Some suburban sit-down restaurants and bars forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic have been selected in a lottery to receive a share of $14 million from the state’s hospitality grant program.
About 700 small-scale bars, eateries and hotels were selected for the grants from 12,000 businesses in the random drawing, according to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Officials said an average $14,000 will be received by the restaurants and bars and $30,000 by the hotels. The grant may be used to support working capital — including payroll and rent — job training and technology to support operational shifts, such as increased use of carryout and delivery.
Among the suburban establishments on the state’s list of grant recipients are Village Tavern in Long Grove, Mr. Allison’s Restaurant in Arlington Heights, Uncle Bill’s Diner in Roselle, Wu’s Chinese Cuisine in Schaumburg, Ellie’s Deli in Naperville, Dog’s Paw Brewing in Elgin and Little Bean Coffee Company in Antioch.
“I’m going to be able, first and foremost, to pay the rent for the shop,” Little Bean owner Angela Burns said.
Burns added she plans to use the money for payroll and checks to help her seven employees who have been laid off since the state’s stay-at-home order became effective.
Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana is assisting the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity with the hospitality industry grants. Accion is the largest nationwide nonprofit lending network in the United States.
Officials said the grants will be paid from existing Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity funds budgeted for tourism promotion, job training and general operations.
Grant applications were accepted by Accion from March 25 through April 1. The lottery to select the recipients was held from April 4 through Tuesday.
“While the financial hardships related to this virus have permeated just about every industry, we know that our hospitality businesses have experienced some of the most significant hardships,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in an announcement of the grants.