pexels karolina grabowska 4386476 rThe Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has announced a second round of Tourism Attractions & Festivals Grants. This is a fantastic opportunity for communities in Central Illinois to develop and enhance tourism attractions and special events. The deadline to apply is Sept. 23.

This list includes the new round of Tourism Attractions & Festivals Grants, as well as other state and federal grants, including theSafe Streets and Roads for All program from the US Department of Transportation.


State Grants

NEW! Tourism Attractions & Festivals Grant Program

What: The Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program will help develop new or enhance existing tourism attractions located across the state – including but not limited to museums, state parks, historical sites, events, performances, and festivals. The funds may be utilized for capital projects, equipment, training, transportation, housing, receptions, entertainment, photography, temporary housing, and interpretive programs.  The goal of the program is to attract additional visitors and overnight stays that will bring foot traffic to communities across Illinois. 

Potential Applicants: Units of local government, nonprofits, local promotion groups, and businesses.

How Much: $15 million total. $5 million for festivals and events, and $10 million for attractions. Awards range from $15,000 to $500,000. Matching not required for nonprofits and local governments, but preference will be given to those providing matching funds. 75% match required for businesses.

Deadline: Sept. 23, 2022

Apply: Information can be found HERE.


Connect Illinois Broadband Grant Program

What:  Connect Illinois seeks to achieve ubiquitous broadband access for homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions. Applications should be classified under one of three categories: (a) Broadband Access for in unserved or underserved areas; (b) Broadband Innovation for economic development; or (c) Urban Broadband for expanded access and/or innovation in qualified Illinois cities. All Connect Illinois projects must include infrastructure expansion scalable to speeds of at least 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload upon deployment. Allowable costs include network design, project planning, equipment, construction, and deployment of middle mile and/or last mile infrastructure.

Potential Applicants:  Businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, school districts, and local governments. Proposals covering unserved and/or underserved areas are eligible for Connect Illinois grant funding.

How Much: $350 million total, maximum grant size of $10 million. Preference given for a 50% match, but it is not required for an application to be competitive.

Deadline:  Rolling through 2024, or until funds are depleted

Apply: Information can be found HERE.


Federal Grants

More can be found on DCEO’s website.

Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program

What:  The Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program funds regional and local initiatives through grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. Entities can apply for Action Plan Grants and Implementation Grants. These grants can be used to develop or update a comprehensive safety Action Plan; conduct planning, design, and development activities in support of an Action Plan; and carry out projects and strategies identified in an Action Plan.

Potential Applicants:  Metropolitan planning organizations, local governments, and transit agencies.

How Much: $200,000 to $50,000,000

Deadline:  Sept. 15, 2022

Apply: Information can be found HERE.


SBA Service-Disabled Veteran Entrepreneurship Training Program

What:  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing funding to organizations to build capacity, market, and deliver their existing entrepreneurship programs to service-disabled veterans who aspire to be small business owners or currently own a small business.

Potential Applicants:  Non-profits, businesses, institutions of higher education. Must demonstrate a history of entrepreneurship training for veterans.

How Much: $50,000 to $150,000

Deadline:  Aug. 18, 2022

Apply: Information can be found HERE.


EDA Economic Development Research and National Technical Assistance Program

What:  Grants under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to advance economic prosperity in distressed communities. These grants seek to promote critical, cutting-edge research and best practices with practitioners in the economic development field. They also support a small number of projects that provide technical assistance at a national scope.

Potential Applicants:  Local governments, institutions of higher education, nonprofits, individuals, or for-profit organizations.

How Much: $1.5 million

Deadline:  Rolling

Apply: Information can be found HERE.