COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Tier 3 Mitigation Measures - Effective 11/20/20

Due to an increase in the spread of COVID-19 throughout the state, Tier 3 mitigation requirements (LINK) were imposed statewide, effective 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 20. All detailed Phase 4 operational guidance remains in effect. Where Phase 4 guidance and Tier 3 Mitigations imply different standards, the more restrictive Tier 3 Mitigations will apply. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has released a Tier 3 Mitigation Frequently Asked Questions (LINK) document, clarifying several of the Tier 3 mitigation requirements.

Phase 4 Business Guidelines & Toolkits

DCEO has published detailed minimum guidelines for businesses in Phase 4 of recovery. All detailed Phase 4 operational guidance remains in effect. Where Phase 4 guidance and Tier 3 Mitigations imply different standards, the more restrictive Tier 3 Mitigations will apply. 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. 

Information on Restore Illinois Guidelines and FAQs

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) published answers to Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) to clarify the requirements of Restore Illinois, including additional mitigation measures. The State has established a COVID hotline for business related questions, which can be reached by phone at 1-800-252-2923 or by email at CEO.support@Illinois.gov

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-19: 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.

Business Interruption Grants (BIG)

The BIG program is a $636 million program developed by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. Funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs. Businesses must meet eligibility criteria (LINK) and applications (LINK) for BIG Round 2 are currently being accepted.

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 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 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

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. 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.