Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

Nearly $7.5 million in Downstate Small Business Stabilization grants have been deployed to 365 businesses spanning 94 downstate communities. See the full list of grant recipients here.

​With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and its detrimental impact on small businesses, the State is invoking its option to adjust Community Development Block Grant allocations to address specific needs to benefit Illinois’ non-entitlement communities in case of unforeseen circumstances. $20 million will be available for this program.  The Downstate Small Business Stabilization component has been established to provide working capital funds to community’s businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

The program component makes funds available for 60 days of verifiable working capital up to a grant ceiling of $25,000 and is available for businesses that employ 50 people or less.  Number of employees includes the business owner(s).  These funds may be used to assist private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely.

Notice of Funding Opportunity

The Guidebook includes detailed information about program requirements and eligibility, as well as the Application forms.

NOTE:  As of November 1, 2020 the Department is expanding the Downstate Small Business Stabilization program to include Essential Businesses that have lost more than 20% in sales in comparison to the same time period in 2019.  The Guidebook for Essential Businesses and the GATA Budget for Essential Businesses are only to be used when an Essential business is applying.  Otherwise the original Guidebook and accompanying Application, and GATA Budget should be utilized.  Applications that were previously denied only because of being essential may update information and reapply.  See the Guidebook for Essential Businesses for details.

Applications must be submitted by a unit of local government recognized by the Illinois Constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale. 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 (see list in program Guidebook). Applications will be made “in support of” the benefiting business and funds will be passed through to the business via a Participation Agreement.

To avoid the spread of COVID-19, all applications must be submitted by scanning in the required documents and e-mailing them to: ceo.ocd@illinois.gov

Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here: Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program FAQs

You may access a webinar recording covering the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program Guidebook and Application here.

A webinar recording specifically for local governments can be found here.

For technical assistance, please reach out to the grant manager in your area, e-mail ceo.ocd@illinois.gov, or call the Office of Community Development at 217/785-6174.

The following items must be completed and included as part of the application: