Senator urges businesses to apply for part of $220 million in grants

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To help small businesses affected by COVID-19 resurgence mitigations, State Sen. Patrick Joyce, D-Essex, is urging business owners to apply for assistance through the second round of Business Interruption Grant funding.

“With this new round of grants, small businesses will find economic support as they continue to navigate the pandemic,” Joyce said. “Because small businesses are bearing the brunt of this crisis, it’s really important that they take advantage of this funding.”

The program has allocated $220 million in the second round for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and more to help them stay afloat as restrictions remain in place throughout the pandemic.

Funds may be used to help businesses cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions, according to a press release.

To ensure funds are distributed across the state and across business types, $60 million has been specifically allocated for heavily distressed industries, including indoor recreation facilities and amusement parks. Another $70 million has been set aside for businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas, or low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19. Many Joliet-area businesses may qualify for part of the $70 million.

Additionally, businesses in Region 7 — which include Kankakee and Will counties — that submit an application will be given priority to ensure they receive the support they need to cope with recent mitigation efforts.

“These grants are critical in keeping small businesses afloat,” Joyce said. “I am inviting any business that has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 to apply for assistance.”

During its first round of funding earlier this year, the program granted more than $49 million to small businesses across the state. Businesses in Will and Kankakee Counties were awarded a combined $420,000 during the first round.

Applications opened Sept. 17. Visit bit.ly/IL-BIGgrants for an application and a full list of criteria.

via The Daily Journal

September 21, 2020 at 02:32PM

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