COVID-19 relief funds available for small business through Illinois Back to Business program

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Wednesday afternoon, state and local economic leaders met in Peoria to discuss a new COVID-19 relief opportunity.

Applications are open for the Illinois Back to Business grant program.

It will provide $250 million in grants to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individual grants will range from $5-150,000 depending on a business’s losses in 2020 compared to 2019.

Wednesday, the Peoria Minority Business Development Center held a forum for community members to learn more about the funding.

Sylvia Garcia, the acting director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said small businesses staying open is crucial for communities.

“It’s really great to be able to go to a local restaurant or walk down the street and be able to go to a store or get your haircut, all those different things. So it’s really important for the quality of life and economic vitality to be able to support those businesses,” Garcia said

Garcia also presented Denise Moore, CEO of the Black Business Alliance Peoria Chapter, with a proclamation for Black Business Month which is recognized in August.

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