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New Illinois State Programs For Emergency Assistance For Illinois’ Small Business Community

Updated: Mar 30


In an effort to discourage crowds and contain the spread of COVID-19, many bars, restaurants, retail stores, and other businesses have closed in recent weeks. It's important that we follow health experts' recommendations and practice social distancing at this time, but it breaks my heart to see so many business owners suffering.

Gov. Pritzker announced new Illinois state programs for emergency assistance for Illinois’ small business community, augmenting aid from existing federal programs. Applications are available now for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, and the application period for the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund opens Friday, March 27.

To help business owners take advantage of these opportunities, I've included some additional information on those programs:


1. Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will establish the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer low-interest loans of up to $50,000 to struggling small businesses.  Who is eligible?

  • Small businesses located outside the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 may apply. Small businesses within the City of Chicago can apply to a similar loan program here.


How much money is available?

  • Businesses can receive a low-interest loan of up to $50,000. Loan recipients will owe nothing for six months, then will begin making fixed payments at a below-market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

How can loan funds be used?

  • Loans can be used to support working capital. 


How do businesses apply?

  • Starting Friday, March 27, business owners will be able to express their interest in the program through a form that will be posted on the DCEO website.


How soon will businesses receive funds?

  • Eligible businesses will be invited to submit a full application beginning April 1. DCEO and IDFPR aim to make a loan decision within ten days of the submission date and make funds available within two days of receiving necessary bank information from the loan recipient.



2. Hospitality Emergency Grant Program


The Hospitality Emergency Grant Program can help hospitality businesses-- like hotels, motels, bars, and restaurants-- make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers $14 million to support working capital, like payroll and rent, as well as job training and technology to enable shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Who is eligible?

  • Bars and restaurants that generated less than $1 million in 2019.

  • Hotels, motels and other lodging establishments that generated less than $8 million in 2019.

How much money is available?

  • In total, the program will distribute $14 million in grants.

  • Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000.

  • Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1 million in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000. 

  • Qualifying hotels are eligible for up to $50,000.


How can grant funds be used?

  • Based on the needs identified in the grant application, bars and restaurants can use funds for working capital (rent, payroll, and other accounts payable), as well as job training, technology, and other costs enabling new practices, such as those related to pick-up, delivery, and sanitation.

  • Hotels can use funds for working capital to support the retention of employees.


How do businesses apply?

Business owners can find more information on the program here, and can submit an application here. A Spanish-language application is available here.

  • Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 1. Winners will be chosen via a lottery system, so there is no benefit to submitting an application early as long as a valid, complete application is received by the deadline.


How soon will businesses receive funds?

  • Accion will notify businesses on April 4 if they have received an award. Accion and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) hope to make funds available within two days of receiving the necessary bank information from the grantee.



Read Full Article Here (www2.illinois.gov)

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