Over 40 McLean County businesses receive second round of COVID relief

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — More help is on the way for businesses in Illinois that have been negatively impacted by covid-19 closures and mitigation procedures.

Illinois’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is awarding more than $227 million to businesses in need.

Over 40 businesses within McLean county are receiving a second round of COVID relief; the grants from the state’s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The state’s 105th district which includes Normal and parts of Bloomington splitting a second round of nearly 2.5 million dollars.

Tricia Shaw said her business received $5000 from the grants. She said COVID hit as they were getting geared up for a busy time of year.

“It happened in mid-march and that’s when we gear up for our busiest season,” Shaw said.

B and B Awards and Recognition in Bloomington makes custom awards for sports, businesses, and local universities. They were deemed non-essential in the spring and lost their version of Black Friday.

“In a normal year, April that’s our busiest month of the entire year, so we lost 90% of our business during the busiest month of the year,” Shaw said.

105th District State Representative Dan Brady (R) says for the over 40 business owners in his district the money is a lifeline.

“This might be their last shot to keep their doors open and without this, they wouldn’t be able to keep their doors open,” Brady said.

Brady says it’s a start but believes there’s more work to be done.

“Businesses applied and it’s a lottery, a draw. Obviously, there’s more work to do, but the businesses that received are very appreciative and we know it’ll be put to good use,” Brady said.

Shaw says her portion of the money will be used to buy a special printer for making and selling facemasks; a new addition to the shop in the pandemic.

Statewide, over 40,000 businesses applied, of those only 6100 received this round of BIG grants.

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