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ROCKFORD - Two local business development organizations are receiving more than $53,000 in state funding as part of Illinois' ongoing efforts to provide relief from the harmful economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Steve Stadelman announced today.

Growth Dimensions for Belvidere & Boone County Inc. is being awarded $40,969 and Miracle Mile Rockford Corporation will get $12,236 in the latest round of Back to Business (B2B) Local Chambers grants. Business and professional organizations dedicated to improving the economic climate and business development of the community in which they are located qualified for the B2B grants along with traditional chambers of commerce so long as they had annual revenue of $1 million or less.

Awarded through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the B2B chamber grants can be used to market and develop communities or provide small businesses with professional development and other support to help grow local economies. Grant amounts were determined by total annual revenue declines between 2019 and 2020 as reflected on tax returns. All eligible applicants received a grant as long as the organization met eligibility requirements and submitted proper documentation.

"Business groups like Growth Dimensions and Miracle Mile are essential building blocks for strong local economies. They provide small businesses especially with support they need to survive and thrive," Stadelman said, "and the state is doing its part to help rebuild businesses and non-profit groups that still struggle to regain their footing after the global pandemic."

A list of B2B Local Chambers grantees can be viewed here.

Since the onset of the pandemic, DCEO has allocated $1.5 billion in pandemic-related support for businesses, including $705 million through the B2B and Business Interruption Grant (BIG) programs, $899 million in Childcare Restoration Grants), $18.5 million in Coronavirus Remediation Emergency (CURE) direct awards businesses and $14 million in Emergency Hospitality grants.