This second round of BIG will award nearly $200 million for small businesses and will be open to all small businesses statewide.
With a significant amount of funding still available, The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is urging more businesses to apply for remaining funding for the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program. Based on the amount awarded in the first round of grant funding, $17,000 on average, it is certainly worthwhile to apply. This second round of BIG will award nearly $200 million for small businesses and will be open to all small businesses statewide.
The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program is a $636 million program developed by Governor Pritzker 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.
More than half of the funds are earmarked for businesses downstate (regions outside of Cook, DuPage, Will, Kane, and Lake counties) and at least $70 million will be invested in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs map). Moreover, businesses in regions affected by recent mitigation measures will have prioritized access to these grants.
For questions regarding your application, we highly recommend using DCEO's online submission form. Calling could result in significant delays. A list of frequently asked questions is available here.