Local businesses receive BIG grants

Illinois announced the recipients of $46 million worth of  emergency small business grants last Tuesday, with eight Monroe County businesses receiving money. 

The grants were through the Business Interruption Grant program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 

โ€œThe initial focus of these grants has been on businesses that have been most severely impacted by COVID-19 โ€” those that were completely shut down in the spring and those that are in COVID-impacted areas that experienced property damaged amidst the looting and civil unrest in June,โ€ Gov. JB Pritzker said when announcing the funds. โ€œOverall, the BIG program will support thousands of small businesses who have suffered losses due to the COVID pandemic, with a substantial allotment set aside specifically for childcare providers โ€” an essential underpinning of our workforce for countless working families.โ€  

The funds released went to more then 2,600 small businesses in over 400 cities and towns spread across 78 counties. 

The grants ranged from $10,000-$20,000 and represented the first round of payments from a program that has a total of $540 million allocated โ€“ including $270 million for childcare providers. 

In Monroe County, two businesses received $10,000 grants and six got $20,000 grants. 

The former recipients are La Belle Vous Salon & Day Spa and Beauty Network, both in Waterloo. 

Businesses receiving $20,000 grants were Doggie Macโ€™s and Sunset Overlook in Columbia and Crazy Train Saloon & Grill, Pound 4 Pound Fitness Center, Route 3 Bar & Grill and Vintage Wine Bar in Waterloo. 

Those businesses can use the money for working capital expenses like payroll, rent, utilities and equipment. It can also be used for unexpected expenses stemming from efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic like personal protective equipment, training and new technology. 

Only businesses that proved an annual revenue of $3 million or lower were eligible for the grants. 

More than 5,000 businesses applied for funding, and the state selected grantees via random lottery. 

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James Moss

James is an alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mass communications and applied communications studies. While in school, he interned at two newspapers and worked at a local grocery store to pay for his education. When not working for the Republic-Times, he enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and spending time with his friends.
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