Dear friend,

 

Over the past few months, I’ve been working with community leaders and fellow lawmakers to lend a hand to those struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest.

 

As I’m sure you’re aware, these events have hit our small business community particularly hard—but there is help available.

 

The Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program is a series of grants totaling over $540 million for shops, restaurants, salons, fitness centers and more to help them stay afloat through this time of crisis and ensure they have the resources to open safely in the coming months.

 

 

 

 

The first round of BIG funding will award $60 million to 3,500 businesses. Here’s how those funds will be distributed:

 

Businesses in disproportionately impacted areas will receive $20 million in grants to offset the cost of recent property damage.

 

The program will award 1,000 grants of $20,000 each to businesses who have suffered property damage in recent weeks.

 

Businesses must have been operating for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must have brought in less than $2 million in revenue in 2019.

 

Bars and restaurants who cannot operate during Phase 3 will receive $20 million in grants to support them through closures. 

 

The program will award 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each to restaurants who have been unable to resume service during Phase 3, whether due to prohibition by local ordinance, lack of access to outdoor space or financial infeasibility.

 

Half of the grants will go to businesses in disproportionately impacted areas, with a focus on areas having recently suffered property damage.

 

Establishments must have been operating for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must have brought in less than $3 million in revenue in 2019.

 

Barbershops and salons will receive $10 million in grants to help them cope with closure-related revenue losses.

 

The program will award 1,000 grants of $10,000 each to barbershops and salons who were forced to close due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

Half of the grants will go to businesses in disproportionately impacted areas, with a focus on areas having recently suffered property damage.

 

Businesses must have been operating for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must have brought in less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019.

 

Fitness centers will receive $10 million in grants to ensure they can reopen safely when restrictions are lifted.

 

The program will award 500 grants of $20,000 each to facilities that have suffered significant losses due to closure or reduced operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Health or fitness service providers without a permanent location—such as those who deliver remote services or travel to different client locations—are not eligible to receive funds.

 

Nearly a third of grants will go to facilities in disproportionately impacted areas.

 

Facilities must have been operating for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must have brought in less than $2 million in revenue in 2019.

 

Applications for these programs will open Monday, June 22 and will remain open for 7-14 days. One week after the application period closes, grant administration partners will begin reaching out to recipients.

 

DCEO will post a full list of eligible costs and covered losses alongside each grant application. Businesses that have not received other grants and loans will be given priority. 

 

I hope this information will be useful to you or a business owner you know. I encourage you to share these details with your friends, family and neighbors, to see if they know someone who may benefit from the BIG program—it’s vital that we reach out to help one another during these challenging times. 

 

As applications open, deadlines approach and more grants are made available, I will be sure to keep you informed. If you have questions about the BIG program or other issues facing our community, don’t hesitate to reach out to my office via email here.

 

Sincerely,

Heather Steans
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

COVID19 Updates

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