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Illinois is making $90M in aid available to small businesses. Here's how you can take advantage.

The three programs include grants and loans for businesses in the hospitality industry, as well as grants specifically for businesses in southern Illinois
Credit: SLBJ

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The state of Illinois this week announced a series of new programs to provide more than $90 million in emergency aid for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The three programs include grants and loans for businesses in the hospitality industry, as well as grants specifically for businesses in southern Illinois. Illinois businesses will be able to apply to these programs on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.

"These funds will provide small businesses on the brink with much needed working capital to continue making payroll and paying other bills while our administration continues to advocate for additional resources from the federal government," DCEO Director Erin Guthrie said in a statement.

The programs were announced during Gov. JB Pritzker's press conference Wednesday in which he also announced the state is extending its income tax filing and payment deadline by three months, from April 15 to July 15.

The three programs are:

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

How much: $14 million grant program

What it's for: The program will support working capital as well as job training, retraining and technology to support shifts in operation.

Who's eligible: Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019 and hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels, other lodging establishments) and who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019. The amount of available will vary based upon the revenue size of each establishment. Bars and restaurants with between $500,000 and $1 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, while those with less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.

Deadline to apply: 5 p.m. April 1. Applicants will be entered into a lottery. Winners will be notified on April 4.

Where to apply: nonprofit Accion's website

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

How much: $20 million in Community Development Block Grant funds, up to $25,000 in working capital

What it's for: Small businesses with less than 50 employees

Who's eligible: Small businesses will partner with local governments to obtain grants. Only entities recognized by the Illinois Constitution and who are able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale are eligible to apply. Municipalities must not be a HUD direct Entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives "entitlement" funds, including Madison and St. Clair Counties.

Deadline to apply: Rolling

Where to apply: DCEO's website

Click here for the full story.

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