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    Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Grants

    Submitted by Joel Shabsin, CPA

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced a Business Interruption Grant program that will provide $60,000,000 to certain businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of Covid-19 legislated closures. The total grant program which was funded by the CARES Act will amount to $540,000,000 for small business grants, with $270,000,000 set aside for childcare providers.

    In the first stage, the grants are available to small businesses that have been restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Priority will be given to businesses located in low income areas that have had high rates of Covid-19 cases. To be eligible for a grant a business must have experienced
    extreme hardship that it could demonstrate by experiencing eligible costs or losses since March in excess of the grant amount.

    The first stage will have $60 million available for the following businesses

    1. The program establishes 1000 grants of $20,000 each for businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas where there was recent property damage from civil unrest.

    2. Bars and restaurants have been allocated an additional 1000 grants of up to $20,000 each.

    3. Barbershops and beauty salons can apply for one of 1000 grants of $10,000 each

    4. Gyms and Fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to Covid 19 can apply for one of 500 grants of $20,000 each.

    To be eligible for the grant the business must have been in operation for at least 3 months prior to March, 2020 and must meet the following annual revenue criteria.

    Restaurants and bars must have 2019 revenue between $80,000 and $3,000,000 or a prorated amount if in operation for less than a year. They must have experienced at least $10,000 in operating losses since March 21, 2020 and must not have been open to the public for onsite consumption of food or beverages on or prior to June 17. They must derive at least 80% of their gross revenue from food and beverage sales.

    Similar qualifications for Barber shops and salons, for gyms and fitness centers and for damaged businesses due to civil unrest are listed on the DCEO website. The main differences are the revenue levels necessary to qualify for the grant.

    DCEO began taking applications on June 26th and will continue to do so. You can find more information about the Business Interruption Grant program at:

    Commercial Members