State / Partner / Federal Resources for Financial Assistance and Information

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 Loans & Economic Injury Disaster Loans  –In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Recipients do not have to be approved for a loan in order to receive the advance, but the amount of the loan advance will be deducted from total loan eligibility. SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on June 15 to qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.

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.

Rebuild Distressed Communities Program – Rebuild Distressed Communities is a $25 million economic recovery program to support Illinois businesses that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during protest and demonstrations on or after May 25th, 2020. Through this program, a grant administrator (or administrators) will reimburse the costs to repair structural damages that have already been performed, including repairs to storefronts and entrances, improving electrical systems, and restoring exterior work. For work yet to be completed, the administrator(s) will partner with local contractors and pay for them to perform the work. Projects that were denied coverage by an insurance company are eligible, but must include documentation proving denial or lack of coverage. The program will prioritize small businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, businesses that have a high community impact – such as grocery stores – and businesses in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment.  It also includes provisions to prioritize partnerships with BEP-certified contractors, including minority- and women-owned businesses, to do the repair work.

City of Peoria Small Business Assistance Grant Program – On Monday, June 22nd, the City of Peoria launched a Small Business Assistance Program to provide economic support to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over $1,000,000 is dedicated to provide three months’ assistance for specific fixed operating expenses such as rent, mortgage, utility payments, internet service, garbage service, insurance, and other fixed debt service.  The maximum award is $15,000 for small restaurant businesses with 6-50 employees. All other eligible businesses are eligible for up to $7,500. A lottery will be held on Tuesday, July 7th to select the order in which businesses receive funding.  Applicants do not need to be present to be selected. Applications are due by 3pm on July 2. The program will provide assistance for specific fixed operating expenses, such as rent, mortgage, utility payments, internet service, garbage service, insurance, and other fixed debt service. Payment is primarily reimbursement-based with limited option of pre-payment for a fixed cost. Maximum grant award is based on the size and type of business. A lottery will be held to select fifty businesses to receive the grant funding.

Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers and is funded by the CARES Act. In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Additional priority will be given to businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), or low-income areas that have had high rates of COVID-19 cases. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by experiencing eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount since March. Apply between June 26 and July 7 at 5:00 p.m.




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

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