To help small businesses and their employees continue to recover from the economic hardship of the pandemic, State Senator Omar Aquino announced that 22 local restaurants are set to receive $915,000 in the latest round of Back to Business grants.

“Our local restaurants and the employees we rely on have overcome so many challenges in the last few years,” said Aquino (D-Chicago). “Beyond simply surviving through the pandemic, this support enables them to actually thrive.”

The Back to Business grant program provides recovery grants for small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on businesses in the hardest-hit industries. This round of funding will award $915,000 to 22 restaurants in Aquino’s district.

“The difference between 22 local restaurants being able to support their employees or not is everything to our small business community,” said Aquino. “From the owners to the employees and their families, every dollar we put back into our communities makes a positive impact.”

Businesses around the state were awarded $175 million in this round of funding. In total, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has provided over $535 million to more than 15,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic.

To learn more about the Back to Business grant program, visit DCEO’s website.