COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Back to Business (B2B) Grants

Applications are now being accepted for the $250 million Back to Business (B2B) grant program. The program provides funds to small businesses that have open since at least 2019 and have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant program is open to all eligible small businesses, but also includes special set-asides for certain types of businesses, such as: restaurants that did not receive Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants, businesses that did not receive BIG grants due to lack of funding, arts and entertainment venues that didn't receive the Shuttered Venue Operators grant, and hotels. The DCEO B2B program landing page (LINK) provides general program details, with links to the B2B grant application (LINK) and Frequently Asked Questions (LINK).

Cook County is providing technical assistance (LINK) to small businesses who would like to request help with B2B applications.  Businesses can also contact Cook County at 872-304-2785 with questions regarding the B2B program.

Masking Requirement

State of Illinois Requirement

Governor Pritzker recently issued executive order 2021-20 (LINK) requiring all people, age two and older and able to medically tolerate a face covering, to wear a face covering when indoors in a public place, regardless of vaccination status. The requirement becomes effective Monday, August 30. Face coverings may be temporarily removed while actively eating or drinking (including in restaurants) and may be removed by workers at workplaces when they can consistently maintain six feet of distance (such as when workers are in their offices or cubicle spaces).

Cook County Requirement

Cook County Department of Public Health recently issued order number 2021-10 (LINK), requiring all people, age two and older and able to medically tolerate a  mask, to wear a mask when indoors in a public place, regardless of vaccination status. The order became effective Monday, August 23, 2021.  Indoor public spaces include any common or shared space in: (1) a residential multi-unit building or (2) any non-residential building, including but not limited to retail stores, restaurants, bars/taverns, health and fitness clubs, museums, hotels, personal services, performance venues, movie theaters, commercial buildings, event venues, healthcare settings, congregate facilities, on public transportation and in transportation hubs.  The County has created printable signs (LINK) for businesses to use in communicating the mask requirement and other COVID-19 public health recommendations. 

Phase 5 - Restore Illinois

Effective Friday, June 11, Illinois entered Phase 5 of Restore Illinois. The Phase 5 guidelines (LINK) replace the industry-specific guidance that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity published previously as part of the state’s Restore Illinois plan. The Phase 5 guidance includes recommendations for all types of businesses and venues, customers, and employees in order to help maintain healthy environments and operations, as well as lower the risk of COVID-19 spread.

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 SBA provides a guide to all small business COVID-19 relief options (LINK) on their website.

State of Illinois Updates

Keep up-to-date with Governor’s press announcements and the IL Department of Public Health on 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 Technical Assistance

To help businesses understand the different support programs being offered, Cook County and partners are providing a wide variety of technical assistance, including webinars on various funding programs. For more information and webinar dates, visit their website (LINK).

Unemployment Information

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

Utility Updates

Below are links to several of the local area utilities regarding their response to COVID-19:

Local Partners

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. 

Other Assistance

Grubhub is offering assistance to independent restaurants. 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.