Back to Business (B2B) Grants for Creative Arts, Hotels & Restaurants

The Back to Business (B2B) grant program provides recovery grants for businesses in the hardest-hit industries. Through the state’s B2B and Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Programs, DCEO has provided more than $535 million to more than 15,000 businesses since the start of the pandemic.

Eligible restaurants, hotels and creative arts businesses may apply for $175 million in available grant funding as part of our efforts to support ongoing recovery in hard-hit industries. All applicants will receive a grant if they meet eligibility requirements, submit proper documentation and attestations required by the program.

The program design for B2B Restaurants, B2B Hotels, and B2B Arts, respectively, are based on legislation which established the Restaurant Employment and Stabilization Grant Program (20 ILCS 605/605-1100), Hotel Jobs Recovery Grant Program (20 ILCS 605/605-1095), and the Illinois Creative Recovery Grant program (30 ILCS 709/40).

Applications will be open between April 5 and May 10, 2023.

DCEO encourages applicants to familiarize themselves with program eligibility requirements and reach out to local community navigators with any questions.

Community Navigator Support Information
Over 100 community navigators are available across the state to provide support and to help navigate the application process.

To identify Navigator Support, please view the following:



Bank of America, Small Business Down Payment Program

Dedicated to women and minority-owned businesses, this non-repayable grant is for up to $25,000 on SBA owner occupied commercial real estate loans for business locations within select areas.


  • Self-identify as a minority or women-owned business  (representing at least 51% ownership of the business)
  • For purchasing owner-occupied commercial real estate via our SBA solutions

Please note: this grant program is currently available for OOCRE (Owner-Occupied Commercial Real Estate) purchases within the following areas:

  • Chicagoland area, Charlotte, Dallas, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.

If you have any other questions, please speak with a BoA Small Business Specialist today, by clicking here. For any applicants who are looking to purchase a commercial property in the Chicagoland area, please contact local SBA BDO: Aneta Mazur at


LISC and Uber Eats, Black Restaurant Fund

The Black Restaurant Fund provides growth capital to Black restaurants and those serving the Black community. Growth Capital is an innovative financing product that gives business owners the time they need to invest in and stabilize their companies. Unlike loan products, growth capital does not have fixed repayment terms; instead it is designed as a long-term investment where businesses repay only when they are successful in growing their revenue.

The Black Restaurant Fund aims to:

  • Build wealth for Black restaurant owners

  • Create and retain sustainable jobs

  • Build a track record of success for small business owners to attract future investment dollars

  • Offer flexible re-payment terms based on revenue and mutually agreed-upon targets


  • Black-owned restaurants and those serving the Black community

  • Earning annual revenues above $250,000 and below $3,000,000

  • In operation for at least two years, with an ability to deploy capital toward business improvement and growth

  • Active Uber Eats partner (verified by Uber)

  • Located in an economically disadvantaged community



Verizon Small Business Digital Ready

To help support 1 million small businesses by 2030, Verizon has partnered with LISC to launch a third round of grant funding, open to small businesses who are active users on Verizon Small Business Digital Ready. Over the course of the year, Verizon will be deploying more than $1M in total grant funding to small businesses.

How to Apply

  • To apply for the current round of grant funding, register on Verizon Small Business
    Digital Ready
  • Complete any combination of two courses, coaching events, and
    community events

Application Deadline: for small businesses to apply is May 12, 2023.



High Road Kitchens, Executed by One Fair Wage and City of Chicago

One Fair Wage in partnership with the City of Chicago has launched the High Road Kitchens program, offering grants between $10,000 and $30,000 to Chicago restaurants.


  • Restaurant located in Chicago
  • Annual revenue of under $3 million
  • Experienced financial loss due to COVID-19 totaling 25% of annual revenue

Application Deadline: Rolling basis



Upskilling Grant – Association of Women’s Business Centers with generous funding provided by AARP Foundation


The AWBC works to secure economic justice and entrepreneurial opportunities for women by supporting and sustaining a national network of more than 100 Women’s Business Centers (WBC). WBCs help women succeed in business by providing training, mentoring, business development, and financing opportunities to nearly 200,000 women entrepreneurs each year. – LEARN MORE


Application Deadline: Funds will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis so be sure to apply early. If you have questions, please contact


Small Business Improvement Fund, Executed by City of Chicago and SomerCor

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund provides small businesses with reimbursable grants for permanent building improvement costs.


  • Commercial and industrial business located in Chicago’s TIF districts
  • Industrial businesses must have 200 or fewer employees
  • Commercial businesses must gross average annual sales under $9M for the prior 3 years

Application Deadline: Determined by TIF districts – LEARN MORE


Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant 

The program started in February 2022 and runs through January 2023. Programs must opt-in each quarter, similar to the Child Care Restoration Grant (CCRG).

Quarters will run as follows:

· SGCC Round 6 May – July 2023 (Applications available in March)

The Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grants will be available to all programs who:

  • are licensed as a child care center, child care home, or group child care home.
  • were in operation as of March 2021 and continue to care for children today.
  • operate full-day and full-year, defined as a program that is open and offering at least eight consecutive hours of care per day, five days per week.
  • enrolled 10% or more of the program’s licensed capacity with children in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) during any month in 2020 or 2021 and currently participate in CCAP.
  • receive no more than 50% of total early childhood program/site revenue from Early Childhood Block Grant funding (including Preschool for All (PFA) and/or Prevention Initiative (PI)) or Head Start/Early Head Start.
  • do not accept a 2022 Child Care Restoration Extension Grant award (programs can apply for either 2022 CCRG Extension or SGCC, but not both)

The Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grant will provide child care homes with $2,500 per program per quarter, group child care homes with $3,750 per program per quarter, and child care centers with $6,250 per classroom per quarter.

How to Apply:

The Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (INCCRRA) will administer the Strengthen and Grow Child Care Grants. INCCRRA will provide technical assistance through their website and via email throughout the life of the grant. Email with questions.

The application for SGCC is available to programs in the Gateways Registry Director Portal. If your program meets the eligibility requirements above and you do not have the option to apply, please email for technical assistance.



Cleveland Avenue State Treasurer Urban Success Fund (CAST US)

A $70M initiative that will bridge the capital and resource gap impacting Black, Latinx, and women entrepreneurs in Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods.

CAST US will leverage the investment and entrepreneurial development expertise of Cleveland Avenue to support this historically underserved group and empower underrepresented entrepreneurs.


Ideal Candidates

  • Founded by Black, Latinx, and women entrepreneurs
  • Headquartered (or have significant business operations) in the South and West Side neighborhoods of Chicago
  • Representing any industry and seeking early-stage growth capital
  • Currently in operation (generating revenue)

Prepare to Apply

Applications will be segmented based on the size of the grant. Grant requests should represent no more than 75 percent of the anticipated total project cost.

Interested in partnering with CAST US to grow your business?



National Pride Grant for LGBTQIA+ Small Businesses: The LGBTQIA+ National Grant provides eligible small businesses the chance to receive one of 25 grant packages totaling $25,000. Founders First is committed to increasing the number of diverse founder-led businesses generating over $1 million dollars in revenues. Learn more here.


National Grant for Veteran-Owned Small Businesses: Inspired by Founders First CEO, Kim Folsom’s brother, U.S. Navy veteran Stephen L. Tadlock, the $25,000 fund will make investments of $1000 each to 25 veterans who are running employer-based small businesses across the country. Learn more here.


Fast Break for Small Business: AOF and LegalZoom have joined forces to provide entrepreneurs across the country with grants and LegalZoom services to support their small businesses. LegalZoom has teamed up with the NBA, WNBA, and NBA G League to support Black small business owners. Fast Break for Small Business is a $6 million commitment in small business grants and LegalZoom services to help thousands of small businesses across the country. Accion Opportunity Fund is proud to serve as the nonprofit administrator of the program. Applications are open from Wednesday, February 1 at 8 am ET – Friday, February 17 at 8 pm ET. Learn more here.


2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition: The Small Business Administration (SBA) has created the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition to award impactful and inclusive approaches to encourage collaboration across industries in research and development. Fostering strategic ecosystem partnerships will help build community and encourage the sharing of resources among researchers, entrepreneurs, corporations, and others. Prizes up to $200,000 will be awarded to those ideas that best support growth accelerator partnerships. Phase 1 applications open on January 11, but those interested are encouraged to start preparing pitches in advance. Learn more here.


Amber Grant Foundation: With a simple goal of supporting women entrepreneurs, the Amber Grant Foundation was founded by WomensNet in 1998. The foundation awards a $10,000 grant each month and an additional $25,000 grant each December to women entrepreneurs with a compelling story. Learn more here.


BIPOC Small Business Grant by Annuity Payment Freedom: This grant by Annuity Payment Freedom was created in response to the impact of the pandemic on BIPOC-owned businesses. There are both marketing grants to help drive traffic and micro-grant opportunities. These are awarded to businesses on a rolling basis, with winners announced on the last day of each month. Learn more here.


Black Founder Startup Grant. The Black Founder Startup Grant program from the SoGal Foundation and other sponsors provides grants of up to $10,000 to Black and multiracial women and nonbinary entrepreneurs. The program accepts applications on a rolling basis and is open to entrepreneurs with a legally registered business who plan to seek investor financing to scale. Learn more here.


Capital One Business Grant: Capital One announced its Capital One Business grant program this week, which will aim to support black-owned businesses. In partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO), $10,000 grants will be awarded to black-owned businesses to try and supplement any business that was lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.


DBIA Grant Program Dairy Business Builder:

This grant program, formerly known as the small grant program, is targeted at small-to-medium size farmers or processors. Projects should be aimed at diversifying on-farm activity, creating value-added products, enhancing dairy by-products or export programs. Awards of up to $100,000 in reimbursable grants will be made. Learn more here.


EnrichHER Grant: Does your small business need new equipment, a new marketing campaign, or product expansion? The EnrichHER small business grant will help your business get the funding you need. This program gives eligible entrepreneurs — especially women and people of color — and businesses $5,000 to help with smaller expenses. There is a $37 application fee, and this application round is rolling. Learn more here.


Etsy Emergency Relief Fund: If you’re an Etsy business owner, you may be qualified to apply for relief funding courtesy of a partnership with CERF+, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping artists prepare for and recover from emergencies and disasters. The partnership was established in 2017, and both companies continue to provide up to $2,500 in funding through the grant program. To apply, you must have been a registered Etsy business for at least one year and have been affected by a natural disaster. This grant opportunity is rolling. Learn more here.


IFundWomen COVID-19 Relief Fund: IFundWomen launched a COVID-19 Relief Fund that provides community-funded microgrants and free coaching to women-owned businesses affected by COVID-19. Grants are distributed on a rolling basis. To be considered, women entrepreneurs must start a campaign on IFW. Learn more here.


The Kitty Fund: Kim Folsom is the CEO of Founder’s First, an organization that supports small business expansion. In honor of Mother’s Day and her own mother, Catherine “Kitty” Abrams Tadlock Webster, Folsom launched The Kitty Grant in 2020. This year, the $25,000 fund will invest $1,000 in 25 mother-led small businesses. Grant money can be used however recipients see fit. Eligibility requirements and the pre-registration form for this grant can be found on the Founder’s First website. Learn more here.


Rebuild The Block: Rebuild The Block was created with the sole purpose of supporting Black entrepreneurs. Through their grant program and donations, the company provides monetary support to Black businesses to help them connect with community members on a larger scale. Their popular grant program is open right now, but don’t wait to apply — the application form only accepts 90 applicants per three-month cycle. To apply, Black-owned businesses must detail how they’ve been affected by COVID-19 and/or looting destruction. Learn more here.


SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant: This grant gives Black women or non-binary entrepreneurs the opportunity to receive up to $10,000 in a cash grant. SoGal has partnered with several sponsors to create this grant in order to promote and support Black women and those identifying as non-binary having equal opportunities to capital for their small businesses. To apply, you should have a legally-registered business, self-identify as a Black woman or nonbinary entrepreneur, and plan to seek financing now or in the future. This deadline is rolling, so the sooner you apply, the better! Learn more here.


StartOut Scholarship Program: StartOut offers scholarship opportunities to LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who wish to participate in their Founder Program and become a Giving Member. The initiative provides a 12-month membership for those LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs who have been underrepresented, underserved and underestimated within their community. Learn more here.


Juntos Crecemos Hispanic Digital & Delivery Program: PepsiCo is inviting Latina entrepreneurs who work in food service to apply for eight weeks of personalized expert consultation, including best practices across operations, technology, marketing and digital presence. Learn more here.


Go. Be. Elevate Fund: Formerly known as the Good Work Network, Go.Be. aims to help entrepreneurs and small business owners with a focus on diverse and minority businesses. To continue to support small businesses led by women and people of color, Go.Be. will grant up to $4,000 toward any project meant to help grow your small business. To be eligible for this grant, you must be a Go.Be. client, so head to their grant page and see if your small business fits the criteria for entry. Learn more here.


Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator: Dedicated to helping build sustainable equity and growth for Black entrepreneurs by enabling their success as sellers. Grow your business with access to financial support, strategic business guidance and mentorship, and marketing and promotional support. Learn more here.


HerRise Micro-Grant: Each month a $500 micro-grant will be awarded to a for-profit small business owned by women of color. Past recipients used their growth grants for computers, equipment, marketing materials, software purchase, website creation and more. Learn more here.


SBA Thrive Emerging Leaders Training program: Training program for business owners that have annual revenues of at least $250,000 and have been in business at least 3 years and have at least one employee. Learn more here.


Wish Local Empowerment Program: You must be a Black-owned business with a brick-and-mortar shop within the United States and less than 20 employees. If selected for the program, you must join Wish Local (which is free). Grants for up to $2000. Learn more here.


Gurnee, IL Small Business Grant: The village of Gurnee, Illinois launched a small business grant program last month. Grants can be used to improve business facilities and each business must provide at least half of the capital (match) for each project. Grants up to $10,000. Learn more here.



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