Senator Cunningham


CHICAGO – Over 100 businesses on the Southwest Side and Southwest Suburbs were awarded more than $3.2 million in funding from the Back to Business program thanks to advocacy and support from State Senator Bill Cunningham, and State Representatives Fran Hurley and Kelly Burke. 

“After passing a fiscally responsible budget, I am thrilled to see new investment in our small business community,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

A total of $3.21 million was awarded to 106 businesses in the 18th Senate District. 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.

DCEO has provided $250 million in B2B grants to small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on hard hit sectors, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, barbershops and salons, and disproportionately impacted areas.

“Let’s continue to shop local to show our support for small business and our local economy,” said Hurley (D-Chicago).

The state has seen five Illinois’ General Obligation bond rating upgrades in the last year from all three of the nation’s primary credit rating agencies. The latest two-notch upgrade comes from Fitch Ratings, as a result of the state paying down its bill backlog from over $16 billion to less than $3 billion in a course of just a few years.

“A good way to get our states finances back on track is by getting money back into the pockets of working people,” said Burke (D-Evergreen Park).

Due to fiscal responsibility, the state saw an increase in funds available to assist small businesses.

Small businesses can visit the DCEO website for additional resources or contact DCEO’s First Stop Business Information Center Services at 800-252-2923 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..