Business Resources

There are many COVID-19 resources being updated daily for small business owners and their employees.  Click for information on various Business Resources that WPBCC is receiving and check back often.

Government Resources

CARES ACT:  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. It provides for forgivable 7(a) loans, emergency grants, and/or payroll tax credits and deferral for small businesses and some non-profits. Please see the linked guide for information about the programs and initiatives that will be rolling out through local Small Business Administration-approved financial institutions, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

This guide also provides links for further specialized assistance.

CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AFFAIRS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION:  This page contains resources and information for Businesses, Consumers, and Employees impacted by the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak.  BACP is working closely with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to communicate updated guidance with the businesses, consumers and employees affected by the crisis.  This rapidly evolving situation and this page will be updated regularly with new resources.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE:  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity needs your assistance at this time evaluating specific areas of need for businesses.  The COVID-19 Impact Assessment Survey will assist DCEO in securing all possible resources for businesses.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY:  Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19.  IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance systems as responsive to the current situation as possible.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE:  In an effort to assist eating and drinking establishments impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, effective immediately (March 2020), the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is waiving any penalty and interest that would have been imposed on late Sales Tax payments from qualified taxpayers.

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION:  OSHA provides information for workers and employers about the evolving COVID-19 outbreak.  The information includes links to interim guidance and other resources for preventing exposures to, and infection with, COVID-19.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RESOURCES:  The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus.  Resources include:

U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION:  The SBA has a broad range of programs that can help small businesses through these challenging times including business advisory and lending services.  Call or email the Illinois District Office (312-353-4528, illinois.do@sba.gov) or go to www.sba.gov/il for more information. Additional SBA COVID-19 resources include:

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
  • Guidance for Businesses and Employers
  • SBA Products and Resources
  • Government Contracting
  • Local Assistance

 

Financial Resources

ACCION CHICAGO:  Accion helps neighborhood entrepreneurs grow.  Accion Service Illinois & Indiana is working hard to creatively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that threatens the health of small business owners, employees, customers, families, and communities.  In March the launched an expedited Accion line of credit application for up to $25,000.

ARTS FOR ILLINOIS RELIEF FUND:  The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund provides financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19.  This includes all artists and artisans, including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers, and large to small arts organizations in all disciplines.

BARTENDER EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM:  The USBG National Charity Foundation offers a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.  If you believe you meet the Selection Criteria and Eligibility Requirements, fill out the online application and make sure to include the required supporting documents.

CHICAGO ARTISTS RELIEF FUND:  This fund is organized by an independent group of artists in the Chicago area, not officially affiliated through anything other than a shared love for community, that is raising funds to support their colleagues in our community.

CHICAGO COMMUNITY LOAN FUND: The Chicago Community Loan Fund, with support from the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation and others, has developed a “Pop Up” call center to assist smaller organizations with the application process for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided under the CARES Act. This call center is designed for organizations that may not have a strong banking partner or are having difficulty navigating your bank’s application process.

CHICAGO EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE:  The City of Chicago Department of Family & Support Services offers an Emergency Rental Assistance program that is available for people suffering financial hardship due to a crisis such as loss of job, home fire or illness.  The program is intended to allow families to maintain housing during the time it takes to regain stability.

CHICAGO SMALL BUSINESS RESILIENCY LOAN FUND:  The City of Chicago is launching the new Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund as of March 19, 2020.  The new fund will provide more than $100 million in low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses over the coming months, targeting historically under-resourced communities with an emphasis on minimizing hardship for those businesses and their employees.  View the full press release for complete details.

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING ASSISTANCE GRANT:  The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Grant is a low barrier grant program intended for Chicagoans who have been impacted by the economic fallout from the pandemic, including people who have lost there jobs through layoff or furlogh, as well as people who have retained their jobs but have had their hours severely reduced.  Eligible Chicagoans also must demonstrate that their household was at or below 60% of the area median income prior to their change in employment in order to receive the grant.

FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY:  Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) and the Federal Home Loan Banks are taking steps to help people who have been impacted by the coronavirus.  If your ability to pay your mortgage is impacted, and your loan is owned by Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac, you may be eligible to delay making monthly mortgage payments for a temporary period.

HOSPITALITY EMERGENCY GRANT PROGRAM:  To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes.  Grant funds are available to support working capital like payrol and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increases pick-up and delivery.

ONE FAIR WAGE:  One Fair Wage has set up an emergency coronavirus tipped and service worker support fund.  Cash assistance is being provided to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers, and more.

RESTAURANT EMPLOYEE RELIEF FUND:  The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation will provide grants to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment.

SBA DISASTER LOAN ASSISTANCE:  The U.S. Small Business Administration administers Federal Disaster Loans for Businesses, Private Nonprofits, Homeowners, and Renters.  View eligible U.S.disaster areas, apply online, and check your application status.

 

GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES FROM PRIVATE FIRMS

Facebook | Facebook Small Business Grants Program

We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.

Timeframe: Opens | Apr. 20, 2020, 10:00 AM (EDT); Deadline | May 6, 2020 11:59 PM (EDT)

Amount: Offering a $4000 grant for the recipients in the US; $2500 cash, and $1500 in optional ads credits

Eligibility: (1) Be a for-profit company; (2) Have between 2 and 50 employees; (3) Have been in business for over a year; (4) Have experienced challenges from COVID-19; (5) Be in or near one of the 27 locations where Facebook operates [Chicago/Cook County is one of their locations]

Other Info: (A) Applicants don’t have to have Facebook or Instagram accounts; (B) Emphasis on Minority, Women and Veteran-owned businesses; (C) Also offering gift card and fundraising tools; (D) Applications are decisioned within a month, and are not first come-first served; (E) To complete your application, you’ll need at least one of the following documents: FEIN, Official Business Registration, Business License

For additional resources about how you can help your business prepare for and manage through disruptions like COVID-19, visit their recently-launched Business Resource Hub.

 

Hello Alice | Business for All Grants

Hello Alice, a free, predictive technology, multi-channel platform that guides business owners by providing access to funding, networks and services, has launched a funding and mentorship program for entrepreneurs, which is open to anyone, but has a special focus on women, people of color, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs with disabilities, and those affiliated with the military. Business owners may apply for grants of up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community.

Timeframe: General Business for All Grant applications are due September 25, 2020 at 12:00 am PT. $10,000 COVID-19 Business for All Grants are awarded on a rolling basis.

Amount: $250,000 in growth grants will be awarded to Business for All applicants; One grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 business grant, Two runners up will each receive a $25,000 business grant, Twelve finalists will each receive a $10,000 business grant, Three business / entrepreneur support organizations (nominated by you!) will each receive a $10,000 grant to continue their work in supporting business owners; Hello Alice is also offering $10,000 COVID-19 Business for All Grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus.

Eligibility: (1) Must be a legal resident of the U.S., excluding Puerto Rico; (2) At least 18 years of age or older; (3)Must be a legal for-profit business entity based in the U.S.; (4) Applicant must be the business owner who is the Founder and/or leading executive (President, CEO, CFO, COO, or any such other similar title.)

As an additional resource, Hello Alice has also launched their COVID-19 Business Resource Center which is updated daily, with real-world funding, resources, and support for small business owners adapting to the impacts of coronavirus.

 

 

LISC | Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability. Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, we are offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.

Timeframe: Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, April 28 at 11:59PM EST. Applications are being accepted in “rounds”.  A round is open for one week and then closed.  Dates for each round are posted on the LISC website.

Amount: Grants will be made in the amounts of $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000.

Eligibility: Applicants may apply for one business only and must be 18 years of age to apply. For business owners with multiple businesses, please complete this application based on your largest business owned. Each grant is limited to one grant per individual and business tax ID.

Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission. Priority will be given to minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.

All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.

Non-profit organizations are ineligible for this funding.  Be sure to check LISC’s Covid-19 Resource Page: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/covid-resources/ for the latest resources available to non-profit organizations and individuals.

 

The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation and GlobalGiving | The Red Backpack Fund

Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen neighborhoods, cities and countries, The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis.

Timeframe: Between May and September 2020; The first round of applications was open from April 6 at 12pm ET through April 12 at 11:59pm ET. Final grant recipients will be notified by the week of May 11. Each month, we will accept additional applications. The portal will open for applications again on May 4, June 1, July 6, and August 3.

Amount: GlobalGiving, via The Red Backpack Fund, will award at least 1,000 emergency assistance grants to majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits in the U.S. Each grant will be $5,000.

Eligibility: Majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5M, at least one additional paid employee and fewer than 50 individuals on staff. Sole proprietors are not currently eligible to apply. Businesses must be in good standing and incorporated as a legal entity, and be able to demonstrate that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing hardship.

 

Yelp and GoFundMe | Small Business Relief Fund

Together, Yelp and GoFundMe are making it easy for people to donate directly to the businesses they love and support their communities. By leveraging Yelp’s opt-in program, business owners claim their GoFundMe fundraiser with the click of a button. It will be displayed on the business’s Yelp page, giving more visibility to the fundraiser.

The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe have pledged to match up to $1 million in total donations from matching grants made possible by the Small Business Relief Fund. The Fund is managed by GoFundme.org and will make a $500 matching grant for the first 2,000 eligible businesses that claim or otherwise start their fundraising page on GoFundMe and raise $500.

Timeframe: Started on March 24; Ends when fund is depleted.

Amount: Through the Small Business Relief Fund, qualifying businesses that have raised at least $500 on GoFundMe can receive a matching $500 grant.

Eligibility: To be eligible to join the matching initiative, businesses must: (a) be in the United States, (b) have claimed their business on Yelp by March 22, 2020, and (c) have five or fewer locations. Additionally, businesses must (d) be listed in at least one of the following categories: Restaurants, Food, Nightlife, Beauty/Spas/Salons, or Active, though some exceptions apply; (d) have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e) be independently owned and operated and not nationally dominant in their field, and (f) intend to use funds to either to help care for their employees / workers or pay ongoing business expenses.

To start your fundraiser with Yelp and GoFundMe, log in to your Yelp for Business account, and if you’re eligible, beginning April 8 you will see a pop-up window allowing you to create a fundraiser on GoFundMe. After you complete the process on GoFundMe, the fundraiser will appear on your Yelp Business Page. Your fundraiser could be eligible for matching funds.

The $500 matching grant program is in addition to $25 million relief program, which Yelp announced on March 20, primarily focused on supporting independent, local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services during this period. On April 23, Yelp extended this relief program through May 25, 2020.

 

Public Health Resources

CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION:  The Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).  The CDC will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH:  Stay up-to-date on information from the Department of Public Health by visiting the COVID-19 resource webpage.  You will be able to sign-up for news alerts, see frequently asked questions, and learn what you need to do to remain safe and healthy.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH:  Find interim Business and Organization Guidance that may help prevent workplace exposure to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings.  The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks.

 

Business Toolkit

NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION:  To ensure that restaurants have the latest information about coronavirus, NRA has created an industry-specific guidance for owners and operators.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE TOOLKIT:  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has compiled CDC's coronavirus recommendations for businesses and workers across the country.  They continue to encourage American businesses to follow data-based guidance from the CDC and state and local officials.  Resources include sharable graphics based on the CDC's latest guidance for businesses and employees.

RESILIENCE IN A BOX:  Developed in partnership between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and The UPS Foundation, Resilience in a Box is based on best practices and designed to educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience.

KEY EPA RESOURCES ON COVID-19:  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing information and resources on disinfectants for use against coronavirus, as well as on drinking water and wastewater to provide clarity to the public.

 

Business to Business Resources

SERVPRO OF WEST LOOP/BUCKTOWN/GREEKTOWN: SERVPRO is here to help! During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. Call today for a proactive cleaning. If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today at SERVPRO of West Loop/Bucktown/Greektown, 773-878-5200