On Sept. 15, Gov J.B Pritzker’s office announced that applications opened on Sept. 17, for the second round of Business Interruption Grant program funds. 

Pritzker said a total of $200 million will go toward the second round funds, with priority placed on businesses “downstate, in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), and for heavily impacted industry and regions — representing business that have been unable to reopen or operating at a Beverly diminished capacity since the spring,” according to a statement the governor’s office released on Sept. 15.

Austin, North Lawndale and West Garfield Park are all considered disproportionately impacted areas, according to state officials.  

Prospective applicants can click here for more information on the second round of funds. The funding is open to for-profit and nonprofit entities that had annual revenue in 2019 of $20 million or less. 

The businesses who receive the grants “must have experienced losses due to COVID-19 that exceed the size of the award,” the governor’s office stated.

“Support for small businesses has been one of the central features of our COVID-19 response: Helping entrepreneurs stay afloat, giving business owners the help necessary to keep the lights on and payroll flowing, is vital to preserving jobs and businesses until we get to the other side of this pandemic,” Pritzker stated.

“These two new programs, combined with the first round of Business Interruption Grants, deliver nearly $300 million in aid to the very small businesses that bring jobs and vibrancy to their communities –offering them increased stability so those jobs and that vibrancy can live on,” he said.

Last month, state officials said, approximately 2,800 business in 400 communities received over $49 million in grants. Across the state, the grants averaged $17,000, with most of that money allocated to businesses located in economically distressed communities, state officials said.

“To promote equity in the program, priority for grant funding will be given to small businesses with 50 employees or fewer, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, and inherently essential businesses – like grocery stores – in economically distressed areas,” officials said. 

“DCEO has created a list of impacted zip codes to help determine eligibility of project location, found here. For businesses that have sustained property damages during civil unrest but not located in a predetermined zip code, they may work with DCEO’s administrative partners to apply and request that their zip code be added to the list of eligible zip codes.

To apply for the grant and/or to see eligibility criteria, among other matters, click here.