BIG restaurant2 103020CHICAGO - As 51 businesses in the 7th district receive financial assistance from the Business Interruption Grant program to help offset financial losses stemming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) encouraged more to apply Friday.

“This is encouraging news for the businesses who received this aid, but I know a lot of other businesses and organizations who qualify have yet to apply, and there are still funds available,” Steans said. “I urge every business and organization that has fallen on hard times to consider seeing if they qualify and applying.”

Fifty-one businesses received $1.8 million in $5,000-$150,000 grants to help cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic. 

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded the grants this week, as part of the second round of BIG Grants. However, applications will remain open until all of the funding is spent. 

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’s website.