The Back-to-Business Restaurants Grant Program (B2B Restaurants) makes available $50 million in recovery grant funding for restaurants that experienced extended closures and other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to restaurants with 50 or fewer employees and is designed to support businesses that have not yet received substantial relief from other state or local grant programs during the pandemic.




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This grant is intended for licensed restaurants, food trucks, street vendors, taverns, caterers, brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms, breweries, microbreweries, wineries, or distilleries that meet these requirements:

  • Must be an independently owned and operated for-profit corporation or limited liability corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship authorized to conduct business in the State of Illinois, or a nonprofit operating in Illinois and registered as a 501c organization;
  • Must have begun operations prior to March 12, 2020, and maintain active operations in Illinois at time of application.
  • Must have experienced a loss in earned or contributed revenue of at least $5,000 due to economic disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Must have 50 or fewer employees at time of application.
  • Must not have received financial assistance from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), Illinois Back to Business Grants (B2B), Illinois Business Interruption Grants (BIG), Illinois Emergency Hospitality Grants, or more than $10,000 in grants or loan forgiveness from any local relief program for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A detailed document containing eligibility requirements can be found here.

Applications open on April 5, 2023 and will close on May 10, 2023 at 11:59pm CT. Prior to the application period opening, we encourage prospective grantees to review the available information and seek support through our technical support help desk at

The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocated to the State CURE Fund and appropriated by Public Act 102-0699 for the Illinois Restaurant Employment Stabilization Grant Program.

Program materials, the application, and technical assistance will be available prior to the launch of the application in the following languages: English, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Hindi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

In order to review a high volume of applications, the State of Illinois enlisted the support of NCRC Community Development Fund (NCRC CDF) as a program administrator, which hosts the application portal, provides technical support, and helps review applications.

NCRC CDF is a non-profit community development financial institution and a mission-based lender working to help bridge the racial wealth divide in America’s underserved communities. NCRC CDF invests in affordable housing development and provides access to capital and business support services to Black, Latino, and low- to moderate-income entrepreneurs nationwide.

The Restaurant Employment and Stabilization Grant Program will provide grants of up to $50,000 to restaurants or taverns with 50 or fewer employees that have incurred losses due to the COVID pandemic.

For the purposes of this program, restaurants or taverns include duly licensed:

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Food trucks
  • Street vendors
  • Brewpubs
  • Caterers
  • Tasting Rooms
  • Taprooms
  • Breweries
  • Microbreweries
  • Wineries
  • Distilleries

Eligible applicants will include restaurants and taverns meeting the following criteria:

  • 50 or fewer employees
  • Incurred losses due to the COVID pandemic
  • In operation as of March 12, 2020, and remains in operation
  • Has not received financial assistance from the
    • Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF)
    • Illinois Back to Business Grants (B2B)
    • Illinois Business Interruption Grants (BIG)
    • Illinois Emergency Hospitality Grants
    • Any other local or state program that provided the applicant with over $10,000 in grants or loan forgiveness.

Applicants must have 50 or fewer employees at time of application.

Businesses are ineligible if they received:

  • State assistance from the following programs: Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), Illinois Back to Business Grants (B2B), Illinois Business Interruption Grants (BIG)
  • More than $10,000 in local assistance

Businesses that received other forms of support, including PPP loan forgiveness or EIDL grants or loans, are eligible.

No. To be eligible for a grant from this program a business must have started and been in operation prior to March 12, 2020.

Yes. As long as the business is currently operational and the business was operational prior to March 12, 2020, a temporary closure does not affect the business’ eligibility. Permanently closed businesses, however, are not eligible.

Yes. Applicants/owners may apply for multiple businesses as long as they meet eligibility criteria.

No. Businesses or organizations principally engaged in teaching, instructing, counseling, or indoctrinating religion or religious beliefs, whether in a religious or secular setting, are not eligible for this program.

Yes. You will be asked to provide your social security number or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) on the application in place of an EIN.

No. Applicants may only apply for one program and are only eligible to receive a grant from one of these programs.

Funding amounts will be based on a portion of the reduction in gross receipts from 2019 in 2020 and/or 2021 based on submitted documentation. If gross receipts in both years is lower than 2019, the losses will be summed to determine a funding amount.

If the business started early in 2020, businesses will be eligible for $5,000.

The funding must be spent within one year of receiving the grant. The funding may be spent on:

  • Payroll costs
  • Paid sick leave
  • Employer contributions to employee health care costs
  • Payments of principal or interest on any mortgage obligation
  • Rent payments, including rent under a lease agreement
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
  • Operational expenses

Awardees must submit a written attestation within one year of receiving the grant that the funds were used for the eligible expenses listed above. Any funds not used for those purposes must be returned.

No. Awards are state grants that do not need to be repaid as long as they are spent on eligible expenses within a year of receipt.

All applicants who meet eligibility requirements and provide a complete application within the application window will receive funding.

Generally, yes, this would be considered taxable income. All awardees will receive a 1099 at the end of the tax year. However, qualifying grants are not subject to state business and occupation (B&O) tax, public utility tax, or retail sales tax.

Funds must be used on business expenses that occur within one year following receipt.

  1. Government Issued ID | Driver License or Passport for business owner(s) and/or authorized representative(s)
  2. FEIN | For the firm corporate entity
  3. Business Taxes | For 2019 (if in business), 2020, and 2021. This may include:
    1. IRS form 1040 (sole proprietors) and the following: Schedule C, Profit and Loss from Business
    2. IRS form 1065 Partnership Return (no K-1s required)
    3. IRS form 1120 Corporation Return (no schedules required)
    4. IRS form 1120S S Corporation Return (no K-1s required)
    5. IRS form 990, 990EZ, or 990N for non-profits
  4. Current license to serve food and/or drink, brewer license, distiller license, or winery license.

Yes. Small business owners may apply using their Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Therefore, small business owners with tax IDs of nine digits and beginning with “9” are eligible for this grant program.

No, it must be valid and in current standing.

Yes. We require tax returns for 2019, 2020, and 2021. Providing all three tax returns will maximize the grant amount that your business is eligible for.

You can reach our technical support help desk at

Technical support will be available seven days a week from 8am to 8pm CT.

Downloadable translated PDFs of the application will be available in: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. However, the application portal will be only available in English.

We ask that the application be completed in English, where possible, but we will accept applications submitted in Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Polish, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, or Vietnamese, as well.

Submittable is a company that offers application services for grant programs. NCRC CDF has partnered with Submittable to manage the application process and distribute awards.

If you do not currently have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to register prior to accessing the form. Submittable recommends using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari as browsers.


Yes. Applicants can attach up to 15 files for each tax return, and up to 2 files for their valid government-issued photo ID, if applicable. All documentation must be provided in an electronic format for online upload, such as PDF/JPEG/DOC or other accepted format. We recommend preparing your file(s) in advance for easy upload during the application.

Yes, although direct file uploads are preferred.

We are using Submittable’s Fraud Prevention Tools to ensure grant funds go to legitimate businesses such as yours. These tools are widely used by service providers and financial institutions to verify a person’s identity. The identity verification step is to be completed by the person filling out the application.

Any representative who is authorized to enter into legally binding agreements for the applicant may attest and sign the application.

Yes. To invite collaborators to your application, click the “Invite Collaborators” link located at the top right of the application once you are logged into Submittable and in the grant application. A Dialog box will appear, asking you to enter the email addresses of your collaborators. Enter those addresses, then click Invite. Invited collaborators will receive an email, letting them know you’ve invited them to collaborate on a draft application using Submittable. For details and guidance about this feature, please review information for submitters and for collaborations.

Yes. The online application is mobile-friendly and available on multiple browsers. NCRC CDF recommends using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari as browsers, whether on your smartphone, tablet or computer to apply for this grant.

Yes. The application portal will automatically save your work. There is also a “save” button at the bottom of the page. Please make sure to note your account login and password so you are able to access your application later. However, you will not be able to edit or make corrections to your application after it is submitted. You will also not be able to create more than one application per business with the same account login. The grant application portal closes on May 10, 2023 at 11:59pm CT.

Submittable times out after 24 hours of inactivity, so you will be logged out. Progress on the application will be saved and you will not have to start a new application.

You can view technical support guidance regarding the application platform here.

If your application has been submitted, it is no longer editable. Further, Submittable is not permitted to edit the content of your application. However, you can “withdraw” your application and resubmit a new application. Withdrawing your application allows you the ability to start from scratch and resubmit a new application. Withdrawing an application does not affect your eligibility to receive a grant, nor will it be a factor that will count against you.

Please note: should you choose to withdraw an application, you will need to submit a new application before the deadline of May 10, 2023 at 11:59pm CT to be eligible. All applications need to be submitted before this deadline regardless of whether or not you have withdrawn an application. Should you choose to withdraw your application after May 10, 2023 at 11:59pm CT, you are removing your application from consideration for the grant award.

Once all submissions are reviewed, awardees will be notified via email by our partner, Submittable, to take next steps in the granting process. The email will come from We encourage you to add this email to your contact or VIP list in your email inbox.

Successful applicants will be asked to sign a grant agreement and provide their bank information. Once the grant agreement is signed and banking information is verified, grant awardees can expect to receive payment via direct deposit within a few business days.

The programs partner, Submittable, will provide a secure direct bank transfer of funds.

Gross receipts include the total amount of all receipts in cash or property without adjustment for expenses or other deductible items. For the following tax forms, it can be found on the indicated line:

  • IRS form 1040 – Schedule C, Line 1
  • IRS form 1065 – Line 1a
  • IRS form 1120 – Line 1a
  • IRS form 1120S – Line 1a
  • IRS form 990 – Line G
  • IRS form 990EZ – Line L

Yes. You will be asked to select your industry sector and NAICS code category. If you don’t know your NAICS code, you can look up your code here

The signee should be an officer or other agent authorized to enter into legally binding agreements for the applicant.

We ask for a copy of your financial documents to verify your business or non-profit identity and income.

If you do not provide your 2021 federal tax return with your application, your award will be based on 2020 losses alone.

NCRC CDF does not require a social security number to apply for this grant, unless the business is a sole proprietorship. However, we require that you submit financial documentation with your application to verify revenues. You are encouraged to black out your social security number if it is on any of your financial forms before you upload these documents.