03062019CM0925GLENVIEW – To support small business owners as they adapt to new health and safety guidelines, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) announced 56 local businesses will receive a combined $930,000 through the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.

“With our state in recovery mode, these grants will give business owners the boost they need to reopen in a way that’s safe for staff and customers,” said Fine. “BIG funding can help get our local economy back on its feet without sacrificing our progress in the fight against COVID-19.”

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. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.

First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, training and new technology.

“This first round of funding is a step toward ensuring a total recovery for our small business community,” said Fine. “I encourage everyone to shop local when possible to help our main streets bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.”

To ensure ongoing support for small businesses, the State of Illinois has planned future rounds of funding. The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.