Illinois makes $24M in grants available to small businesses hurt by pandemic

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Small businesses hurting from the Covid-19 pandemic still have time to get help from the state, as Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced $24 million American Rescue Grants are up for grabs on Thursday.

This first wave of Back to Business funds will help over 500 of our state’s entrepreneurs rehire staff and cover operating costs – without owing a single cent back. And as Illinois rebuilds and recovers, we will continue to step up for our small businesses. They deserve to breathe easier and dream bigger – it’s our mission to deliver the funds and resources they need to do so,” Pritzker said.

Some recovery grants have already been given out, half of which went to minority owned businesses.

One Latino entrepreneur from Chicago, Ezequiel Fuente, said he’s proud of the progress he’s made, but said more work needs to be done.

“Only ten percent of the grantees for the Back to Business Grants are Latino. That means that they’re still a lot more work to do. We’re 20 percent of the population across the whole state of Illinois. You know, I think it’s really important for us to make sure that we’re reaching our small Latino businesses,” Fuente said.

Business owners can apply for a grant through October 13th.

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