Pritzker unveils $900 million COVID-19 relief package for businesses, communities

Pritzker unveils $900 million COVID-19 relief package for businesses, communities

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday a roughly $900 million package aimed at assisting communities and small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19.

The funds will be allocated across more than 10 programs and four state agencies, with a focus on mortgage and rental assistance as well as businesses experiencing losses or interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent civil unrest.

A total of $32.5 million will be dedicated to communities affected by the pandemic and civil unrest, including $2 million for mental health services and $5 million for community-based organizations.

“The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in Illinois, and it has had a disproportionately large impact on those households with limited resources who are least able to weather a financial hardship,” Pritzker said.

At least $540 million in grants will be made available for small businesses that have a limited ability to operate due to COVID-related closures. The first $60 million will be distributed next month to businesses that have “experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount” since the pandemic started.

The program is funded by the federal CARES Act.

A $150 million program to assist renters, expected to launch in August, will prioritize those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Illinois will also extend its moratorium on evictions in the state until July 31, Pritzker said.

Officials announced 87 more COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 6,485. An additional 546 cases were reported, bringing the state’s total to 134,185 in 101 counties.

An additional 29,987 COVID-10 tests were completed, bringing the total completed tests to 1,228,341. The positivity rate for tests over the past seven days is 3 percent.

Pritzker also announced that he has tested negative for COVID-19. The most recent test comes after Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced Tuesday that he has contracted the virus. The two attended an event in Calumet City on June 6.


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