Applications open for $60M in grants for West Side businesses

Deadline to apply July 7; priorities given to bars, restaurants, barbershops, salons, gyms, fitness centers

July 2nd, 2020 1:24 PM

By Michael Romain


The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has launched the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG). The BIG program will offer a total of $60 million to up to 3,500 businesses that have experienced losses or business interruption due to the COVID-19 stay-home order, DCEO explained on its website.

The deadline to apply for the first round of funds is 5 p.m. on July 7. For the application page, click here. You can also access the application (available in English and Spanish) from DCEO's website at:

Just scroll down to the "WHEN AND WHERE TO APPLY" section. Funds are particularly earmarked for the following business activities:

  • "Businesses located in DIAs Where There Was Recent Property Damage from Civil Unrest – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
  • "Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000*
  • "Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each*
  • "Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each*"

Areas in Austin, North Lawndale and West Garfield Park have been designated DIA's, or Disproportionately Impacted Areas.

The first $60 million round of funding "is only the first wave of the BIG program," DCEO explained. Total BIG funding will "amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers."

There will be opportunities to apply for those subsequent rounds of grants in the future. Check DCEO's website here to apply for first round funds or for updates about future funding.

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