Governor JB Pritzker and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has launched the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. This is a $14 million grant program to support working capital as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operation. (Note: this is a GRANT, not a LOAN which does not require you to take on debt.)

Completed applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on April 1st. Winners will be chosen via lottery, so a grant is not guaranteed nor awarded on a first come first served basis.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019
    • Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000
    • Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000
  • Hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels, other lodging establishments) and who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019
    • Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000

What can grant funds be used for?

  • For bars and restaurants, based on the businesses needs identified in the grant application, funds can be used to support working capital (rent, payroll, and other accounts payable), job training (such as new practices related to take out, delivery and sanitation) and technology enabling new operations as well as other costs to implement that technology.
  • For hotels, funds can be used as working capital to support the retention of employees.

The grant application is live now. The application and full details on the grant can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/EmergencySBAIntiatives.aspx