State/Partner/Federal Resources for Financial Assistance and Information

Financial Assistance

Save Small Business Initiative– The Save Small Business Initiative provides financial assistance information, as offered as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

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.

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

U.S. Small Business Administration Funding Programs – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a variety of funding programs available.

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.

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.



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