CHICAGO — Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced the first step of a larger program aimed at giving the state's small businesses a boost to help them through the later stages of COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
The 'Back to Business' program, a follow-up to last year's business interruption grants that helped over 9,000 businesses through the pandemic with over $90 million in grants, is aimed at helping even more business owners stand back up.
Pritzker announced that the first wave of grants will be rolling out; consisting of $24 million given out to over 500 small businesses across the state, helping them re-hire staff and cover operating costs, without needing to pay the money back.
The first wave is primarily going out to businesses that did not receive business interruption grants last year, which is a group that 80% of all applicants fall under.
Pritzker says that with more resources available, the state will be able to provide even more support than it did in 2020.
He also says that 70% of the grants have gone out to disproportionately-affected communities, with over half going out to minority-owned businesses.
"And as Illinois rebuilds and recovers, we will continue to step up for our small businesses. They deserve to breathe easier and dream bigger – it’s our mission to deliver the funds and resources they need to do so," says Governor Pritzker.
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