bruce mars 8YG31Xn4dSw unsplashCHICAGO – Hundreds of South Side Chicago businesses have been awarded more than $5 million in funding from the Back to Business Program to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to efforts from State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

“I am pleased so many businesses are receiving a boost to help them flourish through the ongoing pandemic,” Hunter said. “Over 100 businesses in the 3rd District have been awarded Back to Business grants, including coffee shops like Sip and Savor, which brings the community together one beverage at a time.”

The B2B program grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget. So far, DCEO has provided $111 million in B2B grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas.

The breakdown of the grants made thus far includes 43% to businesses which applied to the Business Interruption Grant program last year but did not receive funding.

Nearly 80% of grants went to businesses in disproportionately impacted areas, or low-income ZIP codes that experienced high rates of COVID-19, and 71% to hard-hit industries, including restaurants and taverns, hotels, arts organizations, and salons.

Grants have primarily gone to the smallest businesses, with 79% going to businesses with revenue under $1 million.

“This grant program is huge for our communities’ small businesses, and this round has prioritized businesses who have been previously overlooked,” Hunter said. “Every dollar counts when your business is in need of a boost.”

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. More information on the B2B program can be found on DCEO’s website.

Category: Press Releases

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