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CHICAGO – Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) is glad to learn more than 30 businesses in the district he represents have received financial assistance from the Business Interruption Grant program to help offset financial losses stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and he is encouraging more to apply.

“Our local small businesses are embedded in the culture of our community,” Munoz said. “They play an important role in serving our residents, and they need our support as they comply with the guidelines that keep us safe.”

In the 1st Senate District, 31 businesses received a combined $1.38 million. Each business received between $5,000 and $150,000 to be used to help cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded the grants last week, as part of the second round of the BIG program. However, applications will remain open until all of the funding is spent.

“While we are doing what we can to support businesses at the state level, I would also encourage residents to buy local as much as they can, especially as the holiday season approaches,” Munoz said. “We’re in this together, and every bit of help makes a difference.”

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are available on DCEO’s website.