Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Resources for Businesses, Consumers and Employees
This is the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) resources page for City of Chicago Businesses, Consumers and Employees impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak.
BACP is working with Federal, State and County agencies to provide business support options, and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to communicate updated guidance for the businesses, consumers and employees affected by this crisis.
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.
- March 20, 2020 | Governor Pritzker announces Order to Stay at Home to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
- March 19, 2020 | Mayor Lightfoot establishes the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund to provide over $100 million in targeted, low-interest loans to business impacted by the COVID-19 Outbreak.
- March 19, 2020 | All BACP offices will be closed to the public until further notice.
- March 18, 2020 | Chicago's Department of Public Health releases Updated Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- March 16, 2020 | Governor Pritzker announces that bars and restaurants across Illinois will close to the public by the end of the day Monday, March 16, 2020. Bars and Restaurants are to remain closed until March 30, 2020.
- March 12, 2020 | FAQ for the Public Vehicle Industry
- 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 sba.gov/disaster.
- 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.
LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORT PARTNERS
- Financing | Nonprofit Business Support Partners
- Accion Chicago - Term Loans from $300 - $250,000
- Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) - Direct Lending Program provides loans up to $50,000 for established businesses and $25,000 for startups
- Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group (CNIMFG) - loans from $500 to $100,000 for established businesses and start-up businesse
- 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.
- 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 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
- On March 16, 2020, BACP issued an alert to warn consumers to be aware of consumer fraud related to COVID-19 outbreak, such as false advertising and price gouging.
- Consumers should avoid products advertised as a cure or a vaccine for COVID-19 and should report false advertising or price gouging to BACP. BACP urges consumers to submit consumer fraud complaints to BACP via 3-1-1 or at chicago.gov/bacp.
- The Illinois Attorney General’s Office has also warned against COVID-19 scams. Consumers can also submit complaints:
- To the Illinois Attorney General’s Office’s website
- By calling the Consumer Fraud Hotline (1-800-386-5438).
- BACP, along with the Chicago Department of Public Health, is urging all employers to maintain flexible sick leave policies that allow sick employees to stay home without the fear of the impact this will have on their employment.
- Chicago’s Paid Sick Leave Law requires Chicago employers to allow employees to accrue at least one hour of paid sick leave for each forty hours worked. Furthermore, the law says that employees can use sick time when they or a family member or sick, if their place of business is closed or if their child’s school is closed due to a public health emergency.
- For updated information, please visit chicago.gov/laborstandards.
- The Illinois Department of Employment Security has recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Please visit their website for more information.