• Gov. Pritzker Highlights Additional Recovery Funds for Small Businesses & Communities in FY22 Budget

    Gov. Pritzker Highlights Additional Recovery Funds for Small Businesses & Communities in FY22 Budget
    Despite the pandemic, and balanced for the third year in a row, the FY22 budget builds on progress the state has made by passing a fiscally responsible plan that pays down debt, closes loopholes for wealthy corporations, and invests in rebuilding our economy.
    Building on Illinois’ successful COVID-19 economic support programs, like the historic Business Interruption Grant (BIG) model, the state will allocate $570 million of Year 1 American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the hardest hit small businesses and impacted industries, including minority-owned and those in disproportionately impacted communities, to stimulate an economic recovery for all of Illinois.
    ARPA Economic Recovery Plan: $450M initial investment
    • $300 million for Back to Business Grants, with 40 percent of the funds going to communities that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic
    • $10 million for Tourism promotion and Main Street festival grants
    • $50 million for Workforce Recovery efforts
    • $20 million for Community Navigators and targeted business support services
    • $25 million for the DCEO RISE program for local economic recovery planning and partnerships
    • $45 million in capital for commercial corridors and downtowns that have experienced disinvestment.
    More details on grant opportunities and application announcements will be forthcoming. For updates, follow @illinoisdceo on social media.
    Press Release
    Governor Pritzker Announces State of Illinois
    Set to Fully Reopen on June 11
    With Illinois meeting key health metrics, and just over a year since mitigations were first put in place, today Governor JB Pritzker announced that the State of Illinois is on track for Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, marking a full reopening of businesses and community.
    Phase 5, the final phase of the Governor’s Restore Illinois reopening framework, applies to all businesses and activity settings that have been subject to guidelines under the Restore Illinois framework, a science-based plan in response to the unprecedented public health emergency. Upon entering Phase 5, businesses including large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues can operate at full capacity, with continued general public health practices in place. 
    Businesses and communities can learn more about recommended public health under Phase 5 by visiting IDPH’s website.
    State and Local Economic Development Organizations Attract Global Investment to Illinois at 2021 SelectUSA Summit
    From June 7-11th, officials from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will join a delegation including Intersect Illinois and 17 economic development partners from across the state to represent Illinois at the 2021 virtual SelectUSA Investment Summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Commerce. These “Team Illinois” representatives will meet with global companies attending the summit to highlight the state’s advantages for foreign direct investment (FDI). 
    Already 5th in the nation for FDI employment, with over 2,000 foreign-based companies directly supporting more than 375,000 Illinois jobs, FDI is crucial to the state’s economy. The delegation will seek to boost investments by promoting communities across the state while highlighting our assets including its modern transportation infrastructure, talented and diverse workforce, easy access to key suppliers, markets and customers, as well as its supportive business climate and vibrant geography. 
    While events require pre-registration, a livestream of the summit will be available.
    For updates, follow #SelectUSASummit #TeamIllinois or Team Illinois and @SelectUSA.
    DCEO is reminding community-based organizations that applications are due this Wednesday, June 9, 2021, for the $10 million expansion of DCEO's successful Community Navigator program.
    The Community Navigator program was designed to increase local outreach to assist small, disadvantaged businesses with qualifying for economic relief during the pandemic. Community Navigators play a key role in helping to mobilize additional economic recovery funds set forth in the State's 2022 budget - including a $300 million small business grant program called "Back to Business." 
    The State of Illinois first launched the Community Navigator program in 2020 to assist more underserved communities in qualifying for CARES Act funding provided by the State and at the federal level, through programs like PPP. As a result of this program, more than 30,000 individual businesses received outreach by a Navigator - and the program contributed to a record 40 percent of grants awarded to minority-owned businesses as part of the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program launched last year.
    The State is seeking community organizations to take on a leadership role and to assist with outreach to minority and hard to reach businesses in qualifying for economic support programs. To help organizations apply to receive funding to serve as a Navigator, DCEO is hosting a webinar on Monday, June 7 at 2:00 p.m.
    Illinois Community Navigators Program: Best Practices, Lessons Learned, and Strategies for Success
    APPLY NOW for the Community Navigator NOFO
    Lexington School District Receives $285,000 State Capital Grant to Deliver ADA Modernization Project 
    The Lexington School District 7 recently announced it has received a $285,000 grant from the State of Illinois to fund new capital updates, including wall to wall renovations and a new ADA-compliant elevator system to support students with disabilities. The $500,000 project is funded by a capital grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and supported by State Representative Dan Brady (R-Normal). Work begins this fall and is expected to be completed in August of 2022.  
    Virtual Job Fairs (VJF) are part of the GET HIRED initiative. Job seekers can find a hiring event near them, read about how to prepare for a VJF and what to expect when attending the event.
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