The Economic Threat of COVID-19: What is Illinois Doing to Help Their Small Businesses?

In addition to the CARES Act that was enacted by Congress to help small businesses stay afloat, many States are also offering their own relief, much of which can be received in addition to the federal relief being offered. Illinois, in particular, has funded several programs to assist small businesses to support their working capital and retain as many of their employees as possible.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are establishing this program to offer small businesses located outside the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in 2019 revenue, the opportunity to receive up to $50,000 in low-interest loans to support their working capital. The application process opened on March 31st and once an application is submitted, they are trying to make decisions within 10 days, and make funds available within 2 days of receiving the businesses bank information thereafter.  This program also offers a 5-year repayment plan, with no payments due for the first 6 months. 

To obtain additional information or to submit an application online, visit

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds in order to support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois through this program. Small businesses that are eligible will be afforded the opportunity to partner with their local government to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital, which will be offered on a rolling basis. DCEO’s goal is to execute these grants within 30 days of receiving applications and funds would be available immediately thereafter. There are metropolitan cities and urban counties that are not eligible due to the receipt of an annual allocation directly from HUD on an entitlement basis. Businesses in eligible areas must work with their local government to submit applications. 

To obtain additional information or to submit an application online, visit

Business InvestIllinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program

To further assist Illinois small business and non-profits that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, the State Treasurer has made up to $250 million available to financial institutions throughout the state, to provide essential economic support loans at near-zero rates to help overcome the huge financial losses being experienced by these businesses during the crisis. Under this Program, State funds will be deposited with qualified financial institutions for a 1-year term, in increments of either $1 million or $5 million (up to a maximum of $25 million per financial institution), to facilitate affordable loans to small businesses and non-profits for bridge funding, fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. 

In order to be eligible, small businesses and non-profits must (1) have been shut down or limited due to COVID-19; (2) have less than $1 million in liquid assets OR $8 million average annual receipts; and (3) be headquartered in Illinois OR agree to use the funds in Illinois. Additional information can be found online at or

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund

Small businesses in Chicago with less than 50 employees can apply for low-interest loans of up to $50,000, with repayment terms of up to five years. The amount of the loan you’ll qualify for depends on your revenues before the business was affected by the coronavirus. In order to be considered eligible for the Resiliency Fund, small businesses must have less than $3 million in revenue, a 25% drop in revenue due to COVID-19, as well as no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments. Additionally, at least 50% of these loans must be applied towards payroll. Applicants will need to provide their most recent Tax Return, bank statements from October 2019 through the most current available statement, as well as a photo ID. For more information or to submit an application online, visit

While the availability of funds for these offers can change on a regular basis, it is our position that small businesses look into available programs to try to survive. 

Written by Amanda Engelman

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We are aware that everyone has been affected by the recent response to COVID-19 but we hope that you find some comfort in knowing that we are still operational and here to assist you.

Whether you are a current client or if you are looking for family law or estate planning assistance, our team is here for you and will continue to be available to address your concerns.

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You may message us here, email our office at, or call 815-600-8950 and one of our team members will be able to assist you.

This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.


This is a legal advertisement from Sterk Family Law Group. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be construed as such. This article is for informational and educational purposes only.

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