From the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Commerce has launched the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes. Grant funds are available to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for as much as $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for as much as $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for as much as $50,000.
Who is eligible?
Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019. Hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels other lodging establishments) and who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019.
What can grant funds be used for?
For bars and restaurants, based on the businesses needs identified in the grant application, funds can be used to support working capital (rent, payroll, and other accounts payable), job training (such as new practices related to take out, delivery and sanitation) and technology enabling new operations as well as other costs to implement that technology.
For hotels, funds can be used as working capital to support the retention of employees.
How do businesses apply?
Businesses can submit an application online here:
Applications for awards will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on April 1, and winners will be chosen via a lottery; therefore, there is no benefit to submitting an application first as long as a valid, complete application is received by the deadline.
How much money is available?
- $14 million is available under this program.
- Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in annual revenue last year will be eligible for up to $10,000.
- Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1M in annual revenue last year will be eligible for up to $25,000.
- Hotels that generated less than $8 million in annual revenue last year will be eligible for up to $50,000.
How soon will businesses receive funds?
Accion will notify businesses on April 4 if they have received an award. Accion and DCEO are striving to make funds available to awarded businesses within two days of receiving the necessary bank information from an awarded grantee.