fine floor 103020GLENVIEW – More than $400,000 has been awarded to 20 North Shore businesses through the second round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program, and millions of dollars are still available, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) announced Friday.

“The pandemic hit our small business community hard. With increased mitigation measures now in effect in our region, many business owners are hurting,” Senator Fine said. “These funds will offer small businesses a hand, allowing them to retain employees and keep the lights on during this challenging time.”

In the district Senator Fine represents, 20 businesses—including restaurants, salons and performing arts venues—received a combined $415,000. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $90,000 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.

In total, more than $46 million has been awarded to 1,200 small businesses across the state in the second round of the BIG program. This investment builds on the $49 million awarded to more than 2,800 businesses in the first round of funding.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded the grants this week, but applications will remain open until all of the funding is spent.

“I’m glad to see so many local businesses receiving aid from the BIG program to help them get through this tough time,” said Senator Fine. “I encourage all struggling small businesses to apply as soon as possible to ensure they get the support they need.”

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 the DCEO website.