MARYVILLE - Community Navigator ProgramState Senators Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) and Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) congratulate three local organizations chosen to receive funding to help small businesses apply to receive financial assistance.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” Belt said. “This investment will support the businesses who were affected most by the pandemic. It’s essential that businesses know the funding available through the economic recovery programs, so that we can continue to build back what was lost for our businesses.”

A total of $9 million will be invested to expand the community navigator outreach program. The program will provide support for small businesses that need help navigating financial assistance available from the state and the U.S. Small Business Administration as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity trained 13 new regional partners to give assistance to small businesses. Metro East organizations that have served diverse businesses across the state, include Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission, Illinois Public Health Association and National Main Street Inc. These groups will facilitate technical assistance on a common level to small businesses.

“With this critical investment, our state is working to ensure businesses can operate safely, support opportunities for employees and boost our economy as we rebuild,” Crowe said. “I strongly urge members of the Metro East business community to connect with our community partners to stay informed on available grants and resources.”

To ensure the smallest and most vulnerable businesses are prioritized, navigator partners will provide small businesses with direct assistance on applications, language assistance, on-the-ground outreach, webinars, technical assistance sessions and more.

An expansion of the community navigator program builds on the success of this approach first piloted during the state’s Business Interruption Grants program – which led to a record amount of funding deployed, including over 40 percent of grants to minority-owned businesses. During the BIG program, more than 30,000 unique businesses statewide received outreach from a community navigator.

Businesses are encouraged to visit the DCEO website or call 1-800-252-2923 for more information on recovery programs and support.

Category: Press Releases

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District Offices
35 Executive Plaza Court
Maryville, IL 62062
(618) 251-9840 P

111 N. Wood River Ave., Suite A
Wood River, IL 62095
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Springfield, IL 62706
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