Sen. Andy Manar

SPRINGFIELD – To curb the devastating economic effects brought on by COVID-19, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) is encouraging small business owners to apply for the second round of Business Interruption Grants, a key piece of the State of Illinois’ pandemic response effort.

Manar, the Senate Appropriations II Committee Chair, fought to ensure necessary funding for this program during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“We in the General Assembly prioritized the BIG program in this year’s state budget, because we recognize that it’s one of the most valuable tools we have at our disposal to provide meaningful relief in the face of the economic devastation brought on by COVID-19,” Manar said. “As we move forward, it’s critical that we continue to prioritize programs like BIG to alleviate the unnecessary burden facing small business owners and their employees.”

Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program will be made available this Thursday afternoon and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.

The second wave of funds from BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas. Application information for the second round of funds and can be found on DCEO’s website at