CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker and state economic leaders met in Chicago on Friday to announce a $9 million investment to help small businesses recover from the COVID-19 shutdowns.
The Community Navigator Program will appoint “community navigators” to perform outreach to small and hard-to-reach businesses to make sure they are aware of economic relief funds that are available.
“Thanks to support from the federal government, I’m pleased to announce the State is once again providing a significant amount of economic recovery grants designed to help businesses with reopening, to bring employees back to work, and to help rebuild our economy post-pandemic,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “To ensure those dollars reach into the communities hit hardest by the pandemic, we’re directing investments to 13 trusted community partners who will work across their networks help ensure that businesses regardless of size, type, or location receive the support needed to build back from the pandemic. With this funding we are doubling down on an equity driven approach that will ensure hard hit businesses in minority and downstate communities are represented in these economic recovery programs.”
The governor says small businesses that had trouble receiving personal protective equipment loans benefitted from the program last year.
He also thanked those who worked during the pandemic to keep those small businesses alive.
“Thank you for all the hard work that everyone has put in to keeping our businesses alive during the pandemic, making sure the livelihoods of those who are working in the back here could stay stable and strong,” he said.
The recovery program gave funds to 13 organizations, including the American Business Immigration Coalition, which serves Winnebago County, and the Illinois Public Health Association, which benefits most Stateline-area counties.