Illinois providing $3.4 million to get small businesses access COVID relief

(Springfield, IL) -- Illinois small businesses trying to get access to federal COVID-19 emergency funds will be getting some help from the state.

On Friday, Governor JB Pritzker announced that new investments by the state will be used to expand community navigator outreach programs and technical assistance services provided through the State’s Small Business Development Centers. Pritzker says the money is intended to help more businesses take advantage of billions of dollars of financial assistance recently made available through the renewed Paycheck Protection Program and with other federal programs set to launch in the coming weeks. “Even as we focus on vaccine administration and public health mitigations, we must also build toward economic recovery by helping job creators survive and thrive as we work to overcome this pandemic,” Pritzker said.

New investments will guide an equity-based approach to reaching small businesses with the greatest needs – with outreach prioritizing minority-owned businesses, businesses in economically-disadvantaged communities, as well as those which have yet to receive financial assistance.

The passage of additional federal COVID-19 stimulus by Congress in December 2020 provides several new and extended financial assistance programs to help small businesses. This includes a $284 billion extension of PPP, which began accepting applications from lenders as of last week. The latest round of funding includes set asides that will benefit minority-owned businesses, rural businesses, and micro-businesses by providing dedicated funds for the smallest businesses, the lending institutions that serve these businesses, and businesses located in low-and moderate-income communities.

In the coming weeks, more than $35 billion will be made available to small businesses through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance, as well as the new Shuttered Venue Operators grant programs.

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