$14 million in emergency grants awarded to more than 700 bars, restaurants, hotels

information provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (April 9, 2020) – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), in partnership with Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana, awarded $14 million in small grants to over 700 small bars, restaurants, and hotels. 12,000 businesses applied for funding and grantees were selected via a random lottery conducted by Accion. Bars and restaurants received an average grant of $14,000 while hotels received an average grant of $30,000. The grants can be used to support working capital—like payroll and rent—job training, and technology to support shifts in operations including increased use of carry-out and delivery.

“While the financial hardships related to this virus have permeated just about every industry, we know that our hospitality businesses have experienced some of the most significant hardships,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Funding from the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program will help ease the burdens businesses in every corner of the state are facing and keep their operations up and running.”

Awards for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program were drawn from existing DCEO funds budgeted for tourism promotion, job training, and general operations. More than 450 small bars and restaurants received an average grant of roughly $14,000, while more than 250 small hotels received an average grant of $30,000. Applications were accepted by Accion from March 25 through April 1, and the lottery to select grantees was held from April 4 to April 7.

The awarded businesses are located across the state of Illinois. Approximately one-third of the businesses receiving grants are located outside of Cook and the collar counties.

DCEO continues to identify new resources and services for businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including resources under the federal CARES Act including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), EIDL Emergency Advance, and the Paycheck Protection Program. A list of resources available to small businesses is published and updated on DCEO’s website.

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