CHICAGO (CBS) — There’s new life for Illinois small businesses struggling in the pandemic.

On Thursday, Governor JB Pritzker announced the first round of the Back to Business recovery grants. He explained there’s $250 million available statewide.

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“The first wave of B to B funds will help over 500 of our state’s entrepreneurs rehire staff and cover operating costs without owing a single cent back,” Pritzker said. “The vast majority of awardees, 80% of them, applied for and didn’t receive business interruption grants last year. With new resources available this year, we’re able to provide even wider support.”

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Grants range from $5,000 to $150,000 for most businesses. The money can be used to cover a wide range of issues, including staffing and overhead costs.

“These grants will be the bridge to economic stability for many of these wonderful businesses that are the backbone of our state’s economy and provide jobs and a positive presence in so many communities,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton.

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Moving forward, the grants will be available on a rolling basis. The next application deadline  is October 13. To learn more including how to apply, click here or check out

CBS 2 Chicago Staff