vanpelt 100421CHICAGO – The first wave of Back to Business grants was awarded, with over half a million dollars going to businesses in the 5th District, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) announced.

Through the B2B program, $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars are set aside for small businesses experiencing COVID-19 losses. The first wave granted more than $24 million to small businesses across the state. Eligible businesses can apply for the second wave by Oct. 13.

“I am happy that after experiencing so much loss, businesses will continue to have access to financial aid,” Van Pelt said. “I hope that all businesses will take the opportunity to apply for these grants, which can help their businesses get back to business as usual.”

So far, more than half of the grants have gone to minority-owned businesses. On average, recipients of B2B grants experienced revenue declines of 39% last year.

Businesses located within Disproportionately Impacted Areas will be prioritized, with more than $100 million in funds set aside for these zip codes. Businesses with revenues of $20 million or less in 2019 and a reduction in revenue in 2020 due to COVID-19 are eligible. The threshold is $35 million or less for hotels.

“I am happy to see that several Black and Brown businesses have benefitted from the first wave of B2B grants, including over $500,000 for businesses in the 5th District,” Van Pelt said. “I look forward the second wave of grants, and for more business to get much needed relief.”

Businesses may receive grants between the ranges of $5,000 to $150,000 to assist with losses experienced. Eligible businesses are encouraged to apply through Oct. 13, 2021 by visiting DCEO’s website.