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We’ve been keeping a running list of loans and grants that can provide assistance to Illinois’s hospitality industry. That group of breweries, wineries, hotels, restaurants, distilleries and bars in Illinois hit hard by the stay at home orders essentially making it illegal for many of them to operate in the fashion they were designed to operate with dine-in and consumption on-premises.

One of the programs, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Opportunity’s Hospitality Emergency Grant Program as $14 Million in fund to help Illinois small businesses impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns. But you need to apply by tomorrow, April 1, by 5 p.m. to be able to participate in the lottery for funds that will occur. The Department is shooting to have notifications out by April 4.


The information about the program direct from the website regarding eligibility and use of funds is as follows:


Food and beverage businesses who generated less than $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible to apply. Businesses that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for $25K, and businesses that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for $10K. Businesses must hold a valid restaurant or liquor license. 


Hotels that generated revenues less the $8 million in 2019 are eligible to apply. Hotels are eligible to up to $50K. Businesses must hold a valid hotel, motel or other lodging license in Illinois. Accommodations related to home sharing, including Shared Housing Unit Operators and Hosts, are not eligible.


Food and beverage businesses: The eligible uses for grant awards (dictated by the funding sources that are immediately available for this program) are the following: 

  1. Working Capital – including payroll, accounts payable, rent, and other fixed costs of operation. Note: the program has a limited amount of grant funds to support working capital only. 
  2. Job Training – any and all efforts to train and/or re-train workers, including wages paid while training activities occur, including the following purposes: training employees on skills needed for telecommuting; learning best practices to sanitize spaces, conducting training to on-board new employees or re-board recalled workers; and expanding business capacity to learn how to reach new customers in the wake of this disaster. 
  3. Technology – including technology, including hardware, software, and IT services to improve communication with customers and employees and accommodate demand for delivery and pick-up operations. Grants funds can also support other non-technology costs related to evolved operations as a result of the technology, including equipment, sanitary supplies and packaging, signage, etc. 


Hotels: Hotels may only use these funds for working capital to retain employees. 

The post DEADLINE April 1 (tomorrow) for Hospitality Emergency Grant Program – Illinois bars, breweries, restaurants, wineries and distilleries – get your application in for free grant funds. appeared first on Libation Law Blog.