NCRC will administer Illinois' new Back to Business grant program for restaurant, hospitality and creative arts businesses around the state.
NCRC will administer $175 million in grants to support Illinois small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new state grant fund called Back to Business (B2B) will provide grants to businesses in some of the hardest-hit sectors of the Illinois economy: food service, hospitality and the creative arts. The state grants will be administered in partnership with the NCRC Community Development Fund, (NCRC CDF), a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution.
“Illinois communities that have seen cornerstones of their neighborhood economies ravaged by the turmoil of the past few years deserve all the help they can get and I’m very proud that we will play a role in delivering it,” NCRC President and CEO Jesse Van Tol said. “Support structures like this can galvanize not just economic growth but community resilience and strong ties among neighbors. We’re pleased that the state of Illinois has selected the NCRC CDF to manage the grant-making process.”
Interested businesses and organizations can find more detailed technical information on B2B and the application process here.
NCRC CDF will work with more than 100 individual Community Navigators recruited with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to administer grants through the state’s B2B program. Eligible business owners and community organizations will hear from the Community Navigators directly through a mix of individual outreach and group webinars. NCRC CDF will support these navigators, the applicants they help recruit and the state DCEO team by managing the application portal and assisting with application reviews.
“The impacts of the pandemic are far from over for small businesses and its aftermath continues to threaten their long-term success, especially for those owned by Black, Latino, and other underserved entrepreneurs,” said Marisa Calderon, Executive Director of NCRC CDF. “These grants will help to shore up small businesses, preserve what they have worked so hard to build, and save jobs in our communities.”