The governor’s grant program would be allocated for businesses, rental and mortgage assistance, poverty alleviation, and more.
Gov. Pritzker recently introduced a multi-agency package relief program that would donate $900 million to businesses, communities, and individuals impacted by the coronavirus-caused economic downturn.
“We are in a moment that requires a historic effort to mitigate this virus’s devastating effects on the health and livelihoods of the residents of this state,” Governor Pritzker said in an announcement.
“With assistance from the federal CARES Act and in partnership with the General Assembly, including from the Black Caucus, Latino Caucus, and Asian Caucus, my administration has put together a support package of over 900 million dollars to lift up small businesses, working families and Black and Brown communities who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19’s financial impacts. I’m deeply proud to lead a state government so committed to being there for the people we serve.”
Pritzker’s $900 million relief program involves four state agencies with 10 programs.
The Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) aims to distribute at least $540 million to businesses, particularly small businesses, that have experienced losses in the last few months as a result of the pandemic. The BIG program will first distribute $90 million to businesses that have closed as a result. Ultimately, the program hopes to serve up to 3,500 businesses — including bars, restaurants, barbershops, salons, gyms, and fitness centers. $270 million of the budget will go toward childcare funded by CARES Act.
“In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in DIAs,” per the grant’s webpage.
“Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020.”
The BIG application for small businesses will be made available tomorrow, June 23.
$150 million of the program will be designated to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. This program headed by the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) will launch in August and will go toward individuals who haven’t been able to pay their rent. In accordance, Pritzker will extend the eviction ban past July 31. The program will remain in place for a year and hopes to serve up to 30,000 tenants each with $5000 grants. Grants will be given on a first-come-first-served basis with priority given to those communities disproportionally affected by the pandemic.
$150 million will be allocated to a similar mortgage programs, in which the state hopes to serve as many as 10,000 homeowners with payments up to $15,000.
Additionally, Pritzker’s new plan includes a Distressed Capital Program (DCP), which will serve businesses that were damaged on or after May 25, 2020.
The DCP will provide up to $25 million to businesses, that will range from $1 to $10 million grants (with subgrants ranging from $1,000 to $200,000), including those businesses that were uninsured.
“The Distressed Capital Program will specifically help businesses located in DIAs and will prioritize small businesses, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, businesses that have a high community impact – such as grocery stores – and businesses in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment.”
Finally, Pritzker’s program would allocate $32.5 million to poverty alleviation strategies — primarily focused on those communities that were disproportionally hit by the pandemic. These strategies will include investments in employment, summer youth providers, food banks, Illinois Black and Brown Farmers, mental health services, community-based organizations, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
[Featured image via GovPritzker Facebook Page]