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Announcements | State of Illinois Announces Help Illinois Families Initiative and More

Help Illinois Families Initiative

Governor Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today to announce a major expansion in funding for the state's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) programs. The $275 million total funding includes an additional $90 million allocated via the CARES Act, allowing the state to increase eligibility for these programs to 1 million income-qualified Illinoisans. These programs will provide emergency relief for families and displaced households across the state as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, with programs offering assistance with utilities, rent, and other household necessities for income qualifying residents. DCEO joined the Governor in Belleville and West Frankfurt communities to make the announcement.

Read more 


  • Helps eligible low-income households pay for home energy services, including assistance with heating, gas, and electricity.
  • More information on services available in your region can be found by visiting your Local Administering Agency (LAA) page.
  • Deadline: FY20 LIHEAP services is June 30, 2020, however FY21 LIHEAP enrollment opens up earlier than usual on July 27, 2020.


  • Offers an array of essential services, including rent assistance, food, temporary shelter, medicine and more.
  • Check your local Community Action Agency (CAA) for a list of available services near you.
  • Deadline: Open all year with expanded income eligibility guidelines as of February 2020.

Help Illinois Families expands on the existing Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Community Services Blog Program (CSBG). If you meet the income requirements and submit your application, you may be eligible for emergency assistance to cover the costs of utility bills, rent, temporary shelter, food, and other household necessities.

Apply for Program Here

Minority-Owned Businesses & Incubators Receive $11 Million Capital Grant

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced that 31 businesses and business incubators will receive a total of $11 million as part of the state’s Minority-Owned Business Capital and Infrastructure Program. Created by the DCEO Office of Minority Economic Empowerment’s (OMEE), the program provides a capital grant to promote growth of minority-owned businesses and equip them with resources to create jobs, build capacity, increase revenues, and revitalize properties in underserved communities.

Funding will reach businesses of all sizes and types, as well as community-based incubators working to help small and start-up businesses in diverse communities across the state. The development of new grant-funded projects is estimated to create hundreds of full-time and construction jobs for the surrounding community.

In total, 20 businesses were granted $8.1 million, and a dozen business incubators were granted over $2.9 million. This includes funding distributed to a diverse group of recipients – including community-based and youth organizations, as well as small and family-owned businesses, including restaurants, retail, manufacturing, a museum, roofing, and more.

A full list of OMEE grant recipients is available below.

Learn about Grant Recipients

Nearly $1 Million Available for Illinois
Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced a new grant opportunity for the renewal or establishment of new Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) – a statewide network focused on matching small businesses with governmental entities seeking goods and services that the businesses offer. Through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), the State will make up to $816,000 available in federal and state funds for new or existing community-based PTACs to offer continued support in helping small businesses become certified so they can identify and obtain contracts with local government and their contractors.

Eligible applicants will include qualified Illinois universities, colleges, chambers of commerce and other non-profit business development related organizations that are interested in hosting and operating an Illinois PTAC. All eligible organizations interested in becoming an Illinois PTAC can submit an application below.

Apply to NOFO

COVID-19: Help for businesses, workers and residents:

DCEO In the News

Latina-owned Business Prospers

Negocios Now newspaper featured Latina-owned business, K9 University. The East Garfield Park business worked with the Illinois Small Business Development Center to receive Paycheck Protection Program funding to sustain operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full article in Spanish: Be sure to watch the story on Telemundo Chicago. 


Grant for minority business fosters sweet partnership

Stephanie Hart and her Brown Sugar Bakery, in Grand Crossing is getting the maximum state grant of $500,000 to support her ambitions. She plans to bring her cake manufacturing and shipping to the Cupid Candies site, keeping her 75th Street location as a retail outlet. 

Read full article.

​All in Illinois

Join Governor JB Pritzker and famous Illinoisans and Illinois natives by taking the pledge here Go #AllinIllinois

Small Business Grant Spotlight

TKG'S Wing Heaven is one of the 700 recipients to receive a grant from the Illinois Hospitality Emergency grand fund. Grant recipients represent a wide geographical distribution, including over 270 cities, with nearly one-third of businesses located in Illinois’ collar counties, nearly one-third located in Cook County, and nearly one-third located in downstate locations. 

The State of Illinois could use your support with much-needed personal protective equipment as well as other supplies for our first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To Donate:
To Manufacture PPE in Illinois:
To Sell PPE:
To Volunteer: or email 


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805 N. Chicago Street,
Geneseo, IL 61254
Phone: 309-944-6452
Fax: 309-944-6721
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Contact Information:
Claire Crawford, Director