B2B: Back to Business

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is relaunching and investing an additional $175 million in funding for the Back to Business grant program. The latest opportunity is designed to provide additional targeted support for industries including restaurants, hotels and businesses or organizations in the creative arts sector.

“The Back to Business program and other relief efforts helped thousands of small businesses across Chicago and Illinois bounce back from the pandemic,” said State Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago). “Because Illinois has been responsible in our budgeting, we are able to provide funds for entrepreneurs and businesses that need it most.”

The program design is based on legislation establishing the Restaurant Employment and Stabilization Grant Program, Hotel Jobs Recovery Grant Program and the Illinois Creative Recovery Grant program. The funding is designed to offset losses and support job retention in the hardest-hit industries.

“Tourism businesses like restaurants, hotels, and arts organizations are the beating heart of not just my district's local economy, but they are critical to the entire state,” said State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “I look forward to businesses across Illinois being reinvigorated by these dollars as they gear up for what will be an incredible travel summer for our state.”

Applications will be open from April 5 through May 10, and awards are expected to be made several weeks after the deadline date. All eligible applicants will receive a grant as long as the business meets eligibility requirements and submits proper documentation and attestations.  DCEO recommends business owners attend a statewide information kick-off session, offered in both English and Spanish, in the lead-up to the application launch. Information and registration for the upcoming webinars on March 24, March 30 and April 6 can be found here.

“We are excited to spread the word about the additional $175 million in available grant funding to businesses that need support,” said State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). “During previous rounds, I walked door to door with DCEO to make sure that small business owners, especially immigrant-owned businesses, knew about this opportunity so they can get the support that they need. I look forward to visiting my small business corridors again with this great news.”

Community navigators are also available across the state to provide support and technical assistance to hardest-hit communities. Applications, available at Illinois.gov/B2B, will be open between April 5 and May 10.