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Illinois awards $14 million in grants to 700 small bars, restaurants and hotels impacted by virus

CHICAGO (WREX) — The state of Illinois has announced hundreds of small bars, restaurants and hotels impacted by the coronavirus have received emergency grant funding.

The state says they awarded $14 million worth of grant money to 700 small bars, restaurants and hotels. 12,000 businesses applied for funding and grantees were selected via a random lottery conducted by Accion, according to the state.

Bars and restaurants received an average grant of $14,000 while hotels received an average grant of $30,000. The grants can be used to support working capital - like payroll and rent – job training, and technology to support shifts in operations including increased use of carry out and delivery.

“While the financial hardships related to this virus have permeated just about every industry, we know that our hospitality businesses have experienced some of the most significant hardships,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Funding from the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program will help ease the burdens businesses in every corner of the state are facing and keep their operations up and running.

Awards for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program were drawn from existing DCEO funds budgeted for tourism promotion, job training, and general operations. More than 450 small bars and restaurants received an average grant of roughly $14,000 while more than 250 small hotels received an average grant of $30,000. Applications were accepted by Accion from March 25 through April 1st and the lottery to select grantees was held from April 4th to April 7th.

The awarded businesses are located across the state of Illinois. Approximately one-third of the businesses receiving grants are located outside of Cook and the collar counties. 

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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University. He also been a producer and Assignment Editor at the station.

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