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The original item was published from 3/30/2020 10:33:00 AM to 3/30/2020 3:48:56 PM.

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Posted on: March 23, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Resources For Businesses


County Programs:

Cook County Taxes, Fines and Fees Relief Package

The County has initiated a series of measures waiving various County fines, fees, and deferring tax collections to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click here for more information.

State Programs:

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are establishing 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. Click here for more information.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program – Application Deadline is April 1st!

To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCEO is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes.  Grant funds are available to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000.  Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000.  This is a GRANT not a loan program.  Awards will be decided by lottery but you must apply by APRIL 1st.  Awardees will be notified by April 4th.  More information is available here.

Low-Interest Disaster Loans

All Illinois small businesses (according to SBA’s size standards) and private non-profits can now apply for loans of up to $2 million through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. If your business has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, this program offers working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments until the situation improves. Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Apply now here.  If you are interested in a loan you should apply as soon as possible, as there are thousands of businesses that are applying for loans across the state. The process takes about 30 days.

If you have questions, the Illinois District Office is hosting regular webinars on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Businesses and other stakeholders can register for these trainings here. Trainings will cover:

  • Program eligibility
  • Use of proceeds
  • Terms
  • Filing requirements
  • Additional small business resources

Sales Tax Delay

Governor Pritzker has announced that there are 20,000 small and medium-sized bars and restaurants in the state eligible for a two-month delay in paying sales tax to the state and local jurisdictions. Effective 3/20, the State will waive late filing fees and interest.  Click here for more information.

Unemployment Benefits

For information from the State of Illinois regarding eligibility for unemployment benefits due to COVID-19 related unemployment, click here.

Additional Resources

  • If your business is offering special hours for vulnerable populations, please email us at and submit them to the Illinois Retail Merchants Association here.
  • Information for small businesses affected by coronavirus is available here.
  • Follow @SBA_Illinois on Twitter.
  • Subscribe to email updates here to stay up to date on SBA news and events.
  • SBA resource partners (Illinois Small Business Development Centers, WBDC, SCORE, Veterans Business Outreach Center) stand ready to help. Click here to find a counselor or mentor.
  • You can also email or call (312) 353-4528 (Chicago office) or 217-(217) 747-8249 (Springfield office) to talk to a Small Business Administration team member directly.

Questions?  Contact Community Development Director Steve Gutierrez at or (847) 784-3550.

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