Illinois has awarded the first round of emergency funding to small businesses to help them during the pandemic.
Known as Business Interruption Grants, they range from $10-thousand to $20-thousand. They are earmarked for helping businesses make payroll, pay rent, utilities and unexpected costs like PPE. More than 26-hundred businesses in 78 counties are benefitting. More than half are minority-owned. so far, $46-million has been awarded.
“These businesses represent our local barbers, local restaurants, gyms and much, much more. They are part of the fabric of their communities," said Michael Negron, Acting Director for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Karen Freeman Wilson, CEO of the Chicago Urban League, said the money is a lifeline for many employers.
“This program can be the difference between sustaining your difference through a difficult time and having to suspend operations either temporarily or permanent,” she added.
Funding for child care providers is being offered now and money for businesses harmed by looting and civil unrest will be available soon. Additonal rounds could also target the performing arts.
Grant proceeds come from the federal CARES Act as well as the state’s capital improvement program.