CHICAGO – To ensure businesses can get back on track after the pandemic, state Rep. Lakesia Collins, D-Chicago, is encouraging small businesses to apply for the Back to Business grant program (B2B) from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

“Throughout Illinois, small businesses are essential to job creation in their communities,” said Collins, “By supporting our small businesses through the Back to Business Grant Program, we will accelerate our path to economic recovery.”

The Back to Business Program will make $250 million available for small businesses that are experiencing significant losses due to COVID-19. Businesses in the restaurant and tavern, hotel, and arts industries will be given priority status for grants. DCEO is also partnering with community organizations like Small Business Development Centers and other community organizations to reach the most vulnerable and at need businesses. The application formally opens on Aug. 18, 2021. For more information about B2B and how to apply for assistance, visit

“Small businesses need assistance so that they can pay their staff adequately and maintain their operating costs,” Collins said. “Through the increased community partnerships the Back to Business program seeks to create, struggling businesses in the areas that have been impacted most by COVID-19 can grow and put people back to work.”

Rep. Lakesia CollinsRep. Lakesia Collins

9th District

Springfield Office:
235-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8116

District Office:
2165 S. Millard Avenue
Chicago, IL 60623
(312) 298-9181