Quad Cities area businesses receive Illinois B2B grants

Thirty businesses in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties recently received a share of the $111 million in state COVID-19 relief funds distributed as part of Illinois Back to Business (B2B) program.

The awards for Illinois Quad Cities businesses, announced Thursday, Jan. 20, totaled more than $1.4 million. Individual grants ranged from $5,000 to $250,000. Area recipients included bars and restaurants, hotels and motels, event and fitness centers, and arts organizations.

Since the B2B program’s first round of grants was issued in September, there have been 2,913 grants provided to small businesses in more than 300 cities across Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office said. Almost 80% of those awards were delivered to businesses in disproportionately impacted communities and hard-hit industries.

“The men and women of the General Assembly worked with me to craft the Back to Business program,” Mr. Pritzker said. “It’s $250 million in grants to help small businesses rehire staff, cover operating costs, and afford additional customer safety precautions. These are not loans, so businesses getting help won’t owe a cent back to the state.”

A complete list of grantees statewide can be found here. The grant recipients in Henry, Mercer and Rock Island counties are:

Rock Island County:

  • Comfort Inn & Suites, East Moline, $105,000 
  • Holiday Inn Express, Moline, $250,000 
  • J&J Hospitality, LLC, Rock Island, $95,000 
  • Moline Airport Hotel, Motel 6, Moline, $10,000
  • O’Keefe’s Irish Pub & Grub, Moline, $15,000
  • Daiquiri Factory, Rock Island, $40,000 
  • Ultimate Fitness, Rock Island, $5,000 
  • Jeans Platinum Stylez Beauty Supply, Rock Island, $5,000 
  • Holiday Inn, Rock Island, $250,000 
  • La Rancherita, Rock Island, $55,000
  • QCSportsnet, Rock Island, $5,000 
  • Quad City Arts, Rock Island, $80,000 
  • Rock Island Hilltop, Rock Island, $60,000 
  • Skellington Manor Event Center,  Rock Island, $20,000 
  • Sports Depot, Inc., Rock Island, $20,000 
  • Star Entertainment, Rock Island, $15,000
  • City Limits Saloon & Grill, Rock Island, $105,000
  • Ekim’s Karate, Kickboxing & MMA, Silvis, $10,000 
  • Tacos Al Vapor, Silvis, $5,000 
  • Tap 22 Grill & Bar, Silvis, $100,000

Henry County:

  • Best Western Annawan, Annawan, $15,000
  • Maple Leaf Restaurant, Geneseo, $25,000 
  • Miva Boutique, Geneseo, $10,000 
  • Breedloves Sporting Goods, Kewanee, $150,000
  • Fringe Hair & Nail Studio, Kewanee, $5,000
  • Cerno’s Bar & Grill, Kewanee, $25,000 
  • Midland Golf Club, Kewanee, $30,000 
  • Tavern on Beach, Kewanee, $15,000
  • Americinn Lodges & Suites, Kewanee, $55,000

Mercer County:

  • Rocky’s Sturgeon Bay Inn, New Boston, $20,000

Program funds come from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars to help small businesses. Grants will continue to be awarded to applicants on a rolling basis until the full $250 million is allocated.

Illinois businesses will continue to be notified of their application status throughout the next few weeks until all the funds are exhausted, the governor’s office said. 

The awarded dollars are based on the losses each business experienced during the pandemic.

On average, B2B grant recipients experienced revenue declines of 41% throughout the pandemic, the news release said. 

Here is a breakdown of the grant recipients:

  • 79% to businesses in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), or low-income zip codes that experienced high rates of COVID-19.
  • 71% to hard-hit industries, including restaurants and taverns, hotels, arts organizations and salons.
  • 43% to businesses which applied to the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program last year but did not receive funding.

In addition, grants have primarily gone to the smallest businesses:

  • 62% awarded to businesses with revenue under $500,000 in 2019.
  • 79% awarded to businesses with revenue under $1 million.

Of the B2B grants distributed so far, more than half have gone to businesses owned by people of color. This includes 25% to Asian American or Pacific Islander-owned businesses, 17% to black-owned businesses, and 13% to Latin-owned businesses. 

Among the most recent recipients of the grants, administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), is Tim Kavanaugh, owner of Kavanaugh’s Hilltop Bar and Grill in Rock Island. 

“We are very thankful for the B2B grant we received,” Mr. Kavanaugh said in a Jan. 20 news release from the governor’s office.

“The grant has helped our business weather this pandemic storm, to provide our customers with service, and our employees their jobs,”  said Mr. Kavanaugh who received a $20,000 grant.

The application window for the program closed on Oct. 13, 2021. Businesses that applied before the deadline should use the program’s online portal to track their application status in real time.

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