January 6, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RE: Small Business Community Provides Senator Murphy Crucial Input on Business Interruption Grants
CHICAGO, IL – Senator Laura Murphy conducted a meeting with the Small Business Advocacy Council, small business owners and local chamber executives to discuss their experiences with Business Interruption Grants. Many attendees expressed concern and frustration regarding the manner by which BIG grants were awarded. Communication breakdowns impacted small businesses and left them hanging in limbo for an unreasonable period of time.
This pandemic has devastated many small businesses. Illinois policymakers have chosen to address the hardships faced by small businesses, in part, through the BIG grant program. It is imperative that new grant programs are fair, transparent and provide clarity to the small businesses struggling to keep their doors open. The government should also find other ways to provide relief to businesses impacted by the mitigation measures.
State Senator Murphy states "Small businesses are the heart of Illinois' economy and of our communities-- they deserve a helping hand, but the BIG program simply wasn't enough. As we move forward and explore other ways of offering relief during the pandemic, it's critical that lawmakers work closely with small business owners and chamber leaders to ensure any proposed programs fit the needs of those struggling."
Explains Elliot Richardson, President of the Small Business Advocacy Council, “The lack of communication regarding the status of BIG grant applications created remarkable uncertainty for small businesses. Every day a struggling small business owner applied for a grant but did not receive funding made it more difficult for them to retain employees and stay open. Some small businesses that desperately needed funding never received grants.” Richardson adds, “more relief is needed for Illinois small businesses crushed by the pandemic. Should this come in the form of a grant program, it is imperative the small business community provides input before the program is launched. It is imperative the program runs more smoothly and provides prompt relief to those small businesses fighting to stay in business during this pandemic.”
Terry Dason, the Executive Director of the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce, explains, “the Business Interruption Grant is a valuable resource to the small businesses in the state of Illinois. The lack of communication left many businesses wondering if there was a lifeline available to help them stay open. Business decisions were hanging on hope that a check would appear in their checking account. Communication from the state is key when businesses are struggling and are hanging on hope alone.”