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DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) extended congratulations to five small businesses that have been awarded a combined $100,000 in grants through the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.

“COVID-19 has caused so many challenges and uncertainties for our small business community,” Bennett said. “I’m thrilled these businesses were selected to receive BIG grants so they can keep their doors open during these tough times.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.

First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, training and new technology.

The following Vermilion County businesses received grants:

  • Anytime Fitness, Danville - $20,000
  • Danville Family YMCA, Danville - $20,000
  • Fujiyama Steakhouse, Danville - $20,000
  • Henk’s Bait & Bite, Danville - $20,000
  • Lincoln Lanes, Danville - $20,000

To ensure ongoing support for Illinois small businesses, the State of Illinois has planned future rounds of funding. The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.