EDWARDSVILLE- On Tuesday, October 12th, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will join state and local leaders to boost small business recovery grants for the Southwest Region. DCEO will join State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon), State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville), SIUE- Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and other community navigators, to remind businesses that the $250 million Back to Business (B2B) grants program application will close on October 13th at 11:59 p.m. CST, and encourage them to apply in the final hours of the program.

B2B grants are designed to help businesses facing ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic –prioritizing businesses that have been particularly hard hit during the crisis. To get the word out about crucial small business funding, DCEO has teamed up with over 100 trusted community navigators – including local organizations like the SIU - SBDC, Alton Main Street, the Community Wellness Project, Illinois Migrant Council, SIU Carbondale Office of Innovation and Economic Development (OIED). DCEO is providing a team of individuals dedicated to removing barriers to the application process – whether due to language, technology, or otherwise.

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B2B is a centerpiece of Governor Pritzker’s $1.5 billion economic recovery plan for Illinois and leverages federal stimulus provided through the American Rescue Plan Act. Help with applying for B2B is available in multiple languages and across every region. For more information on the program, or to find a community navigator near you, please visit dceo.illinois.gov.

Who, B2B Press Event:

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• Jo Ann Dimaggio, Community Navigator/SBDC Director
• Jonathan McGee, Director of Regional Economic Development, DCEO
• Illinois State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D - Glen Carbon)
• Illinois State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville)

When: Tuesday, October 12, 2021, at 11:00 am (Media arrive at 10:30 a.m.)
Officials are expected to make remarks at 11:05 a.m.

Where: SBDC – SIUE - Main Campus, 6 Hairpin Drive, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1107, Morris University Center

Parking and special instructions: Parking is in Lot B of the Morris University Center. Take note of the number stall where you park and use the parking pay machines.

Masks or face coverings will be required for all attendees.

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