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Gov. Pritzker Stresses Managing COVID-19 and the Economy are Linked

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Illinois' governor stresses dealing with the spread of COVID-19 while trying to prevent more devastation to the state's economy is a challenge, but linked together.

In his briefing Monday, Governor J-B Pritzker said the most important thing to do for the economy is to fight the virus.

"The truth is, most of the economic damage that's done here is done because people don't want to go to public places. Most people look outside and say, 'I don't want to go to a crowded place.' They want to make sure that whatever they're doing it's being done in a safe fashion."

Pritzker said even states that implemented few or no mitigation restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID have suffered a tremendous downturn in economic activity.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is urging struggling businesses to apply for Business Interruption Grants.

This is the second round of “BIG” grants offered by the state, with a focus on helping minority owned, downstate and agriculture businesses this time.

175 million dollars is still available, with grant amounts varying says DCEO Director Erin Guthrie.

“We have been able to look at sort of the amount of impact a business has felt, so whether it’s a restaurant, whether it’s a disproportionately area. And we’re using that information to scale the size of the grant.”

The money can be used to re-hire employees, pay rent, purchase PPE, and more. Guthrie says it’s taking about two to three weeks for grant applications to be processed. More information is available here.

As a news producer and news anchor on All Things Considered, Brad provides the listeners with a recap of the day's top local and state news as well as breaking news at any given time.
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