CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined members of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucuses of the state legislature and small business owners on Wednesday to announce a package of state grant programs to support communities and businesses impacted by the pandemic and recent civil unrest.
The package includes more than $900 million across more than ten programs and four state agencies to help working families and small businesses who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19’s economic impacts, which was compounded by recent property damage and civil unrest.
“We are in a moment that requires a historic effort to mitigate this virus’s devastating effects on the health and livelihoods of the residents of this state,” Pritzker said. “We must do so in a way that prioritizes those who were hurting long before we’d ever heard of COVID-19 – to be there for people who are in need, people who are falling through the cracks, people who never expected themselves to need a helping hand from anyone else – but now they do.”
The economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted residents across Illinois, but Pritzker said has disproportionately affected households with limited resources who are least able to weather financial hardship. Businesses across every industry sector have faced significant economic strain.
“With assistance from the federal CARES Act and in partnership with the General Assembly, including from the Black Caucus, Latino Caucus, and Asian Caucus, my administration has put together a support package of over 900 million dollars to lift up small businesses, working families and Black and Brown communities who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19’s financial impacts,” the governor continued. “I’m deeply proud to lead a state government so committed to being there for the people we serve.”