13 Area Businesses Receive First Round of DCEO BIG Grants

By Benjamin Cox on August 13, 2020 at 9:02am

13 area businesses received portions of $46 million released today by the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. The money was released through the Business Interruption Grant program for COVID-19 relief. The grants are the first round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program through which the State will award grants to a diversity of businesses, as well as business communities hit hardest by COVID-19 related closures. A substantial portion of the BIG program is dedicated to supporting childcare providers, bars, restaurants, and fitness centers.

Donohoo Diversified Enterprises of Winchester, Inner Harmony of Jacksonville, and Sonneborn’s Old No. 7 of Palmyra each received $10,000.

The Third Base Bar in Greenfield, Anytime Fitness in Jacksonville, the Bob Freesen YMCA of Jacksonville, the Riverbank in Pittsfield, the AMVETS Post 100 in Jacksonville, Lone Oak Golf Course in rural Carrollton, Fitness World in Jacksonville, Sportsman’s in Mt. Sterling, the 88 Bar & Gril in Beardstown, and Tysons Diner in Beardstown all received $20,000 each.

The 13 local business were among 2,655 businesses who received funding around the state. These businesses were among the only businesses to receive funding in West Central Illinois, with some exception to businesses in Jerseyville, Macoupin County, Quincy, and Springfield.

DCEO Acting Director Michael Negron said during a press conference today that more rounds of grants focusing on specific sectors of business will be forthcoming: “DCEO is working with the governor’s team to finalize plans for additional rounds, which will continue to support businesses who’ve faced reduced operations who have suffered a major dent in foot traffic like restaurants and retail. At the same time, the next rounds of BIG will include targeted initiatives in other sectors that may not return to normal business for many months such as performing arts and live music venues, event spaces, indoor recreational facilities, movie theaters, and more. The coming waves of grants will also follow the equity and fairness goals established by the governor and the General Assembly, with more than half of the available funds devoted to downstate and roughly one-third of communities that have been hit hard by the pandemic. We expect to open the application for the next wave of funds in the coming weeks.”

To access the application for the upcoming rounds, businesses should apply at illinois.gov/dceo.