Economic Support

Sources for economic support


Your Part-Time Controller website has a lot of very detailed SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) information: Website

City of Chicago Small Business Navigators information resources

State of Illinois Back to Business (B2B) $250 million in grants, portal now open!

GCI is a Community Navigator for the B2B grant process. We are providing informational webinars and Q&A.

GCI B2B webinar PowerPT presentation

GCI informational presentation REPLAY passcode: *h9J4@$W

Thursday 9/2 @12:00pm Register HERE

Tuesday 9/7 @6pm Register HERE

Thursday 9/9 @12:00pm Register HERE

The recent federal American Rescue Plan has provided funding for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) to distribute $250 million of grants to Illinois small businesses ( <$20 million in sales).  The $5,000  up to $150,000 grants are for those small businesses that experienced annual sales revenue decline 2020 vs 2019 due to COVID of greater than $5,000.  If you were not open in 2019 you are not eligible. 

Priority given to:

  • Businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), Chicago’s South Side (excluding Hyde Park area) is a DIA.
  • Business that applied to Business Interruption Grants last year but did not receive a grant.
  • Restaurants that did not receive Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) awards
  • Businesses less than $5 million in revenue
  • Businesses not yet receiving relief grants from government programs

Grants will equal one-sixth of the decline in 2020 vs 2019 gross receipts, excluding “other income”  i.e. PPP loan forgiveness.  This is different than the Restaurant Revitalization Fund calculations.  According to your federal tax return documents, no exceptions.  DCEO is also requiring you to submit one bank statement from period April through December 2020 period that reflects your operating expenses.  They want to see they you were spending money in 2020.  Also your latest bank statement with your business address. This is were funds will be deposited.

These are grants, not loans. Can be used for a wide range of operational expenses, including rent/mortgage payments, payroll, inventory, insurance, and more. You will receive a 1099 for your grant and is considered taxable income.

Application portal     DCEO website    

Again, If you have received grants you  are still eligible to apply, those who have not received grants will be given a higher priority.  The portal closes October 13th, however DECO intends in working through applications quickly and disbursing funds.    Do not delay, prepare to apply straight away.  However, it is more important to be accurate and complete then first in line. 

Some new portal improvements.  You can start an application and come back to it later.  Also they now provide text boxes in the application so if there is need to further explain your tax returns or bank statements.

August 13th DCEO Webinar replay HERE

August 19th IL Restaurant Association Webinar replay HERE

August 19th DCEO Webinar replay HERE

DCEO’s First Stop Hotline 800.252.2923  or

Cook County B2B Hotline: 872.304.2785

Greater Chatham Initiative is a Community Navigator   Contact GCI:   Serrater (773) 644-1451

Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) Opened August 16th closes Sept 24th. NOF website

The next round of Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) is now open. Up to $250,000 in grants. Successful applicants from previous rounds had site control, bids, complete business plans – lots of pre-work. Very competitive, 1,000 inquires, 325 full applicants, 32 finalist.

August 12th 2021 NOF Info Session REPLAY

Complete details on the NOF Website INFO

NOF contact at the City HERE

Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) Large Grants ($>250,000) are now open. Rolling application, no deadline. NOF website

SBA – Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance (EIDL)

SBA is accepting EIDL applications

6/6/21 Update The SBA said in late May that it still has $263 billion in loan program authority remaining. As of May 27, the agency had approved about 3.8 million loans for about $209 billion total. The agency has, in recent months, raised the loan limit to $500,000 — or about 24 months of working capital — for both new loans and existing loans, allowing small businesses to retroactively apply for more money. 

Loan increase link HERE

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance(EIDL) Businesses can apply for up to $25,000 unsecured, over $25,000 up to $2 million is secured. Interest rate of 3.75% (non-profits 2.75%) up to 30 years. Upon request SBA can provide up to a $10,000 advance on the EIDL loan. Available to you in a matter of days. Requests are processed in the order they are received so don’t delay. If you applied before 3/31/20 then you need to reapply if you want the $10,000 advance .

  • Register here using your home address and SS# Register

SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (super helpful and available) or email- In Illinois For business inquiries: 1-800-252-2923 or

Fiserv Back2Business Grants for Small Business Program up to $10,000 Deadline Feb 26th

Stephanie Hart of Brown Sugar Bakery recieved the first grant of the Verizon small business grant program: VIEW

Facebook Small Business Grant program

Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries where we operate will be able to receive the grant. To be eligible to apply, your business must:

  • Have between 2 and 50 employees
  • Have been in business for over a year
  • Have experienced challenges from COVID-19

Facebook Small Business Grant program Opens for Chicago, Cook County Apply Here

+ GoFundMe Small Business Relief Initiative The Small Business Relief Initiative was started by GoFundMe to help small businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and empower their communities to rally behind them. Supporters can donate to the Small Business Relief Fund, which will issue $500 matching grants to qualifying businesses that raise at least $500 on GoFundMe. Learn more.

+ As part of our commitment to supporting small businesses, we are creating Salesforce Care Small Business Grants. We will soon be offering $10,000 grants to U.S. small businesses to provide capital to help them weather this crisis. Sign up to be notified when this opens

+ Illinois Deprtment of Revnue ST-1 sales tax The Illinois Department of Revenue is waiving, for two months, all penalties and interest that would be imposed on late payments by registered Illinois retailers operating small eating and drinking establishments for sales tax liabilities that are due for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods.  Eligible taxpayers are those operating eating and drinking establishments that incurred a total sales tax liability of less than $75,000 in the 2019 calendar year

Employees Worker Portal

  • To support out-of-work hospitality workers, the City has partnered with The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to launch, a portal that hospitality workers who have lost their jobs can use to access a network of employment resources through The Partnership.
  • IRAEF Restaurant Employee Relief Fund: Goes Live Monday October 19th The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund will provide one-time grants of $500 to support restaurant employees facing an unforeseen hardship due to COVID-19. Diagnosed with COVID or out of work for three weeks or more without unemployment benefits.  Apply HERE.