Senator Belt


EAST ST. LOUIS – Local businesses in Madison and St. Clair Counties were awarded more than $650,000 in funding from the Back to Business program thanks to advocacy and support from State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea).

“Business owners are still in recovery mode as we move forward from the pandemic,” Belt said. “This funding has been essential for the small businesses in the Metro East that have fought to keep their doors open.”

The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget.

So far – thanks to strong support from Senator Belt – DCEO has provided $200 million in B2B grants to small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas. With nearly $50 million left to go, more businesses will have the opportunity to get a share of the relief funds.

“It’s important that we continue to support small businesses by shopping local,” Belt said. “These businesses are a large part of our community and I’m pleased to see money going to the shops in our neighborhoods.”

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Visit the DCEO website for more information on the B2B program or check the status of an existing application by logging into the portal.