State/Partner/Federal Resources for Financial Assistance and Information

Financial Assistance

Save Small Business Fund– The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.  The Save Small Business Fund is an initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and is made possible by the generosity of their partners.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program – To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund – DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term. Application will open March 27, 2020.

Illinois State Treasurer’s Small Business Relief Program – The program is an impact investment loan program to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program – Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.

SBA Disaster Assistance – Low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Paycheck Protection Program – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide $349 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to small businesses and non-profits. Portions of these loans will be forgiven to the extent that recipients maintain their existing workforce or rehire. Loans can be up to $10 million and interest rates are maxed at 4% for portions of the loan that do not qualify for loan forgiveness.

Subsidy for Current Loan Payments and Express Bridge Loans – The SBA will cover up to 6 months of principal and interest payments that are owed on most existing SBA loans.

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Covid-19 Emergency Resources for Businesses – PDF of available programs and Resources

Employee Retention Credit – Treasury Encourages Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 to Use Employee Retention Credit.  Press Release

Federal CARES Act -The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.

U.S. Rural Development Grants – This program is designed to provide technical assistance and training for small rural businesses. Small means that the business has fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue.

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund – The City of Chicago recognizes that COVID-19 has put a difficult burden on our business and non-profit community. As a response to this challenge, the City of Chicago has established the $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund (the Resiliency Fund), which will provide small businesses and non-profits with emergency cash flow during this health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans.


Business Licenses – Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Licensing (IDFPR) IDFPR is providing relief from professional licensing requirements, including extensions for licenses due March through July and waivers from certain continuing education requirements.

Tax Relief– The Illinois Department of Revenue has provided contact info for taxpayer resources while taxpayer assistance offices and phone lines are shut down.  Penalties and interest for late payment of sales taxes owed from February through April will be waived for eating and drinking establishments that incurred a sales tax responsibility of less than $75,000 in CY2019.

Unemployment Insurance – IDES has assembled FAQs about Unemployment Insurance and the COVID emergency:

  • Workers laid off due to COVID qualify for UI so long as they are prepared to return to work.
  • Workers sent home due to COVID illness or quarantine, or are caring for an affected family member, are also eligible for UI coverage.
  • IDES is waiving the standard 1 week wait to be eligible for UI coverage.

Illinois State Agency Resources

Department of Revenue tax guidance
Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity business guidance and resources
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation licenses and registrations

Skip to toolbar