Business Resources



The Edgewater Chamber of Commerce is a participating Neighborhood Business Development Center (NBDC) with the City of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. The Edgewater Small Business Support Center helps business owners and entrepreneurs apply for business license(s) and public way use permit(s), helping navigate City government, developing a business plan, marketing assistance, product/service/workforce development, access to training and resources, assistance with COVID-related business supports as well as reopening guidelines, at a hyper-local level.


Small Business Center (SBC)

Neighborhood Business Development Centers (NBDC) Program

Chicago is currently in Phase IV: Gradually Resume. Click HERE for guidelines on this process.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, there are a number of resources and links to information available.  Scroll down to see current information about Business Loans and Grants, Webinars and Tools, and Tax Relief. In addition, a collection of tools specific to artists and actors is listed at the bottom of the page.

What to do when COVID-19 has been in your establishment: Within the guidelines you can find step-by-step instructions on what to do when an individual with COVID-19 has been in your facility, including notification of close contacts, cleaning steps and reporting clusters of cases to CDPH. The guidance document also includes templates for notifying staff and other health resources to support businesses as they reopen.

Loans and Grants

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Grant Program
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched a grant program, offering $5,000 grants to small businesses. The application is now closed. Learn more at

Loan Options for minority-owned businesses – Minorities are less likely to receive loans, and when they do, they receive lower amounts with higher interest rates. American Business Credit believes in fair business practice, anti-racism, and wants to encourage entrepreneurship for all. 

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

Hello Alice, a free, predictive technology, multi-channel platform that guides business owners by providing access to funding, networks and services, has launched a funding and mentorship program for entrepreneurs, which is open to anyone, but has a special focus on women, people of color, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs with disabilities, and those affiliated with the military. The application period is closed.
The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe have pledged to match up to $1 million in total donations from matching grants made possible by the Small Business Relief Fund. The Fund is managed by and will make a $500 matching grant for the first 2,000 eligible businesses that claim or otherwise start their fundraising page on GoFundMe and raise $500.
Time frame: Now; Ends when fund is depleted.
Amount: Through the Small Business Relief Fund, qualifying businesses that have raised at least $500 on GoFundMe can receive a matching $500 grant.
Eligibility: To be eligible to join the matching initiative, businesses must: (a) be in the United States, (b) have claimed their business on Yelp by March 22, 2020, and (c) have five or fewer locations. Additionally, businesses must (d) be listed in at least one of the following categories: Restaurants, Food, Nightlife, Beauty/Spas/Salons, or Active, though some exceptions apply; (d) have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e) be independently owned and operated and not nationally dominant in their field, and (f) intend to use funds to either to help care for their employees / workers or pay ongoing business expenses.
To start your fundraiser with Yelp and GoFundMe, log in to your Yelp for Business account, and if you’re eligible, beginning April 8 you will see a pop-up window allowing you to create a fundraiser on GoFundMe. After you complete the process on GoFundMe, the fundraiser will appear on your Yelp Business Page. Your fundraiser could be eligible for matching funds.

Webinars, Tools, and other Resources

Business Counseling (+ Assistance with Applications)

General Information: In addition to direct financial assistance to small businesses and non-profits, the recent stimulus packages have included significant funding for enhanced small business counseling services.  These organizations are well versed in how to help small businesses succeed and stand ready and willing to help your organization navigate these difficult times.  Counseling resources include:

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

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

BACP Webinars– the Chicago Dept. of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection is taking its series of monthly workshops online, as webinars. Webinars are presented on Wednesdays and Fridays for the rest of the month. This week’s topics focus on how to navigate the current business climate, and creating a one page business plan. Register online.

Free Legal Help- The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights is offering free 30-minute consultations for small businesses impacted from COVID-19. Register here for a free consultation with one of their volunteer attorneys.

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.

Building a business as a Latino entrepreneur – Latinos are the fastest growing minority demographic to own businesses. Unfortunately, banks and other financial institutions often lack sufficient services to assist Latinos, and only 12 percent of them receive loans from national banks. In an effort to combat this inequality, experts at Bankrate compiled the best ways for Latinos to grow their business and overcome the funding gap.

The LGBT Chamber of Commerce is offering helpful webinars to aid your small business during this time. Topics include Marketing, Successful Working from Home and more.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

General Information: The CARES Act includes a Employee Retention Tax Credit, designed to encourage employers to retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis.  The IRS describes the credit as a “fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees.  This applies to wages paid between March 12, 2020 and January 1, 2021, with a maximum credit for any employee amounting to $5,000.  Additional IRS guidance is available here

Key Caveat: This credit is not available to employers receiving assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Employer Payroll Tax Deferral

General Information: According to the Guide, a provision in the CARES Act allows for the deferral of the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020.  These deferred amounts are due in two installments – one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.  Included deferrable taxes include the employer portion of FICA taxes and half of SECA tax liability. Additional IRS guidance is available here.  

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