Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced that the first round of grants has been awarded as part of the new Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This fund was created to support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois that have experienced a negative impact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The first $1.3 million in grants have been allocated to 65 businesses spanning 28 downstate communities. In partnership with local governments, the Downstate grant fund is making a total of $20 million available in an effort to support businesses in some of Illinois most economically vulnerable communities.
To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO repurposed $20 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. Through the program, small businesses of up to 50 employees can partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital.
Grantees include restaurants and cafes, salons, furniture stores, florists, pet stores and other specialty retail stores. Many of the grantees are multi-generation family-owned and operated proprietors.
Applications are still open on a rolling basis. Visit the link to apply for the grant or to view the list of grant recipients.
Governor JB Pritzker today announced the launch of free online career training geared toward helping Illinoisans who have lost their jobs due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through a partnership with online learning platform Coursera, Illinois residents now have the opportunity to enroll in free virtual training courses offered via Get Hired Illinois portal to provide training and credentialing that will help prepare dislocated workers for jobs in Information Technology (IT) and other marketable fields.
Thousands of job seekers in Illinois will have access to high-quality online workforce development and IT courses offered by accredited institutions, including Northwestern University and the University of Illinois. Registration for the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative will be made available to Illinois residents from now through September, and all courses must be completed by December 31, 2020. Participants who complete courses in full will receive a certificate at the end of the training.
In addition to Coursera, the State of Illinois is partnering with P33 and Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) to bring forward another tech-focused training program – TechReady Illinois. To help unemployed as well as furloughed and underutilized Illinoisans compete for jobs of the future – TechReady Illinois will provide training courses for high-demand fields of computer science, data and engineering programs. Over the coming weeks, the teams at P33 and DPI will continue to work with Illinois employers and higher education institutions to build out the TechReady Illinois program.
Join Governor JB Pritzker and famous Illinoisans and Illinois natives by taking the pledge here Allin.Illinois.gov. GO #AllinIllinois
Facing economic strain in the wake of COVID-19 The Lucky Rooster Pub & Eatery, the only full-service restaurant and bar in St. Jacob, IL, adapted their operations in the safest way possible. With the flexibility of their staff and an Emergency Hospitality Grant from the State of Illinois, co-owner Raymond Smith created an efficient curbside pickup system to continue business.
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