Gov. Pritzker Announces $245 Million in Grants for Businesses and Communities Impacted by COVID-19 and Civil Unrest


$220 Million Available for Business Owners through Second Round of the Business Interruption Grants; $25 Million Available for Communities through the Rebuild Distressed Communities Program.


CHICAGO — Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today in the Bronzeville community to announce the latest in a series of grants made available for small businesses in Illinois suffering losses as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as well as communities impacted by the recent civil unrest. Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program will be made available this Thursday afternoon and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.


The Governor also announced applications for the new Rebuild Distressed Communities (RDC) program will become available in the coming weeks. This program will provide $25 million in funding to cover the cost of civil-unrest related repairs while also supporting new investments in economically distressed communities across Illinois.


“Support for small businesses has been one of the central features of our COVID-19 response: Helping entrepreneurs stay afloat, giving business owners the help necessary to keep the lights on and payroll flowing, is vital to preserving jobs and businesses until we get to the other side of this pandemic,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These two new programs, combined with the first round of Business Interruption Grants, deliver nearly $300 million in aid to the very small businesses that bring jobs and vibrancy to their communities –offering them increased stability so those jobs and that vibrancy can live on.”


BIG continues to prioritize equity by setting aside a substantial portion of funds for businesses located in economically vulnerable communities. The second round of BIG builds on over $49 million in grants awarded just last month – with initial grants allocated to approximately 2,800 businesses in 400 communities in every corner of the state. Application information for the second round of funds and can be found on DCEO’s website at and the application form will open for submissions later this week.


The second wave of funds from BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs). The latest wave of funding includes the following provisions to ensure a wide distribution of funds geographically and across business type:


  • Heavily Impacted Industries$60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, event spaces located at banquet halls and hotels, and more.
  • Disproportionately Impacted Areas$70 million set aside for DIAs, defined by zip codes identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19.  A map of DIAs can be accessed here.
  • Downstate Communities – DCEO has committed to ensuring that at least half of all remaining funds, totaling more than $100 million, are reserved for businesses in downstate and rural communities of Illinois.
  • Priority Businesses Apart from the $60 million for heavily impacted industries, applications from the following types of businesses will be prioritized for review for remaining funds:  businesses directly affected by regional mitigations implemented by the state or local governments, independently owned retail, tourism- and hospitality-related industries including accommodations, and more.
  • Agriculture – $5 million of the remainder of funds will be set aside for livestock production disruptions.
  • Grants and Loan Forgiveness for Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan recipientsAs authorized by the General Assembly, DCEO will offer grants for businesses that have incurred eligible costs to offset loans received under the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan program.  This round of loan forgiveness and grants will go to businesses that have received loans or remain on the wait list and the program will sunset going forward as DCEO and its partners focus on making BIG awards.


“From day one of this crisis, the Pritzker administration has prioritized bold and equitable solutions to address the issues facing businesses and communities across our state as a result of COVID-19,” said Director of DCEO, Erin B. Guthrie. “While the first round of funds has helped 2,800 businesses in 78 counties across the state make ends meet, an additional $200 million in BIG grants will help ensure that even more businesses across our state have a shot at unlocking funds that will help them pay the rent, the payroll and other costs to help them safely reopen and regain their livelihoods.”


“The pandemic has taken a real toll on our community, our restaurant and our staff in ways we could never have prepared for. As a full-service restaurant, accustomed to serving hundreds of guests daily, suddenly we found ourselves with an empty dining room, our table servers missing out on much needed income and skyrocketing operating expenses, including new costs for protecting our staff and our guests,” said Darrell Green, Co-Owner of Pearl’s Place Restaurant in Bronzeville. “Along comes the State of Illinois’ BIG grant, which offered us much needed resources for PPE to protect our team and maintain a safe environment for our guests. This grant is helping us to do our part in rebuilding public confidence to welcome more of our customers back safely.”


Earlier this year, DCEO issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity and has identified a qualified administrator to disburse the remaining funds for BIG throughout the rest of the year. Working with administrators Accion and the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), the department will take a tailored approach to processing grants in this round. Grants will range from $5,000 to $150,000, commensurate with revenue losses incurred and business size.


“This additional funding is critical for Chicago’s diverse business community, which has faced significant economic impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Alderman Pat Dowell (3rd Ward). “The most recent round of grants will help lift small businesses, like Pearl’s Place, that are an integral part of the Bronzeville community. I thank the Governor and his administration for continuing to support our vibrant business community throughout the ongoing pandemic.”


Eligible businesses will include for-profit and nonprofit entities with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 (annualized for businesses that started after January 2019). All businesses that receive a BIG award must have experienced losses due to COVID-19 that exceed the size of the award.


“The hotel industry has been an integral part of the state’s economy and the anchor of our tourism industry. We generate over $4 billion in state and local taxes a year supporting more than 290,000 jobs and generating $16 billion in wages and salaries to hard working men and work in Illinois. Unfortunately, this pandemic has decimated our industry overnight,” said Michael Jacobson, President of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association. “As hundreds of hotels throughout the state struggle to survive, some of whom remain shuttered altogether, this is a positive step towards providing much needed assistance to the Illinois hospitality community. As one of the largest employers in the state, these grants provide a much-needed lifeline to the hotel industry while we await the opportunity to welcome back visitors and put people back to work.”

“Over the past six months, our Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has heard from hundreds of business owners who have suffered significant financial losses due to COVID-19. Many who have received emergency assistance have found that they still need additional support to keep their businesses afloat and to continue to provide jobs and goods and services in their communities,” said Karen Freeman Wilson, CEO of the Chicago Urban League. “These programs offer a real opportunity for businesses and communities to recover. We are pleased to continue working with Governor Pritzker and his team to help distribute grants to small business owners, as well as to provide business coaching, mentorship, and technical assistance where it is needed.”


“This round of BIG grants will offer a lifeline to the devastated Illinois cultural sector. Our beloved music venues, performing arts centers, museums and other critical community assets remain either fully closed or severely restricted given capacity limitations, and we have yet to see a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of reopening,” said Claire Rice, Executive Director of Arts Alliance Illinois. “This type of government support is essential to our field as the COVID crisis continues, and we will need our Illinois artists and creative workers more than ever to connect us to our collective humanity, both during the pandemic and into our future.”


DCEO will also oversee the distribution of grants through the RDC program. Supported by the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, RDC funds will be made available to help businesses and economically distressed communities cover the cost of repairs already incurred, while making way for capital work to address eligible repairs or community improvements still needed in response to civil unrest. RDC funded projects may range in size from $1,000 to $200,000, based on eligibility and the extent of the damages. DCEO will prioritize contractors from minority, women, and veteran owned businesses to perform the work, and reimbursements will begin in the coming weeks for damages which have already been incurred.


To coordinate reimbursement and capital repairs, the State of Illinois has selected two community development organizations – the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) and the Chicago Neighborhood Initiative (CNI). LISC and CNI were selected via a competitive process and will conduct outreach, coordinate local qualified vendors to perform repairs, and provide funds to cover the cost of repairs and new building improvements for businesses in eligible communities across the state. Additionally, LISC will host the application for the grants on its website.


“LISC is committed to supporting and strengthening communities by increasing opportunities for residents who live, work and do business throughout Illinois,” said Meghan Harte, Executive Director of LISC Chicago. “We are thrilled to be a part of Rebuild Distressed Communities and continue to invest in the prosperity and wellbeing of businesses that need it most.”


Eligibility for the RDC grants requires businesses and nonprofits to demonstrate property damage as a result of civil unrest on or after May 25, 2020 and be located in economically distressed zip codes identified by DCEO as having sustained property damage due to civil unrest.


“We know businesses and their employees are hurting during this difficult time, particularly those in communities where resources are scarce,” said David Doig, President of CNI, a nonprofit community development organization. “CNI is honored to be joining forces with the DCEO and LISC to help businesses in under-resourced communities gain access to the financial support they need to recover as quickly as possible.”


To promote equity in the program, priority for grant funding will be given to small businesses with 50 employees or fewer, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, and inherently essential businesses – like grocery stores – in economically distressed areas. DCEO has created a list of impacted zip codes to help determine eligibility of project location, found here. For businesses that have sustained property damages during civil unrest but not located in a predetermined zip code, they may work with DCEO’s administrative partners to apply and request that their zip code be added to the list of eligible zip codes.


BIG and RDC build on a menu of small business and community relief programs created by the administration since COVID-19 first hit – with over $500 million in grants and programs launched by DCEO, including emergency hospitality grants, a downstate small business stabilization program, Fast Track Capital, and more. For more information on programs available for businesses and communities, please visit DCEO’s website.


Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Governor Pritzker Announces Round 2 of BIG

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

Would you like to be a part of something POWERFUL?!

DCEDC longtime contributing member and DeKalb County utility provider ComEd has opportunities for you!  Check out the positions by clicking on the link Jobs Fliers_ComEd     Or by visiting the ComEd website

Date posted: September 15, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on ComEd Powering Possibilities-

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Northern Illinois University as announced important developments in its ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the university.

Please read this informative update from DeKalb County UNITES on how we can all protect ourselves and the NIU pack!

NIU from DeKalb County UNITES

Date posted: September 11, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Important Information From DeKalb County UNITES for our Business Leaders

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

For Immediate Release:

3M awards stethoscopes to Kish nursing students

Eight nursing students at Kishwaukee College were the recipients of prestigious Littmann Stethoscopes from the Community Support Group at 3M.

The nursing students who received Littmann stethoscopes are Luis Castillo, Cortland; Celia Huerta, Kingston; Dennysha Kizer, DeKalb; Emily Pickeral, DeKalb; Elizabeth Sweitzer, DeKalb; Samantha Tinkey, DeKalb; Jenna Woodbury, DeKalb; and Alivia Spellious, DeKalb.

The Community Support Group is the local arm of 3M that provides charitable assistance and support. Although the national 3M Corporation provides recognizable support in a variety of ways, including scholarships to Kishwaukee College and other educational institutions across the country, the Community Support Group is designed to be community-specific by volunteering, assisting, and donating in ways that are unique to the local community.

Since 2010, the 3M Community Support Group in DeKalb has been awarding Littman stethoscopes to deserving Kishwaukee College nursing students each semester. The Littmann Stethoscope is manufactured by 3M and is considered the “Cadillac” of stethoscopes.

For more information on the nursing program at Kish, visit For information on the 3M Corporation, visit

DeKalb’s 3M Plant-

Date posted: September 11, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on 3M donates Littmann Stethoscopes to Kishwaukee College Nursing Students

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

DeKalb, IL – Northern Illinois University students are helping DeKalb County small businesses and nonprofits amp up their digital presence and respond to community needs, thanks to a new collaborative program created by NIU, DeKalb County UNITES, OC Creative, the DeKalb County Community Foundation, and the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership.

40TUDE is the name of the program, representing the strength of the community working together to support all sectors in successfully navigating the 2020 pandemic.  40TUDE will harness the power of NIU and community experts to meet needs now. NIU students will work under the direction and mentorship of university faculty and local industry experts to help businesses create or update their social media, website, and e-commerce for minimal cost and to help nonprofits analyze data and communicate effectively to respond to community needs.

Early in the pandemic, DeKalb County UNITES was established to provide support and encouragement to the small business sector. At the same time, the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership created the DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund. In these partnerships, community and university leaders listened to businesses and nonprofits to find out how they were doing and what they needed to respond to the COVID crisis.

Market research conducted by DeKalb County UNITES demonstrated the tremendous disadvantages experienced by small businesses without a digital presence. Small nonprofit organizations face similar barriers. 40TUDE Business and 40TUDE Nonprofits were born out of these outreach efforts and respond to the most pressing needs identified in both sectors.

“In 40TUDE Business, NIU students, under the direction and mentorship of talented local experts from OC Creative and NIU College of Business marketing faculty, will provide high-quality services that would not otherwise be affordable or available,” explains Jennifer Groce, 40TUDE coordinator and NIU director of community promotion. “We’re grateful to OC Creative and the NIU College of Business for making it possible to serve businesses while NIU students gain valuable work experience.”

While 40TUDE Business will focus on helping small businesses build a web presence, 40TUDE Nonprofit will provide free, meaningful support to nonprofits in four key areas: data collection and analysis, fundraising, communications, and volunteer services. NIU Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies faculty and students will complete the work in consultation with the DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund Committee and the DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership.

“Many nonprofits are seeing an increased need for their services right now,” says Professor Alicia Schatteman, director of the NIU Center for Nonprofit and NGO Studies. “At the same time, they’re struggling to reimagine their fundraising without in-person events. Nonprofit leaders have told us they need data analysis to help them apply for grants, as well as support in communicating effectively with their donors and volunteers.”

Businesses and nonprofits located in or serving the Northern Illinois region are eligible, with priority given to those located in DeKalb County. Services will be provided through the end of 2020 and evaluated for ongoing needs in 2021. “These won’t be just semester-long projects,” says Brian Oster, owner of OC Creative. “The 40TUDE teams will evaluate and respond to the needs of clients in real-time.”

Information about the program and how to apply can be found on the following websites:

40TUDE Business – DeKalb County UNITES

40TUDE Nonprofit – NIU Center for Nonprofit and NGO studies



Date posted: September 9, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Northern Illinois University launches 40TUDE-Available to Small Businesses & Nonprofits

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

Syngenta Seeds, LLC seeks to use nearly 24 acres in Malta, IL to construct a research and development innovation and customer experience center.

Read the article as published in the Daily Chronicle-Syngenta Put Down Roots in Malta

Date posted: September 4, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Syngenta Seeds LLC putting down roots in DeKalb County

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

IMEC Announces New Advanced Manufacturing Technology Services to Solve Productivity and Innovation Challenges for Small and Mid-Size Manufacturers in Illinois


IMEC seeks 80 small and mid-sized manufacturers to be part of an exclusive group to advance their Industry 4.0 adoption success. If selected, these companies will receive fully-funded technical support.

Peoria, IL – August 05, 2020: Preparing Illinois small and mid-sized manufacturers to rebound and recover more quickly from the pandemic, IMEC is seeking 80 companies to identify, adapt, and implement Industry 4.0 technologies – building core strengths that will enable them to rebound even stronger from the pandemic. The selected companies will receive:

  • Expert guidance through Industry 4.0 challenges
  • Business case for robotics and flexible automation technologies
  • Technology deployment roadmap and action plan
  • Vendor selection services to identify the right resources for their needs
  • Implementation and process services to equip the organization with adaptation
  • Overall project management to streamline projects- leading to quicker results

IMEC has been awarded funding to deploy Advanced Manufacturing Technology Services (AMTS) to small and mid-sized manufacturers (SMMs) in Illinois. The new funding will allow the organization to deliver Industry 4.0 service solutions to SMMs, which will result in improved product quality and innovation, improved process efficiencies, and increased supply chain connectivity.

Small and mid-size manufacturers have been in a tough position without the tools to innovate and improve productivity.  As a result of current events, manufacturers are trying to mitigate disruptions in their operations like Workforce Gaps, Productivity Loss, Declining Sales, Supply Chain Shortages, and Efficiency in Daily Processes.  Industry 4.0 technologies, such as AMTS, play a vital role to combat these challenges – from 3D Printing machines saving lives to robots being able to maintain operations while humans physically could not. Now is the perfect opportunity to help position small and mid-size manufacturers for business growth opportunities that can lead to global competitiveness.

“Small and mid-sized manufacturers are the heart of Illinois’ manufacturing industry and serve as a lifeline for our economy, yet they have not been equipped with the technology to help them excel through COVID-19 and beyond.  By utilizing the advancements of automation and Industry 4.0 in unison with their current operations, their increased productivity will be able to help them compete on a global stage.” – David Boulay, Ph.D. President – IMEC

The 80 chosen companies will use these grants to energize manufacturing productivity growth and innovation – serving as showcase companies leading the way for Illinois Manufacturing to rebound and recover to global competitiveness.

This program is funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) through peer centers Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and Purdue MEP. A collaborative series of virtual educational webinars are available to introduce these advanced technologies and show how they can ease the competitive pressures of today.

Interested in being selected as one of the 80 model companies for AMTS? Learn More and Apply!


Date posted: September 1, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Important Information from IMEC-Manufacturers!

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

DeKalb County Community Foundation:  for good.  for ever.  We encourage all to visit our partner’s website, where you will see the 2019 Impact Report of the terrific opportunities made available to each community in DeKalb County.  DeKalb County residents and organizations are extremely fortunate to have the DeKalb County Community Foundation, along with their dedicated staff, philanthropic and dedicated board members, and generous donors.   DCEDC appreciates the DCCF for providing our organization with Grant opportunities throughout the years.  Well done, DCCF.  Keep up the great work!

Click on the link to review this powerful reportLeaving a Legacy of Love-2019 Annual Impact Report





Date posted: August 31, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Leaving a Legacy of Love and Support, DeKalb County Community Foundation’s Annual Impact Report

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

August 18, 2020


For Immediate Release:


With mixed emotions, the owners of The Lincoln Inn are announcing plans to permanently re-locate the restaurant from its current location at 240 E. Lincoln Highway to Faranda’s Banquet Center, 302 Grove Street, one block south in Downtown DeKalb. The Lincoln Inn has occupied the location at 240 E. Lincoln Highway since John and Polly Arhos opened the restaurant on May 21, 1979. The business has been an anchor in the heart of downtown through the years as Downtown DeKalb’s full-service family restaurant serving breakfast and lunch, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and coffee. It has always been a very welcoming comfortable place where many regulars know each other by name. Bill and Joy McMahon purchased the restaurant in 1994 and have been operating it ever since.


The move is a direct result of the current and ongoing pandemic. New developments in the downtown have helped increase foot traffic and dining room business by over 20% in the last year. With people living in the new downtown apartments and with an increase of people coming down to shop, breakfast and lunch business has increased significantly. Improvements being completed at the Egyptian Theater will lead to even more visitors in the downtown and a brighter future for all downtown businesses. Unfortunately, Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on how often people are eating in restaurants, and of all segments, family restaurants are being impacted the hardest. “While people have come to enjoy comfortable closeness The Lincoln Inn’s dining room offers and the restaurant’s 12 seat counter, that same environment does not lend itself well to social distancing” Bill McMahon reports. Even though McMahon feels that his staff could implement the safety protocols needed to ensure safe dining experiences for guests at the Lincoln Inn, McMahon explains “While we can do a good job in the 4000 square feet at 240 E. Lincoln highway, we can do a great job in the 15,000 square feet that Faranda’s Banquet Center offers. In addition to more dining space, Faranda’s location allows for outdoor dining on the patio and curbside pickup and plenty of parking. McMahon also feels that he can keep his staff safer in the larger kitchen that Faranda’s offers. “The kitchen at Lincoln Inn is set up in a traditional line fashion where cooks work shoulder to shoulder to prepare guests meals. Faranda’s kitchen on the other hand provides twice the space and the ability to have distinct work-stations.” 


Lincoln Inn transitioned its operations to 302 Grove Street as a temporary move in March when inside dining was mandated to close in Illinois. Originally a limited menu for drive-through dinner service was provided for two hours each day to keep the staff employed and to stay connected with the restaurant’s regular customers. When outdoor dining was permitted, a patio was designed with covered tables in the front of the banquet center and the menu was expanded to include more of the favorites from the Lincoln Inn’s dining room menu. When inside dining was permitted at the end of June, rather than moving back into 240 E. Lincoln highway and abandoning the Patio Dining and Curbside Pickup that had been established, McMahon opted to open “The Lincoln Inn @ Faranda’s” “It just seemed to make sense at the time. Many people were enjoying dining on the patio and we have much more space to spread out in this facility.” While the restaurant is moving back to its breakfast/lunch format, the Friday night dinners have been a huge success and they will continue to be a part of the Restaurant’s new offerings. Plans are being finalized to convert some of the smaller interior meeting space to permanently house The Lincoln Inn at Faranda’s.  McMahon acknowledges that much sadness comes with the decision to not reopen the dining room at 240 E. Lincoln Highway. 


“Downtown DeKalb is certainly experiencing some new vibrance and we have experienced that first-hand in the past year. We have spent 27 great years on Lincoln Highway and change is always difficult”. But McMahon continues with the optimism of the opportunity that is presented in the current situation. “Our family believes that we can continue to provide the DeKalb community enjoyable dining experiences and we can even do it better in our new location. Furthermore, we can continue to provide the premier experience that Farandas has been providing to its customers for the past 8 years.” In addition to this being an opportunity for the McMahon Family, this is an opportunity for someone new in our community who has always dreamed of owning a restaurant or a business in a vibrant downtown. When this all finishes up, DeKalb will find itself with one additional business in its downtown district – two owned by the McMahons and new fresh business located in the heart of downtown at 240 E. Lincoln highway.




Bill & Joy McMahon


Click on the link to read the article published in the Daily Chronicle-Lincoln Inn On the Move

To view the property listing, please visit click on the Flyer-240 E Lincoln DeKalb

Date posted: August 19, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on The Lincoln Inn is relocating after 40 years in downtown DeKalb

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

For Immediate Release:

Contact Tracer class available online through Kishwaukee College


Kishwaukee College Workforce and Community Education have added Contact Tracer to their short-term training programs. The new program will be offered online this fall and will begin September 13 and end on September 26.


Contact tracers are skilled, public health professionals who provide information regarding isolation/quarantine, testing and public health resources. They work with individuals who have been diagnosed with a highly communicable disease and individuals who have been exposed to highly communicable diseases. Contact tracers are trained to communicate respectfully and empathetically. In addition, they are trained to adhere to strict confidentiality and ethical standards and to use technology to collect the required information. The cost of the program is $50.


For more information, visit or contact Melissa Gallagher, coordinator of short-term training and continuing education, at or 815-825-9466.


WCE – Contact Tracer program – Fall 2020

Date posted: August 18, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Contact Tracer class available at Kishwaukee College

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News