IL opens round 2 of BIG grants – applications open Thursday

Dear Members,

It was announced today the State of Illinois is opening up its second round of Business Interruption Grants for applications Thursday, Sept. 17. Please see the details below and apply if you can. In the first round, 10 Grundy County businesses received grant funding through this program.

The second round consists of $220 million aimed to “provide relief for all types of small businesses, but with a particular focus on businesses downstate, in disproportionately impacted areas, and for heavily impacted industry and regions – representing businesses that have been unable to reopen or operating at a severely diminished capacity since the spring,” according to the Illinois Department of Commerce site.

The BIG funds will follow the below provisions. Businesses not under these provisions may also apply, but the below will be given priority.

  • Heavily Impacted Industries – $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theaters, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, and more.
  • Disproportionately Impacted Areas – $70 million set aside for DIAs, defined by zip codes identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19. A map of DIAs can be accessed on the DCEO
  • Downstate Communities – DCEO has committed to ensuring that at least half of all remaining funds, totaling more than $100 million, are reserved for businesses in downstate and rural communities of Illinois.
  • Priority Businesses– Apart from the $60 million for heavily impacted industries, applications from the following types of businesses will be prioritized for review for remaining funds: businesses directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by the state or local governments, independently owned retail, tourism- and hospitality-related industries including accommodations, and more.
  • Agriculture – $5 million of the remainder of funds will be set aside for livestock production disruptions. Applications will be available in the coming weeks from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
  • Grants and Loan Forgiveness for Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan recipients – DCEO will offer grants for businesses that have incurred eligible costs to offset loans received under the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan program. This round of loan forgiveness and grants will go to businesses that have received loans or remain on the wait list and the program will sunset going forward as DCEO and its partners focus on making BIG awards.

For more information and to apply visit the DCEO site here. Visit for updated COVID-19 information and resources. Contact the Chamber if we can be of service through this time.