Pritzker: Urgent call for southern Illinois communities to claim COVID funding

Illinois

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker answers questions from the media during his daily press briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic from his office at the Illinois State Capitol, Friday, May 22, 2020, in Springfield, Ill. (Justin L. Fowler/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.- Gov. J.B. Pritzker put out what he is calling another urgent call to downstate communities to claim state funding that has been made available to help with COVID-19.

He says 350 communities have not taken steps to claim their share of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) CURE program funding.

Gov. Pritzker said the money can be used to reimburse communities for expenditures due to COVID emergency like overtime pay of PPE.

He is encouraging mayors and county board chairs to apply for the funding. He is also asking residents to make sure their community is registered and if not, press them to do so.

Applications for the CURE program are due on December 1.

“We know just about every community in this state has had to deal with new costs this year related to the COVID-19 response,” explained Gov. Pritzker during his afternoon briefing.

He said this program ensures that the funds to support those efforts don’t have to cut in to local school budgets or road work or cause your local taxes to increase to cover those costs.

Gov. Pritzker also said historically downstate Illinois hasn’t gotten the attention or support it deserves from the state. He says he is proud of work his administration is doing for downstate Illinois.

Gov. Pritzker also wants to remind small businesses that are experiencing unforeseen costs and hurdles to apply online for business interruption grants (BIG). Those grants don’t have a deadline and will be distributed until funds run out.

So far, the state has rewarded 140 million dollars in grants to more than 5,500 businesses statewide, including restaurants and retail. 

It comes as the state announces 9,469 new confirmed and probable cases. There are also 125 new deaths. IDPH is reporting a total of 674,089 cases, including 11,677 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.

Tuesday’s numbers are 1,100 higher than Monday’s total. It is also the second time in the last six days that the number of cases was below the 10,000 mark.

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(This story was originally published on November 24, 2020)

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