FOR MORE INFORMATION Tracey Smith Director of Community Health and Programs (217) 522-5687 email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 18, 2021
Multiple Jacksonville Organizations Work Together to Provide One-on-One Support to Small Businesses for State’s Back to Business Recovery Grants
SPRINGFIELD - A local network has ramped up with state support to provide one-on-one assistance to small businesses in Jacksonville to help business owners apply for, and receive, one of the state’s new Back to Business (B2B) grants.
Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) opened the application portal today for businesses to apply for B2B grants, funded by $250 million of American Rescue Plan funds set aside to support the continued recovery of small businesses across Illinois. The online application for B2B grants between $5,000 and $150,000 for most small businesses, and up to $250,000 for hotels, can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/B2B.aspx.
The Central Illinois network is part of a Community Navigator Program funded by DCEO to build an expansive outreach support infrastructure; the state’s Navigator approach has been recognized by the Biden-Harris administration as a national model. DCEO is partnering with 13 Illinois nonprofits located throughout the state, who in turn have brought on board more than 100 community-based organizations with relationships in the local business community to assist hard-to-reach businesses in accessing the state’s B2B grants.
The Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), the oldest and largest public health association in the state with headquarters in Springfield, is serving as one of these 13 “hubs,” contracting with 18 organizations or “spokes”- including five in Springfield - to provide various services to assist hard-to-reach businesses, from one-on-one technical assistance to marketing support. IPHA received a DCEO grant of nearly $1.5 million to provide these services amongst the contracting organizations.
“IPHA is honored to be a recipient of DCEO's Community Navigator Grant as a part of the State's Back to Business initiative. The network we’ve built is dedicated to improving their communities and helping businesses receive money that could help cover financial losses due to COVID-19,” said Tom Hughes, IPHA Executive Director. “August is Black Business Month and through the Small Business Navigator Program, IPHA and our partners will ensure that many more small businesses in our area, including black-owned small businesses, receive state funding to remain open.”
The Navigator network in Jacksonville includes one-on-one application support and grassroots outreach to eligible businesses from the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Jacksonville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Jacksonville Regional Economic Development Corporation.
DCEO and these local organizations will deliver the technical assistance needed to remove any barriers that small business owners may face when applying - including language support, gathering documents, and completing the application itself.
The Illinois Public Health Association is the oldest and largest public health association in the State of Illinois. As one of the largest affiliates of the American Public Health Association, IPHA is widely recognized as a leader in the field of public health advocacy, health education and promotion.