New Private Grant Opportunities for Small Businesses!
Information provided by Office of Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
- General Resources
SBA Express Bridge Loans
The SBA has announced the availability of a new SBA Express Bridge Loan program, that is available to small businesses who already have an established relationship with a SBA Express Lender.
- SBA Express Bridge Loan Program Homepage
- SBA Express Bridge Program Guide
- List of SBA Express Lenders (noted with a “SX” in the Program Authority column)
General Information: SBA Express Bridge loans are being offered to act as a bridge for businesses who need short term funding in order to stay afloat until they receive EIDL funds they have previously applied for. These funds are available in amounts of up to $25,000 and have a fast turnaround time. These loans will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan once the process is completed.
SBA Small Business Debt Relief Program
The Small Business Administration is providing a program to assist small businesses who have non-disaster SBA loans – namely 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans.
Program Benefits: The SBA will cover payments (on principal and interest) in addition to fees for six months.
Program Applicability: This program will apply to preexisting loans in these categories, in addition to new borrowers who take out these loans within six months of the CARES Act becoming law.
Loan Program Details: Please see the below links if you think that your business could benefit from these options:
7(a) Loan Program Information
7(a) loans max out at $5 million are targeted towards borrowers who lack credit elsewhere and need access to flexible capital. These loans are offered through approved 7(a) lenders (a list is available here)
504 Loan Program Information
504 Loans max out at $5.5 million and provide long-term fixed-rate financing and may be a good option for businesses looking to purchase property or large equipment
SBA Microloan Program Information
The SBA’s microloan program offers loans of up to $50,000 to help small businesses start up or expand.
- Employee Retention Tax Credit
- General Information: The CARES Act includes a Employee Retention Tax Credit, designed to encourage employers to retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The IRS describes the credit as a “fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. This applies to wages paid between March 12, 2020 and January 1, 2021, with a maximum credit for any employee amounting to $5,000. Additional IRS guidance is available here.
Key Caveat: This credit is not available to employers receiving assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Employer Payroll Tax Deferral
General Information: According to the Guide, a provision in the CARES Act allows for the deferral of the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020. These deferred amounts are due in two installments – one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022. Included deferrable taxes include the employer portion of FICA taxes and half of SECA tax liability. I still have not seen additional IRS guidance on this, but I expect some soon at the IRS coronavirus webpage.
Key Caveat: Deferral is not available to employers receiving assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program.
Business Counseling (+ Assistance with Applications)
General Information: In addition to direct financial assistance to small businesses and non-profits, the recent stimulus packages have included significant funding for enhanced small business counseling services. These organizations are well versed in how to help small businesses succeed and stand ready and willing to help your organization navigate these difficult times. Counseling resources include:
- Illinois Small Business Development Center at West Side Forward - Contact is Curtis Roeschley, 773-473-4774 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Women’s Business Development Center - 312-853-3477 / email@example.com / contact for loan assistance: Lotika Pai, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Minority Business Development Agency Business Center - 312-755-2563
State of Illinois Assistance
- Tax Delay - State and local sales tax deferment for small to medium-sized bars and restaurants. Learn more here.
- Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund - Learn more here.
- Small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000.
- Businesses outside Chicago with less than 50 workers and $3 million in 2019 revenue.
- 5-year term; payments deferred 6 months; below-market interest rates.
Cook County Assistance
- Restaurants May Display An A-Frame Sign:
Restaurants who remaining open for curbside service during the closure order, may temporarily display an A-frame sign in an effort to make the public aware you are providing this essential service. Temporary A-frame signs will not require a permit but will be subject to the following requirements.
- Only one (1) sign is permitted per business.
- Sign is limited to 3.5 feet in height and 2 feet in width.
- Sign must be stored indoors when business is closed.
- No illumination is allowed.
- Placement of sign must maintain a four (4) foot wide passage on any sidewalk.
- Sign shall not create unsafe conditions for pedestrians or vehicles using the public right-of-way.
- Sign cannot interfere with sight visibility lines for safe vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
- Sign must not be used outdoors when high winds or heavy snow conditions exist.
- Sign may only be displayed until such time as the State of Illinois has lifted its restaurant closure order.
If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact Linnea O’Neill at (847) 784-3555.
Emergency Resources for Workers