B2B 100421EAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) is encouraging local businesses to apply for the second wave of Back to Business grants, which closes on Oct. 13.

“Throughout the pandemic, our small businesses have remained assets to the Metro East community, despite all the struggles they faced,” Belt said. “It’s important for us all to be gracious to those who showed up, and for those businesses to get the aid they deserve from our government.”

In the first wave, hundreds of B2B grants totaling over $24 million were awarded to small businesses statewide. The B2B program is expected to distribute $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars to small businesses experiencing COVID-19 losses on a continuing basis.

To help aid businesses from the negative impacts of the pandemic, the B2B program will provide anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000 in grants.

“So far, the 57th District has received $80,000 in B2B grants, and I know there is room for additional aid,” Belt said. “I am excited for the opportunities this funding will provide for local businesses, and look forward to their contributions to our communities.”

Businesses located within Disproportionately Impacted Areas will be prioritized, with more than $100 million in funds allocated for these ZIP codes. Businesses with revenues of $20 million or less in 2019 and a reduction in revenue in 2020 due to COVID-19 are eligible. For hotels, the threshold is $35 million or less.

Eligible businesses should apply by 11:59 p.m. Oct. 13, 2021 through the DCEO website.