SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced a $250 million grant program on Wednesday to support small businesses recovering from the shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Back to Business program offers small businesses access to funds to offset losses incurred due to the Governor’s COVID-19 lockdown orders.

Today, in partnership with the General Assembly, I’m taking another step to stimulate economic growth, jobs, and new opportunity for the people of Illinois,” said Pritzker. “Further accelerating our economic recovery, we are announcing $250 million in Back to Business grants to help small businesses all across Illinois hire back staff and cover operating costs. Small businesses are the backbone of Illinois’ economy, collectively representing the largest number of jobs in Illinois and the largest job creators. And here in Illinois, they’re also the cornerstone of our recovery.”

Restaurants and taverns, hotels, arts businesses and organizations, and more will be eligible. Additionally, businesses located within Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs), as defined in statute, will be prioritized.

The funds, ranging in grants from $5,000 to $150,000, will be made available through Community Navigators in each region. To be considered for a grant, applicants must demonstrate a reduction in revenue in 2020 as compared with 2019, and annual revenues of no more than $20 million in 2019.  Businesses must also provide two bank statements, a business owner ID, and federal tax returns for 2019 and 2020.