Illinois Small Business Grants In 2023

    Your business may have lost substantial revenue in 2023 due to COVID-19. Small businesses, families, and communities can benefit from various grant programs. Illinois small businesses will benefit from the following information and resources.

    There are $31.49 billion in grants in Illinois and $20.94 billion in additional funding sources from the local government. Businesses of all sizes in Illinois can benefit from the funds. There are 77,000 farms in Illinois and 254,007 businesses in the state. 

    A small business loan can make a huge difference when expanding marketing campaigns, hiring more employees, and bridging cash flow gaps for small businesses. A total of $233.99 billion is spent on payroll and salaries in Illinois every year. More than 80,803 bankruptcy petitions are filed every year, according to the US Department of Justice. Start-up or expansion of a business is not permitted with federal grants. You may be able to obtain funding for your business through small business grants.

    What Is a Grant?

    New products, services, and projects often receive grants from public agencies. The fact that grant programs do not require repayment is beneficial to small businesses. Grants can be a low-cost growth option, even though applying and administering them takes time and effort. It takes a lot of time and effort to submit a grant application. Getting a small business grant requires you to demonstrate financial capability. A grant may be provided by a local government, a charity, or a foundation.

    Illinois Small Grants

    It is possible for residents of Illinois to apply for grants in a variety of fields. Business owners may be interested in these grants for 2023. 

    Back to Business Grant Program (B2B)

    Back to Business (B2B) grants will be deployed to small businesses most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of Governor Pritzker’s overall economic recovery strategy. Business Interruption Grant (BIG) provides $290 million to 9,000 companies across 98 communities across Illinois through a business relief program. B2B is a key component of the Governor’s $1.5 billion economic recovery plan, aimed at a swift and equitable deployment of ARPA funds to assist Illinois in recovering from the COVID outbreak.

    Assistance with a B2B application and other State and federal grant programs to promote economic recovery for small businesses. Every region of the state has received $9 million from DCEO to support Community Navigator organizations. Underserved businesses, such as minority, rural, veteran, and women-owned firms, will receive technical assistance from these organizations.

    Award Information

    Back to Business Program funds totaling $250 million have been released as of May 11, 2022.  There have been 6,657 business awards so far, though the final list of recipients and figures can change if businesses fail to claim their awards.

    Funding Available

    The following categories of businesses are eligible for funding.

    • Small businesses across the state that suffered losses in 2020 from COVID-19 will receive $250 million, including the following set-asides.
      • $100 million – Businesses located in DIAs (Disproportionately Impacted Areas). 
      • $30 million – Businesses in the arts and entertainment industry that did not receive Shuttered Venue Operator grants
      • $25 million – Taverns and restaurants that did not receive the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
      • $25 million – Hotels
      • $25 million – Businesses that did not receive a BIG grant because funds were exhausted
    • A wide range of operations/staff/overhead costs can be covered with grants ranging from $5,000 to $150,000 per business
      • Up to $250,000 for hotels

    Eligibility Requirements

    Applicant businesses will have to adhere to the following eligibility requirements:

    • The COVID-19 will reduce revenues for businesses with revenues of less than $20 million in 2020
      • $35 million or less for hotels
    • The following categories will receive priority:
      • Industries that are hard hit 
      • DIAs comprising 176 zip codes in hard-hit areas
      • Business owners who haven’t qualified for State or Federal funding (including Paycheck Protection Programs, Restaurant Revitalization Funds, Business Interruption Grants, Shuttered Venue Operator Grants, and more)
      • The revenue of a business in 2019 was less than $5 million

    A program Certification Agreement must be signed by all grantees after receiving an award. Learn more about the program’s eligibility guidelines and the related FAQs

    Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund

    Grants are available for building improvements and repairs through the Small Business Improvement Fund. The program is coordinated by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. A grant covering 30 percent to 90 percent of the remodeling or building costs can be applied for by local businesses. Commercial properties can receive grants up to $150,000, while industrial properties can receive grants up to $250,000. A new grant opportunity is announced each month, focusing on different neighborhoods and districts.

    Chicago Recovery Plan

    $1.2 million has been allocated to support the economic recovery of the city as part of the Chicago Recovery Plan. Funds from grant programs can be used for predevelopment, renovation, or new construction expenses. A minimum of 25 percent of the total project cost must be covered by the applicant. These funding rounds have passed their deadlines. It is expected that a third round will be launched over the summer.

    Neighborhood Opportunity Fund

    Among Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods, the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund supports small businesses by providing them with financial assistance. Business owners in the west, south, and southwest portions of the city are eligible to apply for this program, which covers select construction or rehabilitation costs. Larger projects may be eligible for additional funding, while smaller projects may be eligible for up to $250,000.

    Illinois Restaurant Association Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

    Restaurants and their employees receive grant funding from the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. People who are unable to work due to injuries, illnesses, or deaths of close family members may be able to apply for $250 to $1,500 to cover their living expenses. As part of this grant program, restaurants are able to provide employees with paid time off and additional benefits when they are unable to provide them with paid time off and other benefits.

    South Side Pitch

    A business plan competition called South Side Pitch is being held to help start-up businesses in Chicago’s South Side come to fruition. An annual competition for companies with less than 50 employees and with less than $1 million in revenue has been organized by the University of Chicago Law School’s Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship. There will be three grants awarded to the three winners, which are $8,000, $7,000, and $5,000 respectively. Applicants are required to submit their initial applications by August 22. The finalists will then pitch their ideas to a panel of judges before they are chosen.

    City of Urbana Business Grants

    Select new and growing businesses in the area receive grants between $1,000 and $3,000 from the city of Urbana. Owners and lessees of commercial properties receive business development grants. For those who have not yet launched, opening grants are available. A specific business district in the city is the focus of the program. It is possible to apply for funding on a rolling basis, depending on funds availability.

    Metro East Startup Challenge

    In addition to servicing businesses in the St. Louis Metro East area, including parts of Illinois, the Metro East Startup Challenge also extends to other areas of the Midwest. As soon as an entrepreneur comes up with the idea for his or her business, they submit an online application. Following that, the finalists will participate in a pitch contest, where the winner of the grand prize will receive a $10,000 cash prize. There is also the possibility of winning some smaller cash prizes. There will be a round of applications in 2022 starting on June 12, and they must be submitted by August 14.

    Amber Grants For Women

    If you search for grants for women on Google, you will be able to find an extensive list of websites that offer grants for women. As you may have noticed, there are plenty of scams and complicated government (SBA) websites on the Internet.  Information about your personal information as well as your financial records is requested on many types of forms and applications.

    With WomensNet, you will be able to find the funds you need to launch your business venture. The process will still require some hard work and time on your part. This site is a great resource for those who are looking for new ways to take their business to the next level. Amber Grants are among the best grants available for women and a great place to start. 

    This grant is available to business women from around the country (including Illinois) who want to grow their businesses. If you are interested in applying for the $10,000 Amber Grant, which is given away on a monthly basis, now is the perfect time. As one of their 12 monthly winners, you will automatically be able to apply for a grant of $25,000 if you qualify. The amount of grant money will amount to $35,000 over the course of a year.


    The Illinois GrantWatch program offers small busibesses the opportunity to find relevant grants. It offers a unique combination of small business loans and business grants from a variety of local, state, and federal agencies, as well as this website. You can find grant writers who can assist you in preparing outstanding grant proposals by using GrantWatch, which is a free service that helps you locate new grants. There are only a few questions you need to answer in order to apply for a grant. 

    The information provided by Illinois GrantWatch can only be accessed by subscribers who have subscribed. The annual subscription costs $199, and the weekly subscription costs $18. Applicants who join as free members are not eligible to apply for grants as they are not paid members.

    The Bottom Line

    The Illinois Small Business Development Center (ILSBDC) offers a variety of resources to assist small businesses. There are several government and private organizations that provide financial assistance to small businesses affected by Coronavirus. Financial aid for small businesses contributes to the growth of the economy by providing a boost to the economy. If you are looking for funding for your business, take a look at the list of funding sources above and pick one that works for you.

    Also, Learn about Small Business Grants In Austin Texas

    Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!