Small businesses hurt by Covid and looting get $46M in grant money

Federally-funded business interruption grants going to 2,500 companies statewide

TRD CHICAGO /
Aug.August 13, 2020 01:05 PM
Gov. J.B. Pritzker (Credit:  Paul Natkin/Getty Images, Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images, and Xinhua via Getty Images)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (Credit: Paul Natkin/Getty Images, Jim Vondruska/NurPhoto via Getty Images, and Xinhua via Getty Images)

Small businesses statewide that have been hard hit by the pandemic, and whose stores were damaged by looting and vandalism in June, have been awarded $46 million in business interruption grants.

The 2,600 companies received $10,000 to $20,000 each in emergency funding, according to Crain’s. Gov. J.B. Pritkzer on Wednesday announced the federally-funded grants, saying more assistance would be on the way. About half of the recipients from this round are minority-owned businesses, according to the report.

The businesses that received the money are in 78 of the state’s 102 counties, and have revenue that does not exceed $3 million a year. In all, 5,000 businesses across Illinois applied for funding, which was allocated by lottery, Crain’s reported.

The state targeted the first round to help companies that “completely shut down in the spring and those that are in Covid-impacted areas that experienced property damage amidst the looting and civil rest in June,” Pritzker said.

That looting — which followed the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police — damaged stores across Chicago and the state. In the days that followed, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city worked to clean up from the vandalism, helping 150 property owners board up their shops.

Earlier this week, numerous stores were vandalized and looted along the Magnificent Mile and other parts of Downtown Chicago after police shot a man following a confrontation in Englewood.

The governor added that the funding will help businesses and shops that were overlooked by the federal Payroll Protection Program, and that an additional $200 million will be distributed to small businesses statewide. [Crain’s]Alexi Friedman 


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