Covid-19 Business Resources


In response to the COVID-19 crisis, there are a number of resources and links to information available.  This page will be updated frequently over the next few weeks, so please check back often. In addition, a collection of tools specific to artists and actors is listed at the bottom of the page.

Looking for virtual and other offerings from local businesses, please visit the Shop Edgewater-Community Resources Page.

Loans and Grants

The U.S. Senate has prepared a very thorough document explaining the difference between PPP and Economic Injury Disaster loans and other programs in the CARES act which should answer a number of your questions. Available here.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The application period for PPP (Paycheck Protection) begins Friday, April 3. Applications are being handled by all banking institutions that handle SBA loans. Most local banks are participating and we recommend contacting the bank where you currently have your business account, or where you have applied for previous SBA funding. We are hearing that there is a long backlog of applications, and glitches with the SBA site that the banks need to use to submit them. Consider applying for the Chicago Resiliency Fund while you wait-info below.

Things to prepare prior to PPP application:

  • check your good standing status
  • have your organizational documents ready
  • have the date the company was organized ready
  • gather all of your payroll information from 2019 and ytd in 2020
  • familiarize yourself with the application on the treasury website so you ensure you complete the application correctly.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available here now. You can apply for loans, as well as a $10,000 emergency loan advance which pays out in a few days after application approval. Another guide with SBA information for small businesses is available here.

Accion Information on New Emergency Offerings to Help Small Businesses in Illinois & Indiana. You can find a recording of the webinar HERE and the slides are attached.

Chicago Resiliency Fund started accepting applications on 3/31 on a first come first served basis.  These will be low interest loans for small businesses.  Don’t delay, apply here.

Resiliency fund loan terms:

  • Loan Amount: 3 months average monthly revenues before the COVID-19 outbreak, up to $50,000
  • Interest Rate: The fixed annual interest rate on the loan will be 1% for the first 18 months. After 18 months, the rate will increase to 5.75% for the duration of the loan
  • Repayment: For months 1 – 6: $10 monthly payment of principal for account maintenance purposes; interest accrues but is not payable. For months 7 – 12: Interest-only monthly payments. Month 13 and thereafter: Monthly principal and interest payments
  • Term: Up to 5 years (60 months)
  • Proceeds: Proceeds are required to be used for working capital with at least 50% of proceeds being applied toward payroll. The applicant must also make a commitment to maintain its workforce at 50% or more of pre-COVID-19 levels for at least 6 months.

The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund provides financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19. Application period is now open.

Facebook Small Business Grant program is expected to go live sometime during the week of  4/13. A portion of the funding is earmarked specifically for  Chicago. Priority will be given to minority and women-owned businesses. The application site is expected to go live sometime next week. 

Webinars, Tools, and other Resources

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) launched a new business resource center available online. The resource center will provide regular updates on resources and guidance for businesses, consumers and employees. READ MORE HERE

ChiBizHub, from World Business Chicago, has an excellent collection of business resources HERE.

Cash Flow Webinar – On Wednesday 4/1 we partnered with Cultivate Advisors to host a 60-minute webinar designed to help you build a system to make sense of your financials, and give you options to navigate this current crisis. There was some excellent advice about which grants and loans you should take advantage of, and whether or not to access existing lines of credit. As part of our partnership with Cultivate Advisors, you can watch the full webinar here.

Corporate ID Solutions, a Chicago business is Offering Discounted Sign Options for Hospitality & Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Impacts: Corporate Identification Solutions (CIS) wants to help fellow small businesses during this uncertain time, so they created standard sign products that will help restaurants communicate with their customers at a distance.  Please check out our collection and ask about custom requests here.

Federal Sick Leave Poster– Updates have been made to federal sick leave guidelines. If your business is open, this should be posted, if your business is closed, it is recommended that you email it to your employees.

Small Business-focused law firm, G & G Law, has put together an accessible toolkit to answer a lot of the questions you may have, especially around employment decisions.

The LGBT Chamber of Commerce is offering daily Lunch & Learn Webinars from 12-1 to aid your small business during this time. Topics include Marketing, Successful Working from Home and more.

Michael Courier Photography is offering professional, non-contact, photography services assist you with food images for your delivery websites, as well as photos of your business, to have ready for your re-opening.

TK Photography is also offering professional, non-contact, photo opportunities, as well as scheduling future appointments.

Quicker Printers has online ordering and pickups by appointment to serve your business printing needs.

Tax Relief

Delayed Due Dates for Local Taxes: Mayor Lightfoot announced that the collection of the following City business taxes will be delayed until April 30: Bottled Water tax, Checkout Bag tax, Amusement tax, Hotel Accommodation tax, Restaurant tax, Parking tax. Click here to read the Mayor’s press release.

State Sales Tax and Income Tax Delay:  for ST-1 sales tax payments has been delayed to April 30 for eating and drinking establishments. Click here for more information. Illinois will delay income tax filing and payment tax deadline from April 15 to July 15, aligning the state’s tax day with the federal government’s and giving our millions of taxpayers three additional months to file their individual returns.

Federal Tax: U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.  The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. This relief only applies to federal income tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2020, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax.  Please visit the Treasury Department website for details. 

Artist and Actor Funds and Grants

Arts For Illinois – The Arts for Illinois Relief Fund provides financial relief to workers and organizations in the creative industries impacted by COVID-19.
Chicago Theatre Workers Relief Fund  – This Fund is intended to help replace lost income to individuals due to theatre closures. The Fund is available to all those who have had to stop work and are not getting paid, including those who were on contract, part time employees and those working on a stipend which was not paid.
Season of Concern
  – Offering emergency assistance for any member of the Chicago theater community who is dealing with serious medical issues, including those that may result from COVID-19 infection. 
The Actors Fund– Emergency financial assistance is available for people who are unable to pay their basic living expenses (food/housing/health care) over the next two months. 
Free Online Workshops With Chicago Actors Studio
 – Providing online workshops, private lessons and career counseling.
Anonymous Was A Woman Emergency Relief Grant  – A grant program for women to support artists impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
Artist Relief Project – Artly World  – Any artist in any discipline who has been impacted by COVID19-related cancellations and closures may apply for assistance.
COVID-19 Relief Fund – Foundation for Contemporary Arts – A temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions.
Emergency Grant for Curators – Kinkade Family Foundation
Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants  – A new Emergency Grant for curators who are developing projects that promote artwork of contemporary and experimental nature.