Back to Business Grant Program
The Back to Business New Business Grant (B2B New Biz) Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), targets businesses which opened during the height of the pandemic, 2020-2021 to support their recovery from adverse economic impacts. Grant funding may be used to help offset operational losses, bring back staff, and cover a number of eligible costs associated with maintaining productive business operations.
Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $30,000 based on the following:
- Whether the business is home-based or brick-and-mortar; and
- The amount of time the business was in operation during the pandemic.
The business start date is based on the date the business was incorporated or date on business license.
Sole proprietors that started in 2020 whose professional licenses do not reflect a start date will be eligible for $5,000.
- Must be an independently owned and operated for-profit corporation or limited liability corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship authorized to conduct business in the State of Illinois; or a nonprofit operating in Illinois and registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c) organization
- Started operations between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021
- Had between $25,000 and $20 million in gross operating revenue in calendar year 2021, or a pro-rated amount if operations began in 2021
- Have not received a Back to Business (B2B) grant prior to 2023.
Business Interruption Grant (BIG), Back to Business (B2B) Grant issued prior to 2023, Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG), or Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grant (RRF).
Additionally, businesses must meet one of the following two criteria:
- The business or organization operates primarily in a priority industry**
- The business is majority owned by an individual or individuals that became eligible for and received unemployment insurance benefits between March 13, 2020, and the date the business began operations
**IL DCEO has identified a set of “Priority Industries” that have experienced particular
and prolonged hardship throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The B2B New Biz grant application process can be completed entirely online.
DCEO has prepared step-by-step application process guidelines. Download the document to follow along as you work through completing your application.
The State B2B application period is open November 30, 2023 through January 11, 2024
To encourage a quick and easy application process, follow the below list of action items prior to beginning.
- Download and Complete the Applicant Certification form
- Have on hand a Government-issued Photo ID
- Have on hand a Professional License (if applicable)
- Gather copy of unaltered 2021 filed Federal Tax Return
- Gather copy of official Illinois Secretary of State business/org filing
- Gather Tax Exemption paperwork (Non-profits only)
- Gather Proof of Location paperwork (Brick-and-Mortar only)
Let us support you every step of the way in applying for B2B grant funds. Invest Aurora’s personalized guidance can help you be sure that no required information is missing—and get your application on its way to faster review and potential funding.
We’ll start by reviewing your eligibility and providing an application checklist when you sign up for a one-on-one advising session.
Interested in learning more about the program?
Need assistance completing your application?