closed sign 092820CHAMPAIGN—State Senator Scott Bennett is urging business owners to utilize the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity’s webinar to navigate the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program this week.

Businesses across Champaign and Vermilion county businesses can register to participate in the free, informative webinar on Tuesday, September 29 at 3 p.m.

“The Business Interruption Grant program will help give our local businesses a helping hand during this awful pandemic,” Bennett said. “I urge area businesses to take advantage of this program and utilize this informative webinar to ensure they are completing applications correctly in order to receive the full amount of assistance they qualify for.” 

Registration is required for this event. Interested participants can click here to register.

Applications for Round 2 of the BIG program were launched last week. The latest round has allocated $220 million in assistance for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and more to help them stay afloat through this time of crisis and ensure they have the resources to open safely in the coming months.

The intention of the second round is to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate. It also includes $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theaters, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, event spaces located at banquet halls and hotels, and more. And another $70 million has been set aside for businesses in economically distressed communities that have been the most vulnerable to COVID-1

“During this pandemic, our local businesses have served our communities and worked diligently to keep their employees and customers safe,” Bennett said. “It is our duty to support our small businesses – as always I urge folks to frequent small businesses but especially during these trying times. Whether you are picking up dinner this weekend, in need of a new shirt or looking for a birthday gift, please shop local.” 

Applications open are open and can be found on the Illinois DCEO’s website. Bennett urges business owners who are unable to attend the September 29 webinar to visit DECO’s website to sign up for another webinar.