This is the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) resources page for City of Chicago businesses impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak.

This is a rapidly evolving situation, and this page will be updated regularly with new resources. For up-to-date health guidance, please visit www.chicago.gov/coronavirus.

Please use the following navigation button to go back to the BACP COVID-19 Resource Center Main Page:

Navigation Button to go to BACP COVID-19 Resource Center Main Page      

 

   

Latest Updates for Businesses

LATEST UPDATES

   

Resources for Businesses

RESOURCES

 

CITY

  • Resource Navigators | The City of Chicago has established Small Business Resource Navigators to provide 1:1 assistance to small businesses looking for support during this difficult time.
  • Business Education Webinars | BACP is hosting a series of webinars to provide supportive resources to businesses and workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. 
  • Financial Assistance | As a direct response to COVID-19 and the strain it is placing on our city’s small businesses, The City of Chicago is establishing a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund which will help to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis.
    • Applications are available now - APPLY HERE
    • The Resiliency Fund has a team of trusted experts at your service to guide you through the application, underwriting and closing phases of your loan. Questions can be submitted in English and Spanish.
    • Some Chicago Neighborhood BUsiness Development Centers (NBDCs) are providing free remote/virtual application support for the Chicago Small Resiliency Loan Fund. Please click here for a list of these NBDCs.
  • Business Licensing | As the Department of Public Health recommends Social Distancing, BACP wants to remind business owners of the availability of online resources to support licensing. Please visit Chicago Business Direct to apply for or renew a license online. Learn more about how to use Chicago Business Direct. Please call 312-74-GOBIZ (312-744-6249) to answer general licensing questions and schedule a phone consultation with a Business Consultant.
  • Business Pandemic Influenze Planning Checklist | BACP recommends that all businesses plan for the impact of COVID-19 on their business and employees. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a checklist large businesses can follow to plan for the impact of a Pandemic Influenza.
  • Learn how to protect your business from theft during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORT PARTNERS

 

STATE

  •  Financing | The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
    • Advantage Illinois – Participation Loan Program (PLP) - Participation loans are delivered through pre-approved Illinois financial institutions to accelerate investments and ease traditional credit underwriting standards for small businesses that may not otherwise qualify for traditional bank financing.

 

FEDERAL

  • Financial Assistance | The U.S. Small Business Administration is providing emergency loans to businesses with fewer than 500 employees through the Paycheck Protection Program. The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. 
    • Apply starting April 3, 2020, at any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or Farm Credit System institution that chooses to participate. Click here for a list of eligible lenders
  • Financial Assistance | BACP is working with the U.S. Small Business Administration to provide small business assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, with loans available for up to $2 million in assistance to small businesses. To apply for assistance, visit www.sba.gov/disaster
  • The Small Business Administration has a broad array of resources available for small business support. Call or email the Illinois District Office or go to www.sba.gov/il for more information. Local staff stand ready to assist.
    Chicago Office: 312-353-4528
    Springfield Branch: 217-747-8249
    Email: DO@sba.gov

 

NATIONAL PRIVATE FIRMS

  • Facebook | Facebook Small Business Grants Program
    • 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]

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