Sen. Rachel CroweMARYVILLE – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has released program details for the latest round of Business Interruption Grants, and State Senator Rachelle Crowe is asking all businesses in Region 4 affected by mitigation efforts to consider applying.

“To provide stability for communities hardest hit economically by the pandemic, Illinois is prioritizing downstate small businesses affected by mitigation efforts for this next round of funding,” Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) said. “I strongly encourage all small businesses in Region 4 to apply.”

Applications for the second round of the BIG program will be available Thursday afternoon and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses.

The latest wave of funding aims to provide relief for several industries:

Downstate Communities – DCEO has committed to ensuring that at least half of all remaining funds, totaling more than $100 million, are reserved for businesses in downstate and rural communities of Illinois.

Disproportionately Impacted Areas - $70 million set aside for DIAs, defined by zip codes identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19.

Priority Businesses – Apart from the $60 million 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.

Heavily Impacted Industries - $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, event spaces located at banquet halls and hotels, and more.

Agriculture - $5 million of the remainder of funds will be set aside for livestock production disruptions.

“To aid in economic relief in the Metro East, 25 businesses in my district were selected as grant recipients for the first round,” Crowe said. “I hope to see several others approved of the same assistance.”

For more information, visit DCEO’s website.

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