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Jesus is my savior chickens are my therapy shirt
Gabe Plue places a T-shirt onto the new eight-color silk screen printer on Thursday at Meltdown Creative Works, 216 E. Grove St. Illinois Business Interruption grants to the business allowed it to stay open through the pandemic.
DAVID PROEBER, THE PANTAGRAPH
BLOOMINGTON — Standing in the gymnasium of a local community center last summer, Gov. J.B. Pritzker made a big promise.
“There are people who are providing important services and products to all of us that are included in this program,” Pritzker said at the Bloomington-Normal YMCA in August. “We want to make sure that they survive and thrive through this.” Jesus is my savior chickens are my therapy shirt
Conceived by Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly, the Business Interruption Grant, or BIG, program was funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that then-President Donald Trump signed in March.
Beginning in June, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through two rounds distributed $275 million to 8,974 businesses statewide. More than 40,000 businesses applied, meaning about 21% received money. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $150,000 per business, with the average grant size at $30,000.
Businesses could use the use the awards for payroll costs, rent, utilities, equipment and other pandemic-related needs, such as personal protective equipment, training and new technology.
The first round was aimed at businesses that were forced to close fully during the spring, when Pritzker issued a statewide stay-at-home order.
The second round targeted downstate businesses and emphasized cultural institutions and entertainment venues struggling amid state-imposed mitigations.
Awards stopped flowing in January, when the program ran out of money.
Now, a month after the BIG program has concluded, The Pantagraph examined how it played out locally.
- 106 McLean County businesses split 113 BIG awards totaling $4.36 million
- The average grant size was $38,500, or 28% more than the statewide average
- 322 McLean County businesses applied during the program, figures provided by the DCEO show, which means 33% of area applicants were approved for an award