WILL COUNTY, IL — Businesses in Will County affected by the current COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations can apply for economic assistance through a special category.
"The measures needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 require extra sacrifice from certain businesses," State Sen. Pat McGuire said. "That’s why the new Business Interruption Grants grant competition prioritizes those businesses."
Gov. J.B. Pritzker decided to shut down dining rooms across Will and Kankakee counties after coronavirus cases went up in the region. He made the announcement Aug. 24. According to Pritzker, if the numbers improve, there's a chance that the more-stringent measures affecting the food and beverage industry could be eased in a couple of weeks.
The $220 million round two of BIG funding includes a Priority Businesses category. According to the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity website, apart from the $60 million available for heavily impacted industries, applications from the following types of businesses will be prioritized for review for remaining funds: businesses directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by the state or local governments, independently owned retail, tourism- and hospitality-related industries including accommodations, and more.
The restaurants in the Will-Kankakee region — which had to suspend indoor dining and can serve outdoors only until 11 p.m. — fall under this category.
The BIG program is a $636 million program developed by the governor and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. Funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs
The application period opens Sept. 17. For more information, visit the DCEO website.