Forty-six million dollars in grant funding has been awarded to more than 2,600 small businesses throughout Illinois who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including $590,000 earmarked for 35 businesses in Sangamon County. The funding comes from the Business Interruption Grant (BIG), which is part of the federal CARES Act. Twenty-four Springfield-area businesses received grants of $20,000, while an additional 11 businesses received $10,000 grants.
At a press conference in Chicago on Aug. 12, Governor JB Pritzker said, “The initial focus of these grants has been on businesses that have been most severely impacted by COVID-19 — those that were completely shut down in the spring and those that are in COVID-impacted areas that experienced property damage amidst the looting and civil unrest in June.”
According to Pritzker, the initial round of funding was limited to businesses with annual revenues of $3 million or less and priority was given to those who hadn’t already received money through the Paycheck Protection Program.
“The federal PPP program seems to have overlooked too many entrepreneurs and small shops,” Pritzker said. “It was important to me and to the General Assembly to ensure small businesses, which employ the largest number of people in Illinois, get the help they need.”
Many of the Sangamon County businesses that received funding were locally owned restaurants and bars such as Arlington’s, Café Moxo, Converse Street Bar, Cooper’s Alleyside, Curate, Felber’s Tavern, Fulgenzi Pizza & Pasta, Jackson’s Handlebar, La Bamba, Mario’s Pizza, Nu-Voh, Oh Icee, Parkway Pub, Pier 55 Lounge, Roots Latin Grill, Sky Lounge, Stockyard Saloon and Gaming, The Keg, The Office Sports Bar & Grill and Turbo Fire Pizza, all in Springfield. Benderz in Auburn, Maddy’s Tavern in Divernon, Lucky Moon Salon in Glenarm and Turasky’s Catering in New Berlin also received grants.
However, Applebees also received a $20,000 grant and so did The Grille at City Centre, located inside the Wyndham Springfield in downtown.
The other Springfield recipients were Anytime Fitness Capital City, Boondocks, Lucky Nails & Spa, Mirror Art Hair Design, Pilates Studio of Springfield, Springfield Racquet and Fitness Center and Uptown Looks Salon.
According to the governor’s office, more than 5,000 businesses applied for the grants, which were awarded through a lottery. The state plans to begin accepting applications for the next round of BIG grants in the coming weeks. More information can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/default.aspx.