Theater seats

ROCKFORD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is highlighting the second round of Business Interruption Grants the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is awarding to Rockford businesses and other small business communities that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19-related losses and closures.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of my community,” Stadelman said. “They need this grant money to endure, and I’m happy the state continues to prioritize communities like Rockford in these hard times.”

Forty Rockford-area small business will receive a total of over $1 million in this second round of BIG funding, which builds on the more than $49 million in grants awarded statewide in August. The Rockford area received nearly $2 million in grants during the first round, which ranged from $10,000 to $20,000 to assist businesses with expenses like payroll costs, rent, utilities, equipment and other possible unexpected costs to relieve the effects of the pandemic.

The second round of grants is intended to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located outside of the Chicago area, including the Rockford area. They include $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, event spaces located at banquet halls and hotels, and more. $70 million has been set aside for disproportionately impacted communities that have been the most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19.

“The first round of these grants are supporting dozens of businesses in my community,” Stadelman said. “This round is ensuring additional businesses are given the resources they need to navigate through the pandemic as winter approaches.”

A list of grant recipients can be found here. To apply for assistance visit the DCEO Website.