Under the leadership of Governor JB Pritzker, DCEO is working with partners to launch emergency assistance programs for Illinois small businesses. These initiatives include:
Hospitality Emergency Grant Program
To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCEO launched the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes. Grant funds will 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.
The Hospitality Emergency Grant Program application is now closed. Businesses that are selected to receive the grant will be notified by Accion, the program administrator, on April 4.
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.
Learn more about eligibility and how to apply here.
Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program
To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.
Communities can learn more about the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) and eligibility requirements here.