Alton Main Street has been selected as a community navigator for the Illinois Small Business Community Navigator Program. They are one of 21 organizations selected by Illinois Main Street to connect underserved small business owners with economic recovery funds, including the Back 2 Business (B2B) Grant Program launching August 18.
“We are thrilled to provide Illinois Main Street communities and their small businesses with this much-needed support,” said Director of the Illinois Main Street Program and Senior Program Officer at Main Street America Joi Cuartero Austin. “After a difficult year for Illinois’ small business owners, these services will be crucial in strengthening our downtowns and commercial districts in the next phase of recovery. Alton Main Street works with their business community daily and are well positioned to continue supportive efforts.”
The Illinois Main Street program, in partnership with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), will provide technical assistance to community navigator organizations to help them connect local small businesses with billions of financial assistance dollars available from the State of Illinois and the U.S. Small Business Administration as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Illinois Small Business Community Navigator Program will focus on assisting underserved small businesses, including minority, rural, veteran and women-owned businesses.
Alton Main Street will provide local small business owners with application support, grassroots outreach, language help, webinars, one-on-one technical assistance sessions, and more to access recovery funds and programs. In addition, programs will conduct outreach for DCEO’s B2B Grant Program, which will deploy $250 million in grants for small businesses across Illinois that experienced losses in 2020 due to COVID-19. Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000 per business and can be used to cover a range of operations, staff, or overhead costs. Applications open August 18. Learn more about the program here and get connected to application assistance here.