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Illinois announces $5M agriculture business grant

(WEEK) -- Livestock producers and small meat and poultry plans suffering from effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic can apply for business recovery funding.

According to a release from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the new funding opportunity is part of the state’s Business Interruption Grants program (BIG), which leverages federal CARES Act money to help small businesses statewide offset losses incurred in connection to COVID-19.

Financial assistance will be made available through three programs administered by IDOA:

  • Swine Depopulation Program: Covers the costs and expenses of swine producers associated with the depopulation and disposal of livestock due to the disruption of the livestock market caused by the COVID-19 emergency on or after April 15, 2020. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $10,000 for losses.
  • Agriculture Business Interruption Program: Covers monetary losses and expenses of livestock producers due to the disruption of the livestock market caused by the COVID-19 emergency during the period of April 15-May 15, 2020. Eligible expenses are costs associated with holding livestock (swine, beef cattle, dairy cattle, lambs, poultry and meat goats) and livestock-related products for an extended period of time. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $10,000 for losses.
  • Meat and Poultry Capacity Program: Covers costs for operations and costs associated with facility improvements necessary to decrease or eliminate COVID-19 related slowdowns and mitigate capacity reductions. Businesses must have no more than 60 employees. Applicants are eligible to receive up to $25,000 for eligible expenses.

Online applications are available now through October 31, 2020, at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Animals/Pages/Livestock-Management-Facility-Grants.aspx.

“Illinois remains a leading agricultural state in the nation, and I’m proud to help farmers build on that success by providing needed grants to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “On behalf of all Illinoisans, I want to offer my appreciation to the members of our agricultural community whose hard work has ensured food was available amidst the worst pandemic of our lifetimes.”

IDOA has worked with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to mobilize this opportunity for financial assistance provided through the BIG program.

To learn more about current BIG funding opportunities, please visit DCEO’s website, https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/agr/Pages/default.aspx or email AGR.Grants@illinois.gov with questions.

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