Mercer County, IL – September 21st – Additional economic recovery funding is now available to support Mercer County businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On September 15th, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced round two of their Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program. This program reserves over $100 million specifically for businesses in downstate (outside Chicago and the collar counties) and rural communities in Illinois.


The first round of BIG awarded $49 million in grants to 2,800 Illinois businesses, focusing on restaurants, personal care services, gyms, fitness clubs and businesses in areas impacted most severely. Businesses awarded in round one included Beer Belly’s in Aledo.


Those eligible for round two of BIG include for-profit and nonprofit entities with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 (annualized for businesses that started after January 2019) and experienced losses due to COVID-19 that exceed the award, up to $150,000.


Grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses, up to $150,000. Priority will be given to applicants that: did not receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding or other forms of emergency aid from the CARES Act or the State of Illinois; have less than $5 million in annual revenue; experienced revenue losses since March exceeding 50% and other criteria. Over 250 Mercer County for-profit and nonprofit entities received PPP funds.


Documents required for application include:


2019 Tax Return


July 2019 Bank Statement


August 2019 Bank Statement


July 2020 Bank Statement


August 2020 Bank Statement


Signed W-9


Business owner ID


BIG is intentionally broad, so applicants are encouraged to read all application information carefully before applying for the program. If you have questions, contact Mercer County’s Illinois DCEO reps:


Adrian Madunic – adrian.madunic@illinois.gov / (217) 299-5532


Lee Trotter – lee.trotter@illinois.gov / (309) 582-4090


Learn more about BIG online at: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/C19DisadvantagedBusGrants.aspx.