codes, click here.

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 earlier this year. Those grants went to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers. In the Aurora area, 33 local businesses received a combined $540,000.

“It was gratifying to see our local businesses get this boost in the first round of the BIG Program,” Holmes said. “I encourage affected businesses in this round’s categories to apply for funding as soon as they can.”

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

Hunter congratulates ICJIA grant recipients on Chicago’s Southside

Published: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 03:14 PM

PHOTO Senator Mike Jacobs tours hospital constructionCHICAGO — The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) announced more than $2 million in awards to Southside organizations that provide support to communities most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Monday, and State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is hopeful about the opportunities the new funding will provide.

“Facing the pandemic is hard enough no matter who you are,” Hunter said. “But when you are trying to re-enter society under these conditions, life can be unbearable. That is why I’m glad that these organizations exist to help ease the reentry process and provide those who were formally incarcerated with housing and other resources they need to stay afloat.”

Bush encourages small businesses to apply for second round of relief

Published: Wednesday, September 16, 2020 02:12 PM

pexels artem beliaikin 929245GRAYSLAKE – To help small business owners dealing with the devastating financial impact of COVID-19, State Senator Melinda Bush is encouraging them to apply for the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

“Small businesses make Lake County such a great place to live. Seeing so many forced to close their doors has been heartbreaking,” Bush said. “I am pleased the state has prioritized this much-needed financial relief and hope business owners will take advantage of the assistance.”

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