SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a plan to withhold federal COVID-19 relief funds from small businesses to help fill the state budget deficit.

Congress approved federal tax relief to help businesses recover some losses during the pandemic. The governor announced Illinois could suspend those tax breaks in Illinois and still require businesses to pay to the state.

Todd Maisch, the head of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, warned that could make it tougher for small businesses to survive.

“This is tax relief for the hardest hit small businesses in the nation that was enacted in Washington on a bipartisan basis,” Maisch said. “So that’s actual money in small businesses’ pockets that allows them to go ahead and compensate for the fact that they don’t have customers right now.”

Pritzker released the following statement:

“Unfortunately, COVID also hit our state budget, requiring tough choices about what we can and cannot afford. Right now, we cannot afford to expand tax breaks to businesses that already receive tax breaks.”

Governor J.B. Pritzker, (D) Illinois