Small business grant program ends, paying out more than $275 million – The State Journal-Register

Illinois’ Business Interruption Grant program was the largest state program of its kind, but only about 20 percent, or 8,974 applicants, received a grant.

DCEO Director Erin Guthrie said this particular set of federal dollars has been exhausted, but the department continues to look for ways to help businesses statewide.

She said government money is still available for business owners through the second round of the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which awards forgivable loans, as well as existing state loan programs dedicated to small businesses, such as Advantage Illinois.

More than a third of BIG funds went to businesses downstate, 40 percent of grants were made to minority-owned businesses statewide, and more than 80 percent were made to businesses with $1 million or less in annual revenues, according to a DCEO press release.

Robert Gomez, owner of Subterranean music venue in Chicago, received funding through the BIG Grant program in mid-November after shuttering his doors in March.

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