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The State of Illinois is launching a new round of Back to Business (B2B) grants, targeting businesses in specific industries that opened during the pandemic. $25 million in grants will be available to businesses that launched in 2020 and 2021, which were ineligible for previous grant programs. Applications will be open from November 30 to January 30.

According to a press release from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), “[T]he latest American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)-funded opportunity is designed to provide additional support for businesses in hard-hit sectors who launched during the pandemic. Businesses that launched in 2020 or 2021 and remain in operation have faced significant impacts during the pandemic, but they have not been eligible for other federal or state relief programming since they were not operational prior to the pandemic.”

The B2B NewBiz grant program will be open to businesses in the following sectors:

  1. Hotels
  2. Restaurants and bars that are eligible for but have not received a Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant
  3. Arts organizations and businesses that include the following categories:
    • Live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organization operators, and talent representatives that are eligible for but have not received a Shuttered Venues Operating Grant (SVOG)
    • Performing or presenting arts organizations
    • Arts education organizations
    • Service providers and organizations for the arts
  4. Clothing and electronics retail establishments (excluding e-commerce)
  5. Dry-cleaning and laundry services (excluding coin-operated)
  6. Home health care services
  7. Child care providers
  8. Barbershop and salon services
  9. Indoor recreation
  10. Gyms and fitness centers
  11. Tourism and group transportation (excluding taxis, limos, or rideshare)
  12. Spectator and social event support services
  13. Museums and movie theater operators that are eligible for but have not received a Shuttered Venues Operating Grant (SVOG)

Click here for more detailed information about eligible categories.

DCEO guidelines state that B2B NewBiz grant amounts will be based on when the business opened and whether it operates as a brick-and-mortar enterprise or a home-based business:

Open January to June, 2020: brick-and-mortar $30,000, home-based $10,000 

Open July to December, 2020:  brick-and-mortar $20,000, home-based $5,000

Open January to December, 2021: brick-and-mortar $10,000, home-based N/A

Applications for the grants will be open November 30, 2023 through January 11, 2024. The Chamber will post links for the application in the Business Resources section of its website.