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20 ILCS 605/605-1050
(20 ILCS 605/605-1050)
Coronavirus Back to Business Grant Program (or Back to Business Program).
(a) Purpose. The Department may receive State funds and, directly or indirectly, federal funds under the authority of legislation passed in response to the Coronavirus epidemic including, but not limited to, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-136 (the "CARES Act") and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, P.L. 117-2 (the "ARPA Act"); such funds shall be used in accordance with the CARES Act and ARPA Act legislation and published guidance. Section 5001 of the CARES Act establishes the Coronavirus Relief Fund, which authorizes the State to expend funds that are necessary to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The financial support of Qualifying Businesses is a necessary expense under federal guidance for implementing Section 5001 of the CARES Act. Upon receipt or availability of such State or federal funds, and subject to appropriations for their use, the Department shall administer a program to provide financial assistance to Qualifying Businesses that have experienced interruption of business or other adverse conditions attributable to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Support may be provided directly by the Department to businesses and organizations or in cooperation with a Qualified Partner. Financial assistance may include, but not be limited to grants, expense reimbursements, or subsidies.
(b) From appropriations for the Back to Business Program, up to $60,000,000 may be allotted to the repayment or conversion of Eligible Loans made pursuant to the Department's Emergency Loan Fund Program. An Eligible Loan may be repaid or converted through a grant payment, subsidy, or reimbursement payment to the recipient or, on behalf of the recipient, to the Qualified Partner, or by any other lawful method.
(c) From appropriations for the Back to Business Program, the Department shall provide financial assistance through grants, expense reimbursements, or subsidies to Qualifying Businesses or a Qualified Partner to cover expenses or losses incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency or for start-up costs of a new Qualifying Business. All spending related to this program from federal funds must be reimbursable by the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund in accordance with Section 5001 of the federal CARES Act, the ARPA Act, and any related federal guidance, or the provisions of any other federal source supporting the program.
(d) As more fully described in subsection (c), funds will be appropriated to the Back to Business Program for distribution to or on behalf of Qualifying Businesses. Of the funds appropriated, a minimum of 40% shall be allotted for Qualifying Businesses with ZIP codes located in the most disproportionately impacted areas of Illinois, based on positive COVID-19 cases.
(e) The Department shall coordinate with the Department of Human Services with respect to making grants, expense reimbursements or subsidies to any child care or day care provider providing services under Section 9A-11 of the Illinois Public Aid Code to determine what resources the Department of Human Services may be providing to a child care or day care provider under Section 9A-11 of the Illinois Public Aid Code.
(f) The Department may establish by rule administrative procedures for the grant program, including any application procedures, grant agreements, certifications, payment methodologies, and other accountability measures that may be imposed upon participants in the program. The emergency rulemaking process may be used to promulgate the initial rules of the grant program and any amendments to the rules following the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly.
(g) Definitions. As used in this Section:
(1) "COVID-19" means the novel coronavirus disease
deemed COVID-19 by the World Health Organization on February 11, 2020.
(2) "Qualifying Business" means a business or
organization that has experienced or is experiencing business interruption or other adverse conditions due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and includes a new business or organization started after March 1, 2020 in the midst of adverse conditions due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
(3) "Eligible Loan" means a loan of up to $50,000
that was deemed eligible for funding under the Department's Emergency Loan Fund Program and for which repayment will be eligible for reimbursement from Coronavirus Relief Fund monies pursuant to Section 5001 of the federal CARES Act or the ARPA Act and any related federal guidance.
(4) "Emergency Loan Fund Program", also referred to
as the "COVID-19 Emergency Relief Program", is a program executed by the Department by which the State Small Business Credit Initiative fund is utilized to guarantee loans released by a financial intermediary or Qualified Partner.
(5) "Qualified Partner" means a financial institution
or nonprofit with which the Department has entered into an agreement or contract to provide or incentivize assistance to Qualifying Businesses.
(h) Powers of the Department. The Department has the power to:
(1) provide grants, subsidies and expense
reimbursements to Qualifying Businesses or, on behalf of Qualifying Businesses, to Qualifying Partners from appropriations to cover Qualifying Businesses eligible costs or losses incurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, including losses caused by business interruption or closure and including start-up costs for new Qualifying Businesses;
(2) enter into agreements, accept funds, issue
grants, and engage in cooperation with agencies of the federal government, units of local government, financial institutions, and nonprofit organizations to carry out the purposes of this Program, and to use funds appropriated for the Back to Business Program;
(3) prepare forms for application, notification,
contract, and other matters, and establish procedures, rules, or regulations deemed necessary and appropriate to carry out the provisions of this Section;
(4) provide staff, administration, and related
support required to manage the Back to Business Program and pay for the staffing, administration, and related support;
(5) using data provided by the Illinois Department of
Public Health and other reputable sources, determine which geographic regions in Illinois have been most disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, considering factors of positive cases, positive case rates, and economic impact; and
(6) determine which industries and businesses in
Illinois have been most disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency and establish procedures that prioritize greatly impacted industries and businesses, as well as Qualifying Businesses that did not receive paycheck protection program assistance.
(Source: P.A. 101-636, eff. 6-10-20; 102-16, eff. 6-17-21.)