$275 Million Provided to Businesses Through Business Interruption (BIG) Grants
Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)
The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program was developed by Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide $580 million in economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. BIG – the largest program of its kind in the nation - leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses.
The BIG program consisted of $290 million for child care providers and $290 million for other small businesses throughout Illinois. As part of this program, DCEO has issued over $275 million through nearly 9,000 grants to small businesses located in over 600 cities and towns, and 98 counties throughout Illinois. In addition, $7 million has gone to forgive Illinois Small Business Emergency Loans, and up to $5 million is in the process of being issued for the Livestock Management Facilities Program. You can find more information on the $290 million that will be provided to child care providers here.
Using an equity framework to distribute these funds, the State of Illinois provided awards to small businesses located in industries and geographies hardest hit by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. As a result, nearly half of the awards were made to businesses in economically disadvantaged areas, 80 percent of funds were made to businesses with $1 million or less in annual revenues, and 40 percent of awards were made to minority-owned businesses statewide. Additionally, $105 million or 3,100 awards were provided to downstate communities.
See a full list of grant recipients here.