Wehrli: Assistance is Available for Small Businesses Struggling During the Pandemic

Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration is administering low-interest disaster loans to businesses and non-profits of all sizes that have sustained economic injury caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

State of Illinois

Three new programs to help Small Businesses are being facilitated through the Department of Commerce of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO):

  • Hospitality Emergency Grant ProgramBars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019. Hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels other lodging establishments) and who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019. Read more.
  • Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund: Small businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 can apply.  Small businesses within the City of Chicago can apply to a similar loan program. Read more.
  • Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program: Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less. Only units of local government recognized by the Illinois Constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale are eligible to apply for Economic Development grant funding.  This includes cities, villages, and counties.  Municipalities must not be a HUD direct Entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives “entitlement” funds.  A map of eligible areas of the state can be accessed here, see “Staff Contact Information.” Read more.

The state of Illinois is also working with local financial institutions to provide low-interest loans to businesses and non-profits negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and that would not otherwise qualify for a traditional loan. Information can found below.