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State of Illinois Announces Second Round of BIG Grant Funding

September 17, 2020

News Release

WOODSTOCK, Ill. – The State has announced a second round of Business Interruption Grant (BIG) funds to help all types of small businesses with a focus on disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs) and heavily distressed industries, such as movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation and amusement parks.

With the first round of BIG grants, the State awarded nearly half a million in funding to 31 McHenry County small businesses, including restaurants, personal care services, gyms and fitness clubs hit hardest by COVID-19. Those local businesses were among nearly 2,800 total small businesses across the state to receive these grants.

According to the State, the first round of grants averaged $17,000, and the majority of funds were deployed to businesses in economically distressed communities. As a result of the equity-centric approach to the program, more than half of the first-round grants went to minority-owned businesses. The McHenry County grant recipients received either $10,000 or $20,000. View list of Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Awardees.

McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said, “The survival of our businesses is critical to the local economy. Businesses need all the help they can get to overcome the extreme challenges placed on them from the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants will provide some relief to those hardest hit, but I urge all residents to continue to do what they can to support our local businesses by shopping and dining locally – especially as we head into the winter months when it will get even more challenging.”

The State will prioritize funding for the second round of BIG grants to disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs) and heavily impacted industry and regions – representing businesses that have been unable to reopen or operating at a severely diminished capacity since the spring.  According to the State, DIAs are defined by zip codes and identified by the General Assembly for communities that are most economically distressed and vulnerable to COVID-19. In McHenry County, that includes Harvard and Richmond areas.

Applications for the $220 million in new BIG grants will be available Sept. 17.

McHenry County EDC President Jim McConoughey said, “Time is of the essence. I encourage McHenry County businesses to take advantage of this funding opportunity. Employers can view application information, including a list of required documents on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.  DCEO will also be hosting a series of webinars on the program.”



Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) website:




Jim McConoughey
President, McHenry County EDC
Cell 309-657-5901