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Posted on: September 16, 2020

Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program Update!

IL Department of Commerce logo

Good Afternoon!

On Tuesday, September 15th the Governor announced the opening of the second round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program. These grants will be available to all small businesses statewide that experienced losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application is available on our website to review. Applicants can start gathering the necessary information. On the afternoon of Thursday, September 17th, we will begin to accept applications. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted.

Funding for this round is approximately $200 million, with more than half of the funds earmarked for businesses downstate. Of this funding, $70 million will be invested in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs) and $60 million in heavily impacted industries. A map of the DIAs can be found on our website. The heavily impacted industries are defined a having annual revenues of $10 million or less and have been close or operating at a very diminished capacity since mid-March and are likely to continue to do so until Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. These industries include the following:

Event spaces

Music venues

Performing arts venues

Indoor recreation

Amusement parks

Movie theaters


Charter/shuttle buses

While these priority areas are part of the program, the BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and experienced losses due to COVID-19. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses. DCEO will be hosting a series of webinars regarding this program. You can register for any of the webinars by using the links below:

September 23, 9:30am-10:30am:

September 30, 9:30am-10:30am:

October 7, 9:30am-10:30am:

October 14, 9:30am-10:30am:

October 21, 9:30am-10:30am:

We will continue to add additional times for webinars and technical assistance. We want to make sure the small business community statewide is aware of this opportunity.

Joseph McKeown

Regional Economic Development (Team RED)

Senior Account Manager

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

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