Small Business Resources

Rogers Park Business Alliance is proud of the caring, work ethic, dedication and resiliency of our community. We firmly believe that, together, we will meet the challenge that we are all faced with today and going forward.  

Out of an abundance of love and concern for the health of our community we are closing our offices. Based on recommended precautionary measures and public health guidelines, team RPBA will be working remotely until given the all clear. We are available via phone and email. We appreciate your patience at this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (773) 508-5885 or helpdesk@rpba.org.

You can view our growing list of Rogers Park businesses that are open and/or receiving donations. You can also checkout the Chicagoland Dining at a Distance list. 

Financial Assistance

  • Bartender Emergency Assistance Program 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.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL): The Small Business Administration (SBA) as of 5/2/2020 is only able to accept applications from Agriculture Businesses.  Applicants who submitted their applications previously continue to be processed. Information here. Disaster Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 is the primary point of contact for EIDL inquiries.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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 Relief Grant: LISC is pleased to announce Small Business Relief Grants which are part of LISC’s Rapid Relief & Recovery Fund programs to help businesses with immediate financial impact due to the pandemic. As of 5/20/2020, applications for round 3 of funding are closed.  Register for updates and review LISC’s Grant Information Overview and FAQ, which can be found here.   
    • 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.
    • Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Register to receive email updates on the program here.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): PUA launched on May 11, 2020. It provides up to 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals not typically eligible for unemployment benefits, including independent contractors and sole-proprietors who have become unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19. Please note: You must apply for regular unemployment BEFORE you can apply for PUA. More information here.  
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is currently on its second phase for PPP. As of 5/22/2020, some lenders are still accepting applications for PPP based on available appropriations funding. Contact your bank, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Credit Union or participating Fintech (PayPal, Kabbage, Quickbook, Square, etc.) to apply. Find lenders by searching your zip code here.
    • Is your business, nonprofit or church interested in PPP Loan but don’t know where to start? American Business Immigration Coalition could be the perfect place to help you! They specialize in assisting businesses and organizations owned and operated by people of color and/or independent contractors/gig workers, agriculture employers and growers. Complete this form. Larry, Vena or James will call you about the next steps.
    • Payback Protection Forgiveness Information is here
  • The Red Backpack Fund: As of 5/12/2020, this funding option is closed to new applicants. 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 portal will open for applications again on June 1, July 6 and August 3. Information here

CLOSED

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program: Information here. The application deadline for Chicago businesses is 5/1/2020.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 TwitterFacebook, 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.
  • 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.

Resources

  • Alderwoman Maria Hadden 49th Ward: Visit her website for resources and community information here.
  • Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP): Has put together an FAQ document with answers to the many questions facing restaurant and bar.
  • CARES ACT Updates
    • CARES Act Summary: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky created a stimulus package summary found here. For updates on implementation and access to some of these provisions can be found in this page.
    • Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act: U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship drafted a guide, it can be found here.
  • Center for Disease Control & Prevention: COVID-19 national updates, hereStop the spread of germs, PDF here.
  • ChiBizHub: Has created a small business portal.
  • Chicago Bilingual Landlord Association/Spanish Coalition for Housing: They provide assistance to both commercial and residential property owners. Information here.
  • Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund: In collaboration with the City of Chicago, The Chicago Community Trust and United Way of Metro Chicago launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund to unite the funds raised by Chicago’s philanthropies, corporations and individuals to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the region. Information here.
  • Chicago Department of Public Health: Created the Guidance for Business and Employers, here.
  • Chicago COVID Resource Finder: The website is maintained by City Bureau, a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism lab based on the South Side of Chicago. The website was created to help people access updated, verified information for Chicago and Cook County during the coronavirus pandemic. Visit here.
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce: Resource page here.
  • ComEd: Response to COVID-19 here.
  • Community Law Project: Formerly called the Community Law Project, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee offers pro bono legal services. Information here.
  • Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, COVID-19 Arts Community Resources.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Has an alert page to avoid Coronavirus scams, here.
  • GoFundMe: Find information on how to start a campaign here.
  • Goldman Sachs: Has created a US Small Business Resource Center here.
  • Governor Pritzker’s: Provided FAQs regarding the ‘stay at home’ order, read here.
  • GrubHub: Temporarily suspending collection in commission payments from impacted independent restaurants nationwide. More information here.
  • Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: Created an Essential Businesses & Operations FAQ and have a chatbot feature to assist with inquiries.
  • Illinois Department of Employment Securities (IDES): There are new guidelines for independent contractors and 1099 filers seeking unemployment benefits. IDES now recommends ALL unemployed individuals to apply for benefits immediately, regardless of worker designation. Independent contractors, self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and 1099 workers are now eligible for up to 39 weeks of benefits under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program in the CARES Act. However, IDES has emphasized that an individual must first be denied unemployment benefits in order to qualify for PUA unemployment. Once an individual receives a denial letter, it will become the basis for approval under a subsequent PUA application. Information here.
  • Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) Taxpayer Information: IDOR has provided contact info for taxpayer resources while taxpayer assistance offices and phone lines are shut down. Information here.
    • Penalties and interest for late payment of sales taxes owed from February through April will be waived for eating and drinking establishments that incurred a sales tax responsibility of less than $75,000 in CY2019. Information here.
    • To mitigate some of the economic pressure being felt by local businesses, the City will extend tax payment remittances for the months of February, March and April 2020 until June 1st. Information here.
  • Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC): created an FAQ in response to Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order that mandates the closure of on-premise dining in Illinois restaurants. The FAQ will help restaurants with “combined” on and off-premises liquor license holders gain clarification on what is allowed. Businesses that are unsure about the classification of their state liquor license should contact the ILCC for additional information.
    • Liquor licenses expire on the last day of each month. Due to the hardships on liquor license holders as a result of the COVID-19, all licenses expiring on March 31, 2020, April 30, 2020, and May 31, 2020 are extended until July 31, 2020. For more information please go to ILCC Liquor License Extensions.
  • Illinois Restaurant Association: Find COVID-19 resources here.
  • Illinois Unemployment Insurance: The state’s unemployment program has been opened for those temporarily out of work due to COVID-19. The website has been up and down due to heavy traffic, but they can also be reached by phone as 1-800-244-5631.
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): Ensures safe and healthful working conditions for working individuals by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor. You can read the Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 here.
  • Rogers Park Community Response: Find out about volunteer opportunities and services provided here.
  • Small Business Administration (SBA): Find loan resources here. Find daily updates including webinars for small businesses here.
  • Small Business Advocacy Council: Is gathering insight and data to assist with the formation of policy initiatives that can help Chicago businesses weather this storm. While it would be helpful for business owners, entrepreneurs and others supported by the small business community to identify themselves on the survey, please feel free to complete the form anonymously. You also do not need to complete every inquiry on the survey. Please only provide the information you feel comfortable sharing. SBAC will immediately pass completed surveys onto the Mayor’s team. Survey here.
  • Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights: Learn your rights before asking for a loan and stay away from predatory lenders here.
  • State of Illinois: Resource page here.

Marketing Tips

Share your specials, your hours of operations, your delivery and shipping alternatives here. Anything that you are doing to promote your business. We will share it on our social media accounts and through our weekly email blast that goes out on Wednesdays.

Announcements / Listings / Services

  • Let customers know if you are offering delivery and curbside pick up.
  • Announce on your website and social media accounts if you are closing or remaining open.

Donations / Fundraisers

  • Rogers Park Food Not Bombs is looking for donations of food that restaurants perhaps might not be able to use. Fill out for here.
  • Submit your fundraiser to Chicago Service Relief directory here. You can also find a business to support.

Gift Cards

  • Businesses can set up an account with Square to create eGift Cards that can be sold online. Every business receives their own links that can be shared on social media and websites. Click here to sign up.
  • Yiftee can provide gift cards to sell on Facebook. Info here.
  • If you need help setting up your gift card contact Rachel at rbowen@rpba.org.

List your business services for free below (delivery, curbside, take out, etc.)

  • Add your restaurant/pub to the Dining at a Distance list for customers to find out if you are open and offering pickup, delivery or curbside service. Here.
  • Send your restaurant information to Chicago Tribune to be included in their list here.

Resources

  • We have compiled list of ways customers can support businesses that you can use to encourage individuals to shop local, here.
  • We created signs for food & beverage businesses that you can print and for your windows to display your hours and your services. If you can’t print let us know and we will make sure you get one, here.

Stay in touch and check back for updates.

For more information call 773-508-5885 or email us at info@rpba.org.

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Rogers Park Business Alliance
1448 W. Morse Ave.
Chicago, IL 60626
Phone: 773.508.5885
Fax: 773.508.9488
Email: info@rpba.org