Back to Business Grants Available for Small Businesses

The $250 million Back to Business (B2B) grant program aims to deploy small business recovery grants for those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The B2B grant program builds on the success of last year’s Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.

To assist small businesses with the B2B application process and other upcoming or ongoing economic recovery grant programs offered at the state or federal level. The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has invested $9 million in support of Community Navigator organizations working in every region of the state. These organizations will provide technical assistance to businesses, with a focus on underserved businesses including minority, rural, veteran and women-owned businesses.

Funding available:

  • $250 million to small businesses across the state that experienced losses in 2020 due to COVID-19, including the following set-asides.
    • $100 million – Businesses located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs).
    • $30 million – Arts and entertainment businesses that didn’t receive Shuttered Venue Operators grants.
    • $25 million – Restaurants and taverns that didn’t receive the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.
    • $25 million – Hotels.
    • $25 million – Businesses that didn’t receive a BIG grant due to exhaustion of funds.
  • Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000 per business and can be used to cover a wide range of operations/staff/overhead costs.
    • Up to $250,000 for hotels.

 Eligibility requirements:

  • Businesses with revenues of $20 million or less in 2019 and a reduction in revenue in 2020 due to COVID-19.
    • $35 million or less for hotels.
  • Priority will be given to the following categories:
    • Hard-hit industries (see eligibility guidelines for a full list of priority industries and their definitions).
    • Hard-hit areas – DIAs comprising 176 zip codes.
    • Businesses that have yet to qualify for state funding or federal assistance (including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), Business Interruption Grant (BIG), Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), and more).
    • Businesses that had less than $5 million in revenue in 2019.

To learn more about the program and how to apply, Click Here.