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COVID-19 Small Business, Nonprofit & Worker Resources

As a result of the novel COVID-19 pandemic, we realize this may be an uncertain time for you, your organization, or your business. In an effort to support our clients and the community, we have compiled some resources that may be of assistance. Our local, state, and federal governments have implemented a number of programs to support and sustain small businesses and nonprofit organizations in this challenging time. If your business or organization qualifies for any of these programs, you should submit an application as soon as possible. Many programs have upcoming deadlines or will award resources on a first come, first serve basis. We have also provided some resources for workers and community residents. This list may not be exhaustive, but we hope that it can be of some help.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns, especially in this difficult time. We are here to help! Stay safe and healthy!

Tax Day Note: The U.S. Treasury Department has moved Tax Day from April 15 to July 15, 2020. All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.

Illinois Governor Pritzker also extended the state tax deadline from April 15 to July 15, 2020.

Small Business & Nonprofit Support Heading link

City of Chicago Assistance

Small Business Resiliency Fund

The Small Business Resiliency Fund provides small businesses and non-profits with emergency cash flow through low interest loans.

  • To be eligible, business must have:
    • Fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019.
    • A City of Chicago business address or a City business license.
    • No pre-existing tax liens or legal judgments.
    • Suffered more than 25% revenue decrease due to COVID-19
  • Low-interest loans will be given for a term of up to 5 years.
  • Loan amounts are based on revenues before COVID-19, but can be awarded for up to $50,000.
  • Funds must be used for working capital with at least 50% of proceeds applied toward payroll and a commitment to retain the workforce at 50% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

The City of Chicago will begin accepting applications on March 31, 2020.

Apply for the Small Business Resiliency Fund


ChiBizHub provides information on the resources discussed above, along with additional helpful resources. The following web page is updated regularly as new resources become available.

Visit ChiBizHub

Illinois Assistance

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

The Hospitality Emergency Grant Program helps hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of this pandemic.

  • Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and hotels with a valid license and that generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019 are eligible to apply.
  • Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in an annual revenue in 2019 will be eligible for up to $10,000.
  • Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1 million in annual revenue in 2019 will be eligible for up to $25,000.
  • Hotels that generated less than $8 million in annual revenue in 2019 will be eligible for up to $50,000.
  • For bars and restaurants, funds can be used based on the business needs stated in the application, such as working capital (rent, payroll), job training (new practices related to take out, delivery, sanitation), or technology enabling new operations.
  • For hotels, funds can be used as working capital to support the retention of employees.

Applications for awards will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 1, 2020, and winners will be chosen via a lottery.

Apply for a Hospitality Emergency Grant

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund is backed by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). It offers small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000.

  • To be eligible to apply, business must be located outside the City of Chicago, with fewer than 50 workers, and must have less than $3 million in revenue in 2019.
  • Loans are given for a 5-year term for up to $50,000.
  • No payments are due for the first 6 months.
  • After 6 months, fixed payments will be due at a below-market interest rate for the remainder for the loan term.

Beginning April 1, businesses will be contacted by local lenders to apply.

Submit an Expression of Interest

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

The Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program supports small businesses in downstate and rural counties in Illinois.

  • Available to businesses that employ 50 people or fewer, including business owner(s).
  • Grants fund small businesses for 60 days of working capital, up to $25,000.
  • The business’s local government (city, village, or county) must be participating in the program to apply.
  • Applications must be submitted by a unit of local government (city, village, or county).
  • There is no specific due date, but grants will be offered on a rolling basis.

Learn More About the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

Federal Assistance

Keeping American Workers Paid & Employed Act

The Keeping American Workers Paid & Employed Act (a division of the CARES Act) helps businesses cover payroll and other basic expenses through the Paycheck Protection Act program.

  • Small employers (500 employees or less) will be eligible to apply for loans.
  • Loans would be immediately available through Small Business Administration-certified lenders, like banks, credit unions, and CDFIs.
  • Loans would equal 250% of an employer’s average monthly payroll (up to $10 million per business) over the last year, but loans can be used for rent, utilities, and interest on pre-existing debt obligations, in addition to payroll expenses.
  • Funds used to cover payroll and payments on pre-existing debt obligations would be 100% forgiven.

Contact your bank, credit union, or lender to confirm whether they are a Small Business Administration (SBA)-certified lender and how you can access 7(a) loans.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are being offered to all small businesses through Illinois’s Economic Injury Loan Program to apply for a low interest loan up to $2 million

  • Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses; 2.75% for non-profits.
  • Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.

Apply for a SBA Disaster Loan

Worker Support Heading link

Coronavirus Care Fund

The Coronavirus Care Fund (CCF) provides $400 in emergency assistance for qualifying home care workers, nannies and house cleaners who are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. Assistance from the Fund is to help you stay home and stay safe during the pandemic.

Learn More About the Coronavirus Care Fund

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a Presidentially declared major disaster. In order to qualify for this benefit your employment or self-employment must have been lost or interrupted as a direct result of the COVID-19 disaster by the President of the United States. You must have been determined not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits (under any state or Federal law).

Learn More About Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Chicago COVID-19 Hardship and Help

The Chicago COVID-19 Hardship and Help page was created by Chicago organizers Kelly Hayes and Delia Galindo to offer a simple way for people in the Chicago area to ask others for assistance during this crisis. Whether you are a parent whose income has dried up, a struggling freelancer, or enduring any other financial strife during this crisis, please feel free to share your story and ask for whatever financial help you need.

Submit a Request for Financial Assistance

Seed Commons Worker Response Fund

Seed Commons Worker Response Fund is a mutual aid fund for worker cooperatives and worker cooperative members to address the COVID-19 crisis.

Learn More About the Seed Commons Worker Response Fund

One Fair Wage Emergency Fund

The One Fair Wage Emergency Coronavirus Tipped & Service Worker Support Fund provides cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive.

Learn More About the One Fair Wage Emergency Fund

Coronavirus Resource Kit

The Coronavirus Resource Kit is a crowd-sourced resource manual that identifies various programs and emergency response efforts for individuals, organizations, and small businesses.

Access the Coronavirus Resource Kit