ILLINOIS (WEHT) – The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced on Monday $8.4 million in additional grants for small businesses and commercial corridors located around the state.

The final round of Rebuild Distressed Communities provides $976,000 to 26 small business and $7.45 million to help revitalize seven commercial corridors located across the state. The commercial corridor projects are:

  • Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council – $1,498,750 (affordable housing and commercial space)
  • City of Aurora – $1,200,000 (corridor enhancements
  • City of East St. Louis – $900,000 (corridor enhancements)
  • City of Peoria – $1,200,000 (streetscape)
  • South East Chicago Chamber of Commerce – $1,450,000 (fiber optic cable enhancement)
  • West Humboldt Park Development Council – $300,000 (corridor enhancements)
  • City of Markham – $900,000 (corridor enhancements)

“A strong pandemic economic recovery includes recognizing that some communities have long been denied their fair share of resources,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Through the Rebuild Distressed Communities program, we are delivering $8.4 million in direct grants to over two dozen small businesses and multiple regional economic corridors to build on the impact of our $250 million Back to Business program with an equitable lens.”

Applications for corridor projects were reviewed and evaluated according to the extent of property damage due to civil unrest, with program priorities being projects that were located in distressed communities, had geographic diversity around the state, and an investment impact that will build resiliency and revitalize the business corridor. In order to qualify for funds, project proposals were required to demonstrate the project would occur within the same block that experienced property damage or on contiguous blocks if required for project continuity.