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- Civil Unrest Disaster Loans Available for Businesses and Residents: This program is open to those in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties in Illinois that were impacted by the civil unrest on May 26th through June 8, 2020. Individuals/Business owners can apply for low-interest loans through the SBA. The deadline for economic injury applications is March 23, 2021. Apply here.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): The Small Business Administration (SBA) has re-opened applications to ALL qualifying small businesses. Find the application and further information here. Applicants who submitted their applications previously continue to be processed. Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 is the primary point of contact for EIDL inquiries. If your application was denied, you may request reconsideration via email to email@example.com.
- Employee Retention Credit: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Information here.
- Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program: The SBA Express lenders provide expedited financing to small businesses located in declared disaster areas. Express Bridge loans are intended to be interim loans. Businesses use these funds for disaster-related purposes while they apply for and await long-term financing. Information here.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): PPP provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. As of 1/11/2021, the U. S. Small Business Administration has opened PPP for Round 2 of funding. Contact your bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) or other participating lending organization to apply. PPP applications are available at participating lenders. Not all lenders participate in PPP. You may be required to become a customer of a lending institution to apply for PPP. The deadline to apply for PPP Round 2 is March 31, 2021. More information here.
○ The PPP Loan Forgiveness Process has changed substantially. Please confer with your lender and accountant to be sure you follow the process properly.
○ PPP information will be updated regularly.
- Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program: The State of Illinois Treasurer is offering loans to small businesses through banks. Banks participating in this program are listed here.
- CIBC Entrepreneur Loan Program: The program supports startup or early-stage small businesses that have completed a CIBC-approved entrepreneur training program with important working capital. More information here.
- DishRoulette Kitchen 2 Kitchen Grant: $1,000 grant for minority-owned restaurants in the Chicagoland area. For more information visit here. Applications can be made in English or Spanish. Open to undocumented business owners. Rounds close at the end of each month at 11:59 p.m. If you are not selected for the grant, then your application is automatically rolled over for the next month of grant funding.
- DoorDash: is offering grants to Chicago area restaurants to apply for $5,000 grants to defray winterization expenses for outdoor dining. Apply here.
- Emergency Capital Access Program (ECAP): Ford Motor Company Fund and the Chicago Urban League launched the ECAP to provide small grants, technical assistance and advisory services to Black-owned small businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID-19. The League’s Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will deliver the program and expects to provide grants up to $4,000 to about 25 businesses. Apply here.
- I Fund Women Grants (multiple): IFundWomen is the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them with access to capital, coaching, and connections. They have a wide variety of grants available to their members, from their monthly “pay-it-forward” grant to those from their generous partners like Adidas, Unilever, Visa, Barbara Corcoran & Systane, GingerBread Capital and more. For more information click here.
- Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Scholarship & Grant Application: One time grants of $500 available for employees of restaurants. Apply here.
- Local Initiatives Support Corporation: Created the Rapid Relief & Resiliency Fund. LISC is one of the country’s largest social enterprises supporting projects and programs to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents.
○ Small Business Rescue Fund: LISC in partnership with State Farm will provide low-interest loans from $75,000 to $500,000 to minority- and women-owned businesses and nonprofits in vulnerable communities. Learn more here.
- Arts for Illinois Relief Fund: This grant program will provide financial assistance to artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19. The second phase of applications for both individual artists and arts and culture organizations is opened from May 4th through May 11th. Apply here.
- Bartender Emergency Assistance Program here.
- Business For All Grant: Apply for grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. Applications are due September 25 at 12 a.m. PT. Application here.
- Business Interruption Grant Program (BIG): The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will launch the $220 million second round of BIG grants to businesses experiencing losses or interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act. ROUND 2 applications open on the afternoon of September 17, 2020. All types of small businesses may apply, but there is a particular focus on businesses downstate, in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs including zip code 60626) and for heavily impacted businesses that have been unable to reopen or that are operating at a severely diminished capacity since the spring. Information, including requirements for application and prioritized business types and locations, here.
- CERF+ COVID-19 Relief Grant for Professional Artists: The program provides financial assistance to professional artists working in craft disciplines who are facing dire circumstances from the COVID-19 crisis. These grants will provide one-time $1,000 grants to meet urgent food, housing and/or health insecurities. The second round of grants will open August 19th and the deadline will be September 9th. The program will focus on those facing the most severe financial pressures. Priority will be given to eligible artists who have traditionally been underserved by the grantmaking community including people of color and folk and traditional artists. More information here.
- Chicago Hospitality Grant Program: The City of Chicago has created a $10 million Hospitality Grant Program for bars and restaurants that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the State’s mitigation measures. The program consists of $10,000 grants for independent bars and restaurants throughout Chicago. The application process closes on Nov 23 at 11:59 p.m. More information here.
- Chicago Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program: Funded by the City of Chicago, this program will provide grants of $5,000 to eligible businesses for use as working capital. Applications will be accepted for a period of one week following the opening of the application period and will be selected through a lottery. The application process opens on April 28th and ends on May 4th. More information here.
- Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund: The City of Chicago has established the $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund (the Resiliency Fund), which will provide small businesses and non-profits with emergency cash flow during this health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans. Applications open March 31st. Apply here. Deadline April 24th.
- Child Care Restoration Grants (CCRG): The Governor and the Illinois General Assembly has directed at least $270 million to support the economic health of child care providers. CCRG is specifically designed to support licensed, registered child care businesses who endure lost revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. CCRG will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA). Applications are scheduled to open on 7/20/2020 and will close on 8/14/2020. Information is here.
- DoStuff Amplification Project: Do312 is offering $1 million in free advertising for entertainers and small businesses for 400-500 businesses. The grants are meant to help people and small businesses who are doing something creative to make it through the pandemic, like bartenders who have created delivery services, artists hosting shows online and restaurants selling groceries to make ends meet. Information here.
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program for Black-Owned Businesses: Each grant includes $2,500 in cash and $1,500 in optional advertising credits to be used on Facebook platforms. The deadline to submit an application is Mon, Aug 31, 2020 at 8 p.m. Eligibility and application information here.
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program: Information here. The application deadline for Chicago businesses is 5/1/2020.FedEx #SupportSmall Grants: Applications opened on 5/25/20 and will close on 6/12/2020.Each grant recipient will receive $5,000, plus a $500 credit from FedEx Office that can be used for printing banners, posters, floor graphics, custom branded boxes, and more. See Terms and Conditions for full details. Information here.
- Hello Alice Business Grant: $10,000 emergency grants for small businesses, specifically for Hispanic business owners impacted by COVID-19. Information here and here. Apply here.
- Hispanics in Philanthropy Essential Fund: This Essential Fund supports Latino-led and Latino-serving organizations with close ties to the Latinx community in their efforts to provide much-needed COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts, including resourcing communities with cash, food, and rental assistance, PPE and cleaning/disinfectant supply kits, child care, critical information and other resources needed to help our country flatten the curve, as well as provide workers with the tools and leadership needed to continue providing essential services for our country. Learn more here.
- Ladies Who Launch Program: This program aims to bring all three of their pillars to the forefront: Inspiration, Education and Community to support US women business owners impacted by COVID-19 with what they need most – access to capital and a community to help them navigate through these challenging times. Rooted in equity and inclusion, the year-long launch program provides an immediate cash grant of $5,000 – $25,000 USD, mentorship, advisory support, and amplification for women (female-identifying and non-binary) entrepreneurs. Learn more here.
- LISC, Small Business Recovery Fund: LISC has partnered with Sam’s Club and Verizon to provide small business grants of up to $10,000 to fill gaps in revenue. Apply here. Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, April 28 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
- Small Business Relief Grant: Round 6 is now open. This grant aims to help businesses with immediate financial impact due to the pandemic. The application must be submitted by Monday, September 7th, 11:59 p.m. ET. Before completing the application, review Grant Information and FAQ here. The application can be found here.
- My Block, My Hood, My City Grant: Funding available to support ongoing operations and/or inventory replenishment for small businesses located in the City of Chicago. Applicants must be a for-profit business; employ 20 or fewer staff at full operation; document 2019 annual revenues of more than $0 but less than $2 million. Maximum grant amount is $7,500. Application is available here.
- Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund Program: Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) announce this new grant to help performing arts venues. Applications open Monday, October 5. The program will provide $10,000 grants to up to 120 for-profit and nonprofit Chicago-based performing arts venues who have been closed to performances. Eligible entities must be located in Chicago, have a Public Place of Amusement or Music and Dance license, and primarily produce or present performing arts programming – including theatre, dance, performance art, and/or live music or live mixing by DJs. Completed applications must be received by October 23 for consideration and grants will be distributed on a lottery system to qualified recipients. The application and more information can be found here.
- Restaurant Employee Relief Fund: Due to an overwhelming response of 60,000 applicants to date, the Fund is not currently accepting new applications. For updates about the Fund, please re-visit rerf.us and follow them on their Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram social channels.
- Special Service Areas (SSAs) Rebate Programs: The economic impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic has forced businesses to quickly adapt to the current needs of the stay-at-home orders by shifting their operations in order to ensure continuity of their business. The SSAs have developed 2 rebate program to support local businesses.
- E-Commerce and Digital Marketing Rebate Program: Was developed in response to the COVID-19 emergency, with a goal of supporting local businesses expenditures for digital marketing and social media strategies. Download guidelines and application here.
- Health and Sanitation Rebate Program: Was developed in response to the COVID-19 emergency, with a goal of supporting local businesses facing increased costs for sanitation supplies and takeout packaging by providing a rebate. Download guidelines and application here.
- Comercio en Línea y Mercadotecnia Digital – Programa de Rembolso: Fue creado como respuesta de emergencia al COVID-19 para aisistir a los negocios locales que inviertan en mercadotecnia digital y en estrategias en redes sociales. Puede leer la guía y aplicar aquí.
- Salud e Higiene – Programa de Rembolso: Fue creado como respuesta de emergencia al COVID-19 para aisistir a los negocios locales que enfrentan crecientes costos por material sanitario y paquetería por la nueva forma de venta de comida. Puede leer la guía y aplicar aquí.
- Support Latino Business Impact Fund: Support Latino Business is a nonprofit that works to ensure their 3.3 million Latino/x business owners have the resources, connections and funding to thrive for generations to come. Phase one of their Impact Fund will provide Latino/x small business owners grants to help their businesses grow, pivot or in whatever way they need it. Selected applicants will receive grants from $5,000 to $1,000. The deadline to apply is October 21. More information here.
- The HartBeat of Main Street Grant Program: The Program will fund solutions that help small business owners respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants of $5,000 to $15,000 will be awarded on a competitive and first-come, first-served basis. A minimum of 50 percent of grants will benefit diverse-owned businesses, as defined by the Small Business Administration as minority, woman, veteran, disabled, and/or LGBTQ-owned. Grant applicants are not required to be customers of The Hartford. Applications will be weighed and grants awarded without consideration of applicant being or not being a present, past, or prospective customer of The Hartford. Deadline to apply is 10/29/2020. Apply here. Learn more here.
- The Red Backpack Fund: The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has partnered with GlobalGiving to launch The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will award at least 1K emergency assistance grants of $5,000 to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. 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. The additional application round is expected to be open from September 8-15. Information here.
- The Restaurant Strong Winterization Grant: To help your restaurant prepare for the months ahead, Grubhub is teaming up with the Restaurant Strong Fund to provide restaurants with financial assistance. Grubhub recently supported the Restaurant Strong Fund with a $2 million grant from the Grubhub Community Relief Fund. Eligible restaurants in Chicago can apply for a $10,000 grant to help cover the costs of equipping your restaurant for winter. This includes additional infrastructure to extend outdoor dining, more personal protective equipment for your employees or other needs for your restaurant during this time. To apply, submit details about your restaurant and winterization plan to the Restaurant Strong Fund. The final deadline to apply is Sat, Nov 21 unless capacity is reached beforehand. Apply here.
- The Salesforce Care Small Business Grant: Salesforce is partnering with Ureeka to offer eligible small businesses the opportunity to receive a $10,000 grant to help them through the COVID-19 outbreak. In order to ensure optimal user experience, applications will open in 2 phases. Phases are based on location, each phase will have 1 week to apply. Midway through the page, there’s a state-by-state map to see when your state’s phase is open. Apply here. Deadline May 1st.
- Together Now Fund: This collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust, One Chicago Fund and private donations launched the Together Now Fund to disburse needed relief funds to small businesses across the city. The second round of applications with a particular emphasis on South and West Side communities starts on August 21 at 9 a.m. and will close on August 31 at 11:59 p.m. The grant application is here. More information here. Types of grants:
○ Operational Cost Support – up to $4,000: to cover necessary operating costs like replenishing inventory
during the period of 3/1/2020 and beyond.