The second round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program is now open. These grants will be available to all small businesses statewide that experienced losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The application is available on the here, and DCEO will begin to accept them on them on the afternoon of September 17th. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted.
Funding for this round is approximately $200 million, with more than half of the funds earmarked for businesses downstate. Of this funding, $70 million will be invested in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs) and $60 million in heavily impacted industries. A map of the DIAs can be found on the DCEO website. The heavily impacted industries are defined as having annual revenues of $10 million or less and have been close or operating at a very diminished capacity since mid-March and are likely to continue to do so until Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. These industries include the following:
- Event spaces
- Music venues
- Performing arts venues
- Indoor recreation
- Amusement parks
- Movie theaters
- Charter/shuttle buses
While these priority areas are part of the program, the BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and experienced losses due to COVID-19. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses. DCEO will be hosting a series of webinars regarding this program. You can register for any of the webinars by using the links below: