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FRANKFORT – More than 100 businesses in the 19th District were awarded over $4 million in funding from the Back to Business program thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) worked tirelessly to advocate and support local businesses in the South Suburbs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our local businesses have fought through extremely difficult times to keep their doors open and support our communities,” Hastings said. “These vital dollars will help provide businesses with financial assistance to help them keep their lights on.”

A total of $4.03 million was awarded to more than 100 businesses in the 19th District. The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget.

DCEO has provided $250 million in B2B grants – thanks to strong support from Hastings – to small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on hard hit sectors, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, barbershops and salons, and disproportionately impacted areas.

“Local businesses support our communities in endless ways,” Hastings said. “Let’s show our local businesses we have their back as well. I urge residents to continue to shop, dine and think local.”

With strong leadership from Hastings, the state has seen six Illinois’ General Obligation bond rating upgrades in the last year from all three of the nation’s primary credit rating agencies. The latest two-notch upgrades come as a result of the state paying down its bill backlog from over $16 billion to less than $3 billion in a course of just a few years.

Due to fiscal responsibility, the state saw an increase in funds available to assist small businesses.

Hastings urges businesses across the 19th District to visit the DCEO website for additional resources or contact DCEO’s First Stop Business Information Center Services at 800-252-2923 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..