Illinois Department of Commerce Launching First Round of Business Interruption Grants
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers and is funded by the CARES Act.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Additional priority will be given to businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), or low-income areas that have had high rates of COVID-19 cases. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by experiencing eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount since March.
Specifically, the program includes support for:
- Businesses located in DIAs Where There Was Recent Property Damage from Civil Unrest - $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
- Bars and Restaurants - $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000*
- Barbershops and Salons - $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each*
- Gyms and Fitness Centers - $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each*
Businesses must have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must meet specific annual revenue criteria outlined in document below.
WHEN AND WHERE TO APPLY:
DCEO will begin accepting applications on June 26th. The application submission portal will be posted on this webpage. Until the 26th, DCEO is posting the application questions and required documents for businesses and business support organizations to read, review and prepare. *While a portion of funds are reserved for businesses located in DIAs, the following business types in non-DIA locations are also eligible to apply for assistance: bars and restaurants; barbershops and salons; gyms and fitness centers.
- VIEW: Business Interruption Grant Application
- VIEW: Full Eligibility Criteria
- VIEW: Business Certification Form and Eligible Cost List (check back for posting)
Questions? Submit a question in via the question submission form in English or Spanish. Submitting a question via the form ensures a timely response.
DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED AREAS
The map below shows all disproportionately impacted areas for the Business Interruption Grant program. To determine whether or not you are located in a DIA, enter your address in the search box.
Note that for this first round of BIG funds, businesses located in a subset of DIAs where there has been recent property damage due to civil unrest will be eligible for specific grant funds. The zip codes eligible for this specific subset of funding are found here.
FUTURE BIG ASSISTANCE
This $60 million funding round represents only the first wave of the BIG program, which in total will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers. For the remaining BIG funding, DCEO will issue a NOFO at a later date to seek qualified partner(s) in assisting with administering future phases of the BIG program to small businesses. Check back here for the latest updates on BIG grant availability.