Louisville, IL – State Rep. Darren Bailey is assisting the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) in getting the word out on a new opportunity to help small businesses impacted by the coronavirus related closures. Beginning June 20, businesses can apply for $10,000 and $20,000 grants that should be available in July.
“I have lost count on the actual number of small business owners who have contacted me about trying to get some kind of help to save their business and the jobs associated with them,” commented Rep. Bailey. “The men and women who have salons, barber shops, restaurants, bars and fitness centers have been struggling for the last three months through no fault of their own. This program may be the glimmer of hope they need to get their doors back open.”
Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. The businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19. The programs that may help in our area include:
· Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each
· Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000
· Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each
The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 of which has been set aside for childcare providers and is funded by the CARES Act. More information is available at the DCEO website at: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/C19DisadvantagedBusGrants.aspx.