NCRC CDF Partners With Illinois To Equitably Distribute $175 Million To Small Businesses

Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 in the restaurant, hotel, and creative arts organizations can visit CDF to apply online for grants today.

Springfield, IL, March 22, 2022  – To ensure the State is reaching the businesses hit hardest by the pandemic in underserved communities, the NCRC CDF (NCRC CDF) is partnering with the Governor’s office to distribute $175 million to small businesses through the Back to Business (B2B) grant program. The program will provide recovery grants to small businesses still grappling with the lingering impacts of the pandemic in the restaurant, hotel, and creative arts industries.

NCRC CDF will work directly with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to promote the program, help businesses apply, and manage application intake and review. NCRC CDF is also coordinating with Community Navigator organizations across the state to provide technical assistance to businesses, focusing on businesses owned by minority, rural, veteran, and women business entrepreneurs.

“NCRC CDF is best positioned to support the State of Illinois in distributing these grants. For over two decades, we have worked closely with small businesses nationwide, so we know firsthand the challenges they faced during the pandemic and continue to face in this difficult economy. We lost too many small and micro businesses during the pandemic – especially those owned by women and people of color, while many of the ones that survived still struggle to recover. With these grants, we will shore up these businesses, preserve what they have worked so hard to build, and save jobs in our communities by ensuring they have access to the capital they need,” said Marisa Calderon, the Executive Director of NCRC CDF.

The B2B grant program builds on the success of last year’s Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program, which directed $290 million to 9,000 businesses in 98 communities across Illinois with a focus on businesses owned by people of color in areas disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. B2B is a key component of the Governor’s $1.5 billion economic recovery plan, aimed toward a swift and equitable deployment of the COVID-19 funding Illinois received from the American Recovery Plan.

Applicants can visit the NCRC CDF website to learn more about the B2B grant program and apply online. All applicants will be notified of their award status after reviewing all applications.

Multilingual FAQs and application assistance are available from outreach partners in the following languages: Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Hindi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.



The NCRC Community Development Fund (NCRC CDF) is a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that works to increase access to homeownership and support small businesses in underserved populations. NCRC CDF provides loan capital that expands access to affordable homeownership for people with low-to-moderate incomes and provides loan capital and technical assistance to help Black-, Brown- and woman-owned businesses thrive. NCRC CDF is a subsidiary of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), a non-profit comprised of more than 600 community-based member organizations nationwide that promote access to basic banking services, affordable housing, entrepreneurship, and job creation.


Contact: Julissa Gomez, Street Level Strategy

[email protected]


Nayeli Pelayo, NCRC CDF

[email protected]