CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Businesses in Champaign and Vermilion County were awarded more than $8.2 million in funding due to the support of State Senator Scott Bennett.

“We’re starting to see businesses move forward from the COVID-19 pandemic, however, there are still some that need a helping hand to fully recover,” Bennett said in a news release. “Grant programs like Back to Business have been vital to keeping the doors of thousands of small businesses across the state open.”

The Back to Business grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity through funds allocated by the American Rescue Plan in last year’s state budget.

The state department of commerce has provided $200 million in Back to Business grants to 5,333 small businesses across the state, and there is still nearly $50 million left.

Grants are awarded on a rolling basis.

“Every dollar is important for our small business community,” Bennett said. “I’m glad to see so many businesses in Champaign and Vermilion County take advantage of this opportunity.”