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BIG - Business Interruption Grants Program Round 2

ROUND 2 - Applications are open.

Handouts for the training session linked above can be downloaded here:

The Application Link is HERE.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the second round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) today. BIG2 will be providing $200 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures.



  • For-profit and nonprofit entities with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 (annualized for businesses that started after January 2019) and experienced losses due to COVID-19.

  • Grant size will be calculated based on revenue losses and/or expenses over that last two months, and will range from $5,000 - $150,000.

Application process:

  • DCEO will begin accepting applications through their grant administration partner Accion.

  • Applications for the second round of BIG Program will be accepted on the afternoon of Thursday 9/17.

  • Please visit Illinois DCEO website for application details, checklist, FAQs, and eligible cost list as well as to submit your application..


The second wave of funds includes the following provisions to ensure a wide distribution of funds geographically and across business type:

  • Heavily Impacted Industries - $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theaters, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, and more.

  • Disproportionately Impacted Areas - $70 million set aside for DIAs, defined by zip codes identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19. A map of DIAs can be accessed here.

  • Downstate Communities – DCEO has committed to ensuring that at least half of all remaining funds, totaling more than $100 million, are reserved for businesses in downstate and rural communities of Illinois that includes all counties except Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, and Will.

  • Priority Businesses– Apart from the $60 million for heavily impacted industries, applications from the following types of businesses will be prioritized for review for remaining funds: businesses directly affected by regional mitigation implemented by the state or local governments, independently owned retail, tourism- and hospitality-related industries including accommodations, and more.

  • Agriculture - $5 million of the remainder of funds will be set aside for livestock production disruptions. Applications will be available in the coming weeks from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

  • Grants and Loan Forgiveness for Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan recipients - As authorized by the General Assembly, DCEO will offer grants for businesses that have incurred eligible costs to offset loans received under the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan program. This round of loan forgiveness and grants will go to businesses that have received loans or remain on the wait list and the program will sunset going forward as DCEO and its partners focus on making BIG awards.

  • Businesses outside the categories listed above are also eligible to apply and receive funding under the program but may be reviewed later than priority businesses. All businesses will receive a decision on their grant application within four to six weeks of application submission.

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