Lincoln Library helps owners applying for grant
Local businesses can now apply for up to $150,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.
Springfield hosted a press conference at Lincoln Library Wednesday announcing staff will be on site daily through Sept. 17 at the library to help business owners apply for part of a $250 million pool of funds. That money is part of the state’s Back to Business COVID-19 relief grant for businesses hardest hit during the pandemic.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Illinois’ economy and through our Back to Business program, we will help businesses and communities rebuild (and) put Illinois back on track for a robust economic recovery,” said Aly Grady, central regional manager for Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity‘s economic development team.
Businesses will be awarded grants starting at $5,000 all the way up to $150,000 or $250,000 for hotels. The plan utilizes funds allocated to the state through the federal American Rescue Plan Act and is a spiritual successor to the Illinois’ Business Interruption Grant program in 2020.
Illinois businesses that didn’t qualify for or didn’t receive funds from last year’s COVID-19 statewide grant program or the Small Business Administration‘s Paycheck Protection Program will be given priority in this year’s Back to Business grant program, Grady said.
“You have to have that funnel of supportive services,” said Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder at the press conference. “And that’s what the state of Illinois has provided us as that conduit and as a financial resource.”
Grant priority will be given to businesses that earned less than $5 million in revenue in 2019. Thirty percent of the $250,000 million pool will be allocated evenly to hotels, restaurants and taverns and businesses that didn’t qualify for the state grant program in 2020.
Another $30 million will go toward arts and entertainment-related businesses that didn’t qualify for the SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Forty percent — $100 million — will go toward businesses in areas the state defines as Disproportionately Impacted Areas.
Applications and a full list of requirements is available online at https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/B2B.aspx. Applications are being collected through Oct. 11.
Business owners can go to Lincoln Library, 326 S. Seventh St., for assistance with applying for the grant through Sept. 17. Hours when assistants will be available to help are posted in the library near the Carnegie Room.
Send business items to Riley Eubanks: [email protected], twitter.com/@rileyeubanks