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DCEO Northeast Region Weekly Update Feb. 23

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Northeast Region Weekly Update February 23, 2024

Black History Month 2024

“Knowing the Past Opens Doors for the Future”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will celebrate Black History Month throughout February 2024. DCEO through its Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) will spotlight long-standing Black businesses across the state, highlight Black business accomplishments and their contributions to our state, showcase our commitment to growing and investing in Black businesses, and celebrate the leadership of our Black employees.

Business and DCEO Employee Spotlights

Throughout the month, DCEO will be highlighting Black Illinois business owners across the state and celebrating the leadership and commitment of our Black employees.

Twitter: @IllinoisDCEO Facebook: @illinoisdceo

LinkedIn: Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Hashtags: #blackhistory #blackhistorymonth #BHM2024

Black History Month Social Media

The State’s Black History Month activities are presented by the DCEO, Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE). OMEE plays a crucial role in providing support to minority-owned businesses of all sizes and types, including connection with grants, technical assistance, and incentives to bolster minority entrepreneurs and minority-owned enterprises. For more information on Black History Month events planned for businesses, contact Matthew J. Simpson, the African American Business Development Manager, at, or to learn more about ongoing resources and programs for businesses, follow DCEO on social media @IllinoisDCEO.

Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE)

Online with OMEE – Overview of Financial Resources for Small Businesses

Wednesday | March 6, 2024 | 10:00 – 11:00 AM | Register

Is access to financial capital important for your business?

The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) Business Development Managers invite you to an online conversation that's open to all minorities ((racial/ethnic), women, persons with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQIA+) and any other marginalized groups-owned businesses. Team OMEE will provide you with the latest updates on financial resources like federal and state programs, information about other opportunities, and answer any questions you may have about your business. We'll take questions in English and Spanish.

State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Webinar

February 29 @ 10:30am Register here


Join DCEO Small Business Community Navigator Grantee Business Navigator Alliance of South Central and Southeastern Illinois for a webinar diving into the expanded program offerings through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI 2.0). Registrants will hear an overview of Advantage Illinois and SSBCI 2.0. The panel sill detail the Advantage Illinois Participation Loan Program (PLP), Advantage Illinois Loan Guarantee Program (LGP), INVENT Venture Capital Program (VCP) and the Climate Bank Finance Participation Loan Program.

CEJA Returning Resident Clean Jobs Training Program

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is pleased to announce the release of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the CEJA Returning Resident Clean Jobs Training Program. This program will provide grants to organizations to train people who are incarcerated in the following Illinois Department of Corrections facilities: Kewanee Life Skills Re-Entry Center, Decatur Correctional Center, Western Illinois Correctional Center, and Vienna Correctional Center.

Organizations will provide classroom instruction and hands-on learning opportunities to people incarcerated in these facilities, utilizing a standard Clean Jobs Curriculum Framework. Upon release, returning resident participants will be supported in gaining employment in the clean energy industry.

Applicant teams are invited to submit an application for funding by April 15, 2024 at 5:00pm.


Take advantage of opportunities to learn more about the program, build your applicant team, and receive one-on- one technical assistance.

Illinois Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) Challenge

Let’s get the Illinois Broadband Map right! If you represent one of the following entities, or if you facilitate internet use among vulnerable populations, this information is for you!

  • Schools
  • Libraries
  • Medical providers
  • Public safety entities
  • Public housing organizations Non-profits/Community-based organizations
  • Local government
  • Parks

The problem we are trying to solve; we are working to make sure all homes, small businesses, and community anchor institutions have access to high-speed internet. What do we mean by access? Access = if you want to subscribe to internet service, you can call an internet service provider to get connected within 10 business days. High-speed internet for a home or small business means having access to at least 100 / 20 Mbps service. And for community anchor institutions, it means having access to at least 1 / 1 Gbps service. For all, high-speed service means having latency of 100 milliseconds or less.

How can you help? Illinois has been allocated $1.04 billion in federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funds to bring high-speed internet access to the ~230,000 households, small businesses, and community anchor institutions that can’t get access to at least 100 / 20 Mbps or 1 / 1 Gbps service. We need your help to identify ALL homes, small businesses, and community anchors without high-speed internet access—so we can make sure they get access.

How can you participate?

  • Individuals: Encourage residents with access challenges to visit to take three speed tests over three days.
  • Organizations: If your organization cannot access at least 1 / 1 Gbps service, please confirm that this information is shown in the IL BEAD Challenge Map. If the information in the map is inaccurate: Register here for the IL BEAD Challenge Process. Review the information on our website to learn how you can submit a challenge.

To learn more, visit the Illinois Office of Broadband’s website at the QR code to the right. Have more questions?

Email us at

Local Grocers Equipment Upgrades Grant

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced $3.5 million in available grant funding for local grocers through the Equipment Upgrades Program as part of the Illinois Grocery Initiative. These grants will provide funding for energy-efficient equipment upgrades for existing grocery stores, with priority given to those located in food insecure communities across the state. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process.

The Equipment Upgrades Program is the first program rolled out as part of the Illinois Grocery Initiative’s multi- pronged efforts to combat food insecurity by supporting local grocers and combatting food deserts. Additional funding opportunities for new municipal and independent grocery stores will be announced to the public soon.

This program is designed to strengthen existing grocery stores and preserve access to fresh food in food insecure communities, in an effort to stop the formation of new food deserts. In order to support businesses most in-need, eligible applicants must be independently owned grocers with fewer than 500 employees and no more than four grocery stores. Grocery stores located in food deserts as defined by the USDA map are prioritized for this initiative.

With rising energy costs, outdated equipment presents a major expense for small community grocers. Under the Equipment Upgrades Program, eligible grocers may be eligible to receive grants for the following equipment upgrades:

  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment
  • Refrigeration units and freezers
  • Lighting systems
  • Other systems providing significant energy savings

Qualified applicants can apply for grants between $25,000 to $250,000, with a 1:3 match required. Applications for this round of grants will be accepted until March 25, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit the DCEO website.

Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to for application assistance.

Climate and Equitable Jobs (CEJA) Program Updates

Please see the CEJA Updates and Program Status page for more CEJA announcements. Questions may be directed to

Office of Accountability

Attention Grantseekers! DCEO’s Office of Accountability is hosting virtual training sessions covering various stages in the grant process.

3rd Wednesday of the month 9AM. Learn more: here

The presentation will discuss important grant-related topics pertaining to grant management. Each month we will discuss a different component, process, or emerging practice that can benefit potential and existing grantees. Future topics offerings include:


  • 3/20/24 Grantee Compliance: This training will introduce the Grantee Compliance Enforcement System and the requirements set forth in the 2 CFR 200, Grant Agreement, and Disclosures.
  • 4/17/24 Audit and Monitoring: This training will introduce grantees to the different Audit types, requirements, and the importance of record retention.

CEJA Equitable Energy Future Grants

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) launched $25.5 million in funding for the Equitable Energy Future Grants Program as part of a larger strategy to equitably grow the clean energy workforce in Illinois through the landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA). The program supports renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in low-income and historically disadvantaged communities to grow and diversify the clean energy ecosystem across Illinois. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process.

The goal of the Equitable Energy Future program is to provide seed and pre-development funding opportunities to eligible contractors to support the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency projects benefitting businesses, community organizations and the workforce in historically disadvantaged communities. The program is designed to help remove barriers to projects, community and business development efforts caused by lack of access to capital.

Grant funding can be used to support a variety of projects to benefit historically disadvantaged communities, including planning and project development, professional services, purchasing and leasing of land, equipment, staff, and more.

Qualified entities include equity eligible contractors and independent contractors, non-profits, co-operatives that are majority-owned by equity eligible persons, and businesses or non-profits with a proposed project that meets equity building criteria. Equity eligible contractors are businesses or non-profits that are majority-owned by equity eligible persons, including participants in CEJA workforce programs, Illinoisans who are in the foster care system or who were formerly in the foster care system, people who were formerly incarcerated, and Illinoisans who live in an R3 zone or environmental justice community.

Through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), qualified entities can apply for grants, with awards ranging from $250,000 to $1 million. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until funds are exhausted. To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit the DCEO website. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to for application assistance.

LIHEAP Program for Energy Bill Assistance

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are encouraging additional income-eligible families to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to support with utility bill assistance for natural gas, propane, and electricity. Applications expanded November 1 to include income-eligible households that are disconnected or facing imminent disconnection. Eligible families including those that are disconnected or facing imminent disconnection can apply by

visiting or by visiting their local agency (a list of partners throughout the State can be found here). Families can also call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages.

To apply, visit to fill out and submit a request for services form online OR visit your local agency (a list of partners throughout the State can be found here). After you submit the form, someone from your local agency will be in touch. Call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance at any point during the application process. Additional information about eligibility and criteria can be found on the website along with fact sheets in English and Spanish.

For a complete list of current DCEO grant opportunities, upcoming grant trainings, video resource library and Grant Help Desk assistance, visit DCEO Grants (

Other grant opportunities include:

Energy Transition Community Grant Program Click here Deadline March 15, 2024

Tourism Incentive Grant Click here Deadline May 1, 2024

SBIR/STTR Match Program click here Deadline June 30, 2024

CDBG Coronavirus Urban Shelter Program click here Deadline July 31, 2024 Illinois Returning Residents Clean Jobs (CEJA) click here Deadline rolling Federal Grant Support Program click here No specific due date

CDBG Economic Development Program click here Deadline rolling

Connect Illinois Broadband Grant click here Deadline rolling

Other Federal and State Agency Grants & Programs


EPA Energy Communities Technical Assistance Pilot Request for Letters of Interest


The Environmental Protection Agency is beginning a pilot to provide technical assistance to two energy communities in areas where the Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities and Economic Revitalization (Energy Communities IWG) has established Rapid Response Teams (RRTs). RRTs support

community-driven economic transformation by connecting with community members, leaders at the local and state level, staff, and advocates for economic transformation in fossil energy communities and regions. Much of the work of the Energy Communities IWG and the RRTs involves bridging the gap between communities and federal programs, connecting them with offerings from annual appropriations and the signature laws of the Biden-Harris Administration, such as the American Rescue Plan (ARPA), Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), CHIPS & Science Act (CHIPS), and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). RRTs also help communities solve problems at the local level by supporting capacity development and make connections with the private sector and philanthropic communities, across the federal family, and up and down all levels of government.

This technical assistance will help to support two selected communities in RRT regions in their goals toward energy transition, including power plant reuse and redevelopment, community revitalization, and workforce transition. This program aims to support projects that do all the following:

  • Plan for the safe and equitable reuse and redevelopment of sites after coal mine and power plant closures.
  • Boost opportunities for workforce development, training, and apprenticeships.
  • Improve partnerships between local and tribal governments, organizations, residents, and the private sector to secure local investments in clean energy and manufacturing that are in alignment with the community’s energy transition goals.
  • Create livable, walkable, economically vibrant main streets and mixed-use neighborhoods.

Project Steps

The Energy Communities Technical Assistance pilot will provide selected communities planning assistance that centers around a two-day community workshop. At each workshop, a team of experts will help community members develop an implementable action plan that promotes environmental and economic revitalization. Find examples of action plans from community workshops organized through similar EPA assistance. After the workshop, the community will continue to use their experience to consult with EPA and a team of consultants as they develop a playbook that can assist other communities across the country with similar energy transition goals. The playbook will include guidance on how to prepare for and attract IRA and other funding opportunities that are aimed at private sector.

investors which can support locally driven economic revitalization efforts when equitable partnerships are formed with local governments, states and other entities. Find examples of similar resources.

This technical assistance is not a grant, and the pilot does not provide money directly to communities.

Key Information

Eligible applicants include local governments, tribes, and nonprofit institutions and organizations proposing to work in a neighborhood, town, or city of any size that are located within one of the RRT regions (see attached map of regions and list of RRT leads).

Energy communities, as defined by the IRA, include:

1.A “Brownfield site” (as defined in certain subparagraphs of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA)).

2.A “metropolitan statistical area” or “non-metropolitan statistical area” that has (or had at any time after 2009) both:

•0.17% or greater direct employment or 25% or greater local tax revenues related to the extraction, processing, transport, or storage of coal, oil, or natural gas; and

•An unemployment rate at or above the national average unemployment rate for the previous year.

3.A census tract (or directly adjoining census tract) in which a coal mine has closed after 1999, or in which a coal- fired electric generating unit has been retiredafter2009.

The geographic dimensions of the RRTs vary. Some RRTs consist of multiple counties within a single state, while other RRTs include multiple counties across neighboring states. The six currently established RRTs are:

  • Wyoming
  • The Four Corners of New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah
  • The Illinois Basin(including southern Illinois, western Kentucky, and southeast Indiana)
  • Eastern/Appalachian Kentucky
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvani


Additionally, the RRTs that will be established in 2024 are:

  • Montana
  • West Virginia

Deadline: March 1, 2024, at 5:00 PM PT.

How to apply: Submit a letter of interest (maximum two-pages) to Genna Patton

IDOA Specialty Crop Block Grant

In an effort to expand the availability of fresh, locally-grown produce and strengthen the competitiveness of the state’s specialty crop industry, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) plans to distribute more than

$545,000 over a three-year period thanks to funding allocated in the Specialty Crop Block Grant program in the federal Farm Bill.

Application for grant funding is available on the IDOA website and must be returned to the Department by 11:59 pm on March 22, 2024. To be eligible for funding, all projects must begin in calendar year 2025.

Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local and government entities, trade and commodity associations, public and private colleges/universities. Illinois encourages applications that benefit smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, veteran producers, and/or underserved communities.

To encourage further expansion of this industry, and to take full advantage of the allocated federal funds, the Department invites the development of projects pertaining to the following issues affecting the specialty crop industry:

  • Enhancing food safety.
  • Improving the capacity of all entities in the specialty crop distribution chain to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act, for example, by developing “Good Agricultural "Practices," “Good Handling Practices,” “Good Manufacturing Practices,” and in cost-share arrangements for funding audits of such systems for small farmers, packers and processors.
  • Investing in specialty crop research, including research to focus on conservation and environmental outcomes.
  • Supporting the growth of organic specialty crops.
  • Developing new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops.
  • Improving pest and disease control.
  • Increasing child and adult nutrition knowledge and consumption of specialty crops.
  • Improving efficiency and reducing costs of distribution systems.

Projects that benefit a particular commercial product or provide a profit to a single organization, institution, or individual are ineligible. Farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community-sponsored agriculture programs should consider submitting proposals to the USDA’s Farmers’ Market and Local Food Promotion Program.

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service defines specialty crops as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits and horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).” There are more than 3,200 producers devoting more than 90,000 acres of Illinois farmland to specialty crops production, creating nearly $500 million in annual sales fo

Illinois farmers. Nationally, Illinois ranks first for its pumpkin and horseradish production and in the top 10 for the production of asparagus, cauliflower, fresh-cut herbs, peas, mustard greens and lima beans.

Additional information about the program can be found online at the Department’s website or by contacting Applications must be submitted to the Department no later than 11:59 p.m., March 24, 2024.


IDOT Advance Draft Copy of Notice of Funding Opportunity for the NEVI Formula Grant Program Available


The Illinois Department of Transportation is making an advance draft of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Illinois National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program available ahead of the

solicitation. With this information it is the Department’s intention to allow potential grant applicants to begin to conceptualize their applications and begin discussions between the eligible entities prior to the solicitation beginning in Spring 2024.

The Illinois NEVI Program will invest over $40 million in grants to eligible applicants to support the deployment of a direct current fast charge electric vehicle charging infrastructure network on Illinois’ designated alternative fuel corridors.

The advance copy of the NOFO provides details on the program, including:

  • Funding Information: The total amount of funding available, anticipated number of awards, and the process for accessing the funds if awarded.
  • Program Requirements: Rules that must be followed to use the funds.
  • Eligibility Information: Including eligible applicants, eligible project locations, and eligible costs.
  • Application Process: The steps that applicants will need to take to apply for funding.
  • Application Review Information: How the applications will be prioritized for funding.

Please note that the NOFO is still draft and subject to change. IDOT encourages interested parties to review the advance copy of the NOFO and prepare for the solicitation to be opened in Spring 2024.

IMEC Made In Illinois Grant

Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) today launched $1 million in funding for the Made in Illinois Grant Program. The Made in Illinois program provides up to $50,000 in matching grant funding to small- and mid-sized Illinois manufacturers to support innovation and strategic advancements in manufacturing.

Applications are open now through March 31, 2024, and manufacturers are encouraged to explore the benefits offered by the Made in Illinois Grant Program by visiting The page provides details on eligibility criteria, application procedures, and the improvements achievable through this initiative.

To be eligible to apply for this program, companies must:

  • Be an Illinois manufacturer (as designated with a NAICS code starting with 31-33)
  • Have between 5-250 employees
  • Operated in Illinois for at least 3 years
  • Had sales revenue in the last 12 months prior to application date

U.S. Department Of Labor Veterans' Employment and Training Service

Notice of Availability of Funds and Funding Opportunity Announcement for: Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP), Incarcerated Veterans’ Transition Program (IVTP), and the Homeless Women Veterans' and Homeless Veterans' with Children Reintegration Grant Program (HWVHVWC) (referred to collectively as HVRP)



KEY DATES: The closing date for receipt of applications under this Announcement is 03/11/2024. Applications must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time.

ADDRESSES: Submit all applications in response to this solicitation through

For complete application and submission information, including online application instructions, please refer to Section IV. The U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA), is responsible for the grant award process of the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service grant program.

US Small Business Administration Surety Bond Guarantee Program

Surety Bonds for Government Service and Construction Contracts FREE Webinar: Wednesday, February 28, 2024 2:00-3:30pm CST

The U. S. Small Business Administration’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program can help your small business obtain a contract, and performance and payment bonds. Presenting will be Stephen Konkle, Economic Development Specialist from the SBA Illinois District Office. Steve has worked with bonding at SBA for 15+ years and previously, in the private sector, worked in bonding and as a finance manager. Topics to be covered:

What are contract bonds and why are they required? Potential contract bonding capacity

Ways to maximize your surety credit

What is SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program? Surety contract bond guarantees up to $6.5 Million Costs & getting started with bonding

Eligibility to obtain surety bonds Q&A Session

Please join us if you want to learn about surety bonds and how to increase your current bonding capacity, even if your small business has limited financial resources, little/no prior bonded work experience, has been in business less than three years, or has previously been denied bonding.

To register for this and other FREE SBA webinars, go to and scroll down to Upcoming events > See more events.

IDOA Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announces $6.4 million in competitive grant funds will be available for projects designed to help strengthen the state’s food supply chain. The program, Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure program (RFSI), is a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Applications will be accepted beginning January 22, 2024, from food and farm business and other eligible entities including nonprofits, local government entities, universities, schools and hospitals.

The purpose of the program is to assist in building resilience in the middle of the food supply chain, supporting those activities that happen after harvest and prior to retail sale. Examples include processing, manufacturing, storing, transporting, wholesaling, and distributing locally and regionally produced food. RFSI funds support food system crops and products meant for human consumption, excluding meat and poultry products which are funded through other USDA programs.

Grants are divided into two categories, Infrastructure, which seeks to expand capacity and infrastructure, and Equipment Only, which funds the cost of equipment.

Those interested should apply online at Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program ( by March 15, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. Applications from smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, underserved producers, veteran producers, and underserved communities are encouraged.

For more information, visit the USDA Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure webpage.

IDOT Building Blocks of Success

The Illinois Department of Transportation is hosting free virtual workshops in January as part of its continuing Building Blocks of Success series for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise firms interested in strengthening their skills, growing their business and bidding on state projects. New and existing DBEs, as well as firms interested in becoming certified in the program, are invited.

January workshop dates and topics:

  • February 27, 10 a.m. to noon: Accounting Practices / Financial Reporting Financial Series
  • February 29, 10 a.m. to noon: Budgeting & Cashflow Management

Building Blocks of Success will continue through April. Workshop information, including dates and times, is available through Eventbrite at Advance registration is required. Questions can be directed to IDOT’s Bureau of Small Business Enterprises at (217) 785-4611.

Through Gov. JB Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois, IDOT is helping to deliver the largest capital program in state history while promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Administered by IDOT, the DBE program provides minorities, women and eligible small businesses with opportunities to participate in federally and state funded highway, transit and airport contracts. For more information on becoming a certified DBE and learning more about available IDOT resources, visit

Illinois EPA Lead Service Line Grant Program

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim announced a fourth funding opportunity of $6,570,000 to assist communities in meeting the requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act (LSLRN Act). The Lead Service Line Inventory (LSLI) Grant Program offers grants to local government units ranging from $20,000 - $50,000 to fund the creation of a complete lead service line inventory. The latest funding round is in addition to the 260 grants previously issued totaling $9,765,766.

The LSLRN Act (Public Act 102-0613) requires owners and operators of community water supplies (CWS) in Illinois to submit a complete water service line material inventory for the Illinois EPA’s approval no later than April 15, 2024. The inventory must report the composition of all service lines within the CWS’s distribution system.

The LSLI Grant program is funded using the Local Assistance and Other State Program Set-Aside from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Lead Service Line Replacement Grant. The latest LSLI Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), and all required forms and information, can be found on the Illinois EPA website at: Applications for the LSLI Grant Program will be accepted from February 15, 2024 until funding has been expended. All applicants must pre-qualify through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act Grantee Portal.

Grantees may request supplemental funding in the form of a low-interest loan through the Illinois EPA’s Public Water Supply Loan Program (PWSLP) in conjunction with funding to replace lead service lines. To inquire about funding through the PWSLP, please call 217-782-2027 and ask to speak with the Infrastructure Financial Assistance Section Project Manager on call.

Illinois EPA Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Energy has announced a second round of grant funding with $2 million available for the development of local strategic energy plans. Under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG), grant awards ranging from $25,000 to $150,000 will assist eligible municipalities or counties in implementing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce total energy use, improve energy efficiency in the transportation sector, and build a clean and equitable energy economy prioritizing disadvantaged communities.

The grant program will invest U.S. Department of Energy (U.S. DOE) Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) funds in energy planning. Municipalities and counties eligible for direct formula funding through the U.S. DOE are not eligible for funding through this state program. Grant applications will undergo a comprehensive, merit-based review. Scoring factors will include: funding justification, projects located in environmental justice areas of concern, energy burden, energy/electric service, and partnerships between local units of governments or where planning benefits multiple communities. Application materials are available at the Illinois EPA Office of Energy webpage. The application period closes at 5:00 pm on March 18, 2024.

The Illinois EPA is investing U.S. DOE IIJA funds in projects across the State that focus on energy efficiency, resiliency, and clean energy technologies specifically in areas of environmental justice concern. For more information about Office of Energy programming, including the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant

Program, please visit or call 217-785-8841. More information on the

U.S. DOE EECBG is available at

Illinois EPA Energy Efficiency Projects Grant

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Director John J. Kim announced the Residential Energy Efficiency Trust Fund Grant Program – previously known as the Low-Income Residential Energy Efficiency Program or LIREE - with up to $5,000,000 in funding available for energy efficiency upgrades at single family or duplex residential properties. The Energy Efficiency Trust Fund Grant Program will benefit residents receiving housing assistance from a state or federal housing assistance program and located in areas of environmental justice concern. A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) has been posted to the Agency’s website.

Eligible applicants include public housing authorities, units of local government (municipalities, counties, or townships), or nonprofit organizations. Examples of eligible projects include window replacement, heating and cooling equipment retrofits, and lighting upgrades. Total project costs may range from $25,000 - $500,000 with a match requirement subject to total funding request.

Applications for the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund Grant Program NOFO will be accepted on a rolling basis and eligible properties will receive funding on a first come, first serve basis. For eligibility and application information, visit:

Before applying to the grant program, applicants must be pre-qualified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal,

IDPH Sickle Cell Disease Grant

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is now accepting applications for Prevention, Care and Treatment of Sickle Cell Disease grants. A total of $750,000 has been allocated for the program. As many as eight organizations may receive grants for programs to increase comprehensive services for people with sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. A grant to a single organization may range from $30,000 up to a maximum of


Organizations will be awarded grant funding with the goal of increasing access to any of the following: comprehensive sickle cell treatment, pain management therapies, infusion centers, mental health resources, and counseling opportunities for people with sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait. Grant funding may also support new development or enhancement of current educational and outreach programs; the goal is to provide people with sickling disorders and trait, their families, and others (such as clinical providers, health care professionals, local public health, service providers, educators and the community) with accurate, up to date, and timely information.

This grant is competitive. All applications received will undergo a merit-based review by the IDPH grant committee. Priority will be given to established sickle cell disease community-based organizations, which serve adults and adolescents transitioning to adult care and to establishing sickle cell centers in underserved areas with larger populations of people with sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait.

This program is part of an effort to meet the goals of the Sickle Cell Prevention, Care and Treatment Program Code.

Applications will be accepted through 5:00pm on March 18, 2024, with the announcement of the grant award expected in April. Prospective applicants can apply at EGrAMS : Home (; search for this program under “Current Grants” and “Health Promotion.”

For more information about sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait, go to

Illinois Department of Employment Security Workshare Illinois

WorkShare IL is a voluntary program that provides employers facing a decline in business with an

alternative to layoffs. The program allows an employer to reduce the number of hours worked in any unit of their business in order to avoid permanent layoffs. Each employee in an affected unit continues to work but experiences a reduction in hours that ranges from 20% to 60%. Employees receive a corresponding

percentage of unemployment benefits during the period of temporary reduction to offset the reduction in earnings.


Helpful Resources


Grant Help Desk Resources DCEO Office of Accountability

Email Us:

Visit Our Website:

Grant Accountability and Transparency (GATA)

Audit Report Review Process Manual:

DCEO Website –

The Illinois DCEO website includes a page dedicated to current state and federal grant opportunities as well as Grantee resources. Click here to find valuable information!

Do you have questions about ARPA NEU funding?

To ask a question or request a support call, contact the NEU Support Team at either or

To ask a question about the U.S Treasury Reporting Portal, please contact


Illinois Catalog of State Financial Assistance

The Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA) is a single, authoritative, statewide, comprehensive source document of State financial assistance program information. Click here to browse a list of agencies that have active grant opportunities.

Join DCEO’s Team

DCEO’s Team is expanding around the state. To apply for these jobs, please go to the Work4Illinois website at and use the search function to find the positions for our department.

Following DCEO & Connecting with Team RED

If you have upcoming meetings or events and would like DCEO to participate, please reach out to us. Follow us on our social media channels for real time updates.

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