COVID-19 Resources for Businesses
Phase 4 Business Guidelines & Toolkits
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has released the minimum guidelines for businesses in Phase 4 of recovery. In addition to minimum guidelines, the DCEO created toolkits with resources to assist businesses in preparing to reopen. DCEO has provided printable signs (PDF) to assist in communicating public health requirements to customers.
General Health Guidelines for Business Owners
The Illinois Department of Public Health has provided guidance for business owners (LINK) to aid in reducing workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control offers guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces (LINK).
Small Business Administration (SBA) Updates
Sign up for SBA email updates on their website (LINK). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act allocates $350 billion to support emergency loans to qualifying businesses. The US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has created a detailed guide (LINK) to the relief provided by CARES Act for small businesses. The SBA also provides a guide to all small business COVID-19 relief options (LINK) on their website. The SBA Illinois District Office is hosting a series of free webinars (LINK) to guide businesses through the various programs.
COVID-19: Small Business Disaster Loans and Loan Advance
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (LINK) provides small businesses and not for profit organizations with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19. Businesses an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000, which can be forgiven if requirements are met. The SBA website includes an online application form (LINK).
COVID-10: Paycheck Protection Program (Forgivable 7a Loans)
Through the Paycheck Protection Program, participating lenders provide loans to help eligible businesses pay operational costs such as payroll, rent, and utilities. Up to 100% of the loan amount can be forgiven if requirements are met. More information regarding the loan program and participating financial institutions is on the SBA website. The West Suburban Chamber of Commerce has provided an informational flyer (LINK) by the US Chamber of Commerce outlining key aspects of the program.
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
DCEO has compiled a list of resources for small businesses along with helpful links. Small Business Development Centers across the state are available to assist businesses with accessing resources. Please visit their website (LINK) for more information. DCEO is also soliciting input from Illinois businesses through an online survey (LINK) about how their operations have been impacted by COVID-19.
State of Illinois Updates
Keep up-to-date with Governor’s press announcements and the IL Department of Public Health on their website (LINK).
Stay at Home Order and Essential Business Operations
Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-32 (LINK) modified the state’s original stay-at-home order and refined the requirements for essential and non-essential business and operations. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) published answers to Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) to clarify these requirements. Additionally, the DCEO published requirements for essential stores (LINK) that provides guidance to businesses like hardware stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies. The State has established an Essential Business Determination Hotline which can be reached by phone at 1-800-252-2923 or by email at CEO.support@Illinois.gov.
Sales Tax Payments
On March 19 Governor Pritzker announced a series of new measures to relieve pressure on small businesses. Specific to restaurants, the Governor announced that any eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May made late. Penalties and interest will be automatically waived; however, qualified taxpayers must still file their sales tax return even if they are unable to make a payment. Any taxpayers taking advantage of this relief will be required to pay their sales tax liabilities due in March, April and May in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20. For more information, please visit their website (LINK).
Cook County Updates
Cook County recently announced the Community Recovery Initiative (LINK) to provide economic relief to small businesses, non-profits, community service organizations and independent contractors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cook County Community Recovery Fund
The loan fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses (fewer than 25 employees and less than $3M in revenue) and $10,000 for independent contractors in suburban Cook County. Loans will be administered by the Chicago Community Loan Fund and provided by a network of community lenders. To learn more about the initiative and apply online, visit the Community Recovery Fund website (LINK).
Cook County Technical Assistance
To help businesses understand the different support programs being offered, Cook County and our partners are providing a wide variety of technical assistance, including webinars on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. For more information and webinar dates, visit their website (LINK).
Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive as possible. Please visit the Illinois Department of Employment Security’s website (LINK) to review the information to assist your employees
Below are links to several of the local area utilities regarding their response to COVID-19:
The La Grange Business Association (LINK) and the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LINK) offer pertinent COVID-19 information for businesses on their websites. The West Suburban Chamber of Commerce is hosting a series of industry-specific virtual forums; for more information and/or to register please contact Susan Claesson at email@example.com
DoorDash is offering assistance to the restaurant industry through a package of commission relief for new and existing DoorDash partner restaurants. Please visit their website (LINK) for more information.
Grubhub is offering assistance to independent restaurants by deferring commission fees. Please visit their website (LINK) for more information.
UberEats is offering assistance to independent restaurants by waiving delivery fees and enabling same-day payouts for any UberEats restaurants who request it, to increase cash flow certainty. Please visit their website (LINK) for more information.
Facebook has announced grants (LINK) to assist businesses experiencing disruptions resulting from COVID-19.