METROPOLIS – 118th District State Rep. Patrick Windhorst is encouraging businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdown to apply for a piece of $200 million in Business Interruption Grant (BIG) funding.
“The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has provided a list of required documents to help Illinois businesses prepare for the application process,” Windhorst said. “The newest round of BIG Grants provide more than $200 million to businesses in downstate and southern Illinois. I want to encourage businesses negatively impacted by the Coronavirus shutdown to get their application for BIG funding as soon as possible.”
Relevant information and links to apply are provided below.
A $220 million second round of BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, but with a particular focus on businesses downstate, in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), and for heavily impacted industry and regions – representing businesses that have been unable to reopen or operating at a severely diminished capacity since the spring.
The second wave of funds includes the following provisions to ensure a wide distribution of funds geographically and across business type:
- Heavily Impacted Industries – $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, and more.
- Disproportionately Impacted Areas – $70 million set aside for DIAs, defined by zip codes identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19. A map of DIAs is shown below.
- Downstate Communities– DCEO has committed to ensuring that at least half of all remaining funds, totaling more than $100 million, are reserved for businesses in downstate and rural communities of Illinois.
- Priority Businesses– Apart from the $60 million for heavily impacted industries, applications from the following types of businesses will be prioritized for review for remaining funds: businesses directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by the state or local governments, independently owned retail, tourism- and hospitality-related industries including accommodations, and more.
- Agriculture – $5 million of the remainder of funds will be set aside for livestock production disruptions. Applications will be available in the coming weeks from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
- Grants and Loan Forgiveness for Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan recipients – As authorized by the General Assembly, DCEO will offer grants for businesses that have incurred eligible costs to offset loans received under the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan program. This round of loan forgiveness and grants will go to businesses that have received loans or remain on the wait list and the program will sunset going forward as DCEO and its partners focus on making BIG awards.
Businesses outside the categories listed above are also eligible to apply and receive funding under the program but may be reviewed later than priority businesses. All businesses will receive a decision on their grant application within four to six weeks of application submission.
HOW TO APPLY: We will begin accepting applications for the second round of BIG on the afternoon of Thursday, September 17. Please return here for a link to the application. To help you prepare for your application, see below a preliminary application and checklist.
ROUND 2 APPLICATION DETAILS:
- VIEW: Round 2 Application Questions
- VIEW: Round 2 Application Checklist
- VIEW: Business Certification Form and Eligible Cost List
- VIEW: Guidance for BIG Awards and Other Federal Support Such as PPP and EIDL (Non-Duplication of Benefits)
- VIEW: Round 2 Detailed Eligibility Criteria (Coming soon)
During the second round, DCEO is partnering with community navigator organizations aimed at helping minority-owned businesses receive assistance necessary to apply and access available funding. Contact information and a schedule of upcoming webinars will be posted soon. Check back here for updates.
DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED AREAS
Need to find out if your business is located in a DIA? The below map allows you to search by address, or by searching for your zip code in the list of 176 distinct DIAs here.
For more information visit the DCEO’s Small Business Assistance website below.