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Emergency Assistance Funding for Businesses

Grant funds are now available to support small businesses in East Central Illinois practicing a number of layoff aversion activities. The funds must be used to mitigate layoffs and adhere to social distancing provisions established by federal and state public health entities. This grant program is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA).

The funding range for COVID-19 Layoff Aversion grant funding is $5,000 to $50,000 per employer/physical location. In order to receive funding, employers must document the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on their business and the associated layoff risk factors. Some examples of allowable layoff aversion projects that use innovative strategies to address COVID-19-related effects on businesses and workers include:

* Cleaning and sanitation services

* Purchase of computer hardware and software to support telework

* Purchase of call center/remote work environment supplies and equipment; i.e., laptops, printers

* Production of essential goods and services needed to support COVID-19 response and/or preserve critical business operations in order to stay in business

* Support of cross-functional and/or transitional training

*  Support of industry sector strategic partnerships in response to COVID-19

* Offset of the costs of worker wages and benefits during the shelter-in-place shutdown

All funded projects must produce measurable outcomes including the number of jobs saved, estimated amount of annual wages saved, and other relevant project-specific results. Staff at the RPC are available to assist with application preparation and submission. 

Inquiries should be directed to Kathy Larson ( or Sukanya Sharma ( Employers should include their name and call back number. The RPC will return calls within 48 hours.

The policy and application can be found online (under “Notices”) at: The file name is “19-NOT-02 Attachment A Emergency (1E) Assistance Application.”

Completed applications should be returned to or for final processing and submission to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. More information can also be found on the RPC website at development/covid-19-response-grant-funding/. The RPC looks forward to helping East Central Illinois businesses retain workers and prevent layoffs during this emergency crisis.

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