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Gillespie encourages small businesses to apply for round two of BIG Grants

Published: Thursday, September 17, 2020 04:31 PM

music venue1 091720ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) is encouraging local businesses to apply for assistance through the second round of Business Interruption Grants to combat financial hardships.

“We’re in a time where thousands of small businesses are facing unprecedented economic uncertainty,” Gillespie said. “This program will help provide some stability and give out small businesses a helping hand.”

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, 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. Wheeling businesses may qualify for part of the $70 million. For a full list of eligible ZIP codes, click here.

During the program’s first round of funding in August, it granted more than $40 million to small businesses across Illinois in the form of $10,000 to $20,000 grants.

“The state’s continuing to do what’s necessary and what’s required to help the business community stay afloat,” Gillespie said. “I encourage any small business that is struggling to apply for relief as soon as applications go live.”

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.

Hunter urges Southside businesses to apply for second wave of BIG grants TODAY

Published: Thursday, September 17, 2020 04:17 PM

jazzclub 091720CHICAGO — During the first wave of Business Interruption Grants Chicago businesses received more than $3 million in financial assistance. The second wave of grants opened Thursday, and State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is urging eligible businesses to apply.

“I was encouraged by the results of the first wave of BIG grants, and I’m hoping that other Southside businesses can receive similar assistance this time around,” Hunter said. “Any business that has faced financial hardships stemming from the pandemic should apply as soon as possible.”

Grants in the first round ranged from $10,000 to $20,000 to assist businesses with expenses like payroll costs, rent, utilities, equipment, and other possible unexpected costs to relieve the effects of the pandemic. 

The second wave of grants will aid businesses such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, and concert venues as well as other for-profit and non-profit businesses with a total of $220 million in allocated funds to help them push through these hard times. 

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

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, including businesses located in the 60616 ZIP code. A full list of eligible ZIP codes can be found here.

Eligible businesses should apply as soon as possible on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Local parks to receive more than $1.5 million improvement grants

Published: Thursday, September 17, 2020 04:00 PM

kids parkCHAMPAIGN – Four area parks will receive a combined $1.5 million to make major renovations and improvements, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday. 

“This investment in our parks is vital because it promotes health, wellness and quality of life to families and older adults,” Bennett said. “I’m pleased to see so many of the parks in our community benefit from this grant.” 

The money comes from a grant that is part of the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The program is providing more than $29.7 million in grants to support 85 local park projects across the state. 

Parks receiving the grant include: 

  • Champaign PD, Human Kinetics Park Development: $400,000
  • Danville, Historic Ellsworth Park Redevelopment: $373,900
  • Rantoul, Rudzinski Park Redevelopment: $360,000
  • Urbana PD, Crystal Lake Rehabilitation Project: $400,000

Hastings appreciates urgent action on behalf of Will County business owners

Published: Thursday, September 17, 2020 03:48 PM

hastings 091720FRANKFORT – To bring relief to local businesses suffering from the economic devastation brought on by COVID-19, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) is encouraging small business owners across the South Suburbs to apply for the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

In a letter to Governor Pritzker several weeks ago, Hastings urged the administration to prioritize financial assistance to bars, banquet halls, restaurants and fitness centers throughout Will County due to the implementation of additional mitigation measures. As a result, businesses in Region 7 that submit an application will be given priority to ensure they receive the necessary support from the second round of BIG awards.

“The prioritization of Region 7 businesses doesn’t happen without the advocacy of business owners in Will County, and I want to thank them for voicing their concerns to me,” Hastings said. “At this point, every bit of help counts. This financial assistance will help businesses throughout Will County that have been negatively impacted by the recent COVID-19 mitigations. We are by no means out of the woods yet, so for us to continue working toward recovery, it’s vital that business owners struggling to get by submit their applications for the second round of grants.”

Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants program will be made available Thursday, Sept. 17 and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.

The second wave of funds from BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas. Application information for the second round of funds and can be found on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/dceo.

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