A Greater Chatham Initiative program

Economic Support, COVID-19 Info & Guidance

Economic Support

Reopening & other Business Resources

COVID-19 Latest Information

Economic Support

Sources For Economic Support
Quick Links:

For Businesses

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

Greater Chatham Initiative Small Business funding assistance webinars and support

December 1st Wednesday, 1pm City webinar on SBIF

December 2nd Thursday, 12:00pm- 1:30pm GCI webinar on Verizon and Employee relief fund

December 6th Monday 6pm Greater Chatham Initiative “tales from the trenches” virtual panel discussion with business owners that have received economic support.

Registration for Webinars  HERE

Additional support: info@greaterchathamitiative.org

  • Roland Davis AskRoDavis@gmail.com
  • Serrater Chapman Serrater@GreaterChathamInitiative.org
  • John Handler JHandler@GreaterChathamInitiative.org

Small business Digital Ready Online curriculum and potential $10,000 grant

Now available online curriculum is designed to give small businesses tools to succeed in today’s digital world.  Learning modules can help your business thrive, with topics such as SEO, working remotely and finance management.  Learning modules, expert coaching, peer networking and more.

Register for free online curriculum.   Complete two courses or one coaching event and then be eligible ro apply for a Verizon Small business Digital Ready $10,000 grant.

GCI information sessions click here for link

  • December 2nd 1pm Verizon and ILR employee grants

More program details HERE

Program sign-up HERE

TIF corridors of interest, application period opening December 1st, closing December 30th, 5pm

SBIF Program

The City of Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) promotes economic development by providing small businesses with reimbursable grants for permanent building improvement costs. SBIF grants use local Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenue to reimburse you for the pre-approved repair or rehab of your business facilities or adjacent land acquisition.

SBIF grants are available for commercial and industrial businesses and property owners.  No residential. SBIF  provides grants up to $150,000 to commercial businesses for 90% of the costs of permanent building improvements such as storefront renovations, building systems, interior remodeling, roof replacement.

Applications are pretty elementary.  Not looking for architectural drawings or contractor estimates. You need to provide “well-informed best guess” that can be used to evaluate the overall scope of the project.  Complete an itemized project budget  (plumbing $10,000  electrical $15,000…)   No project work started nor construction expenses paid prior to the commitment letter will be eligible.

Maximum grant on a property will be reduced dollar for dollar by any direct city financial assistance (Retail Thrive, NOF..) in the prior three years.  The SBIF grant is a reimbursement for a percentage of eligible project costs. Project costs need to be covered or financed by applicants “up front”.

GCI information sessions click here for link

  • December 1st 1pm City of Chicago informational webinar
  • December 2nd 1pm Verizon and ILR employee grants
  • December 6th Virtual panel discussion with former grantees

Your address eligible?:  Check HERE  

Four districts of interest:

67th / Wentworth TIF Details

75th Street to Cottage Grove, 79th Street, 67th, 71st

87th / Cottage Grove  TIF Details

Cottage Grove, West on 79th, 87th

Avalon Park / South Shore TIF Details

79th East of the Skyway

79th / Vincennes TIF Details

West of the Dan Ryan

Rules and eligibility

Applicants are selected by lottery.  Priority given to those applicants in Invest South/West Corridors.  Target Corridors.  Max grant on a property will be reduced dollar for dollar by any direct city financial assistance (Retail Thrive, NOF..) in the prior three years.  Required to spend at least 10% of the project  on an exterior improvement.

Complete rules and eligibility – please read through  HERE

Project planning and documentation:


Application Link

Help Somercor

sbif@somercor.com (312) 360-3300

State of Illinois Back to Business (B2B) $250 million in grants (November 30th, $79 million has been granted). Deadline to apply has passed and application portal is now closed

See the latest list of grantees by zip code: HERE

Neighborhood Opportunity Fund (NOF) closed Sept 24th. NOF website

Finalist should be announced in January. Next round of NOF opening for applications February/March time frame. Start your planning now.

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)

EIDL application period ending December 31st

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 $15,000 advance on the EIDL loan. Available to you in a matter of days.

New revisions:

  • Deadline for application extended until December 31st
  • Maximum limit raised to $2 million
  • Loan payback is deferred 24 months after signing
  • eligible uses for these loan funds have been expanded
  • EIDL Advance loan increased to $15,000
  • EIDL Advance Loan: Are you a small business owner/manager? Is your business still struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • revenues in 2019 verses the same 8 week period (two months) in 2020 down 30% – $10,000
    • revenues in 2019 verses the same 8 week period (two months) in 2020 down 50% – an additional $5,000 totaling $15,000
    • Eligibility to receive up to $15,000 in Advance funding from SBA that does not need to be repaid (Targeted EIDL Advance and Supplemental Targeted Advance).
    • “Advances” are similar to a grant, but without the typical requirements that come with a U.S. government grant.
    • To receive an advance, you must first apply for a COVID-19 EIDL. You do not need to accept the loan or be approved for the loan to receive an advance. Once you apply for the loan, SBA will invite you via email to apply for one of the advance programs if your business is in a low-income area.

If you received an advance of less than $10,000 you are eligible to receive the remainder and perhaps the secondary $5,000.

SBA-EIDL general info website HERE

December 6th Greater Chatham Initiative “tales from the trenches” virtual panel discussion with business owners that have received economic support register HERE

DCEO is partnering with the staff of the SBA offices in Illinois to share an update on the SBA COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. In this 1-hour webinar, you will learn about new enhancements to the SBA COVID EIDL program including: EIDL Advance Loan Upcoming webinars to learn how to apply for EIDL Advance loan:

Webinars: Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO)-Office of Regional Economic Development’s (RED) event page by clicking HERE.

SBA will host virtual office hours to provide information about the EIDL program. Use the link below to log in at the designated time.

  • Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. Join here
  • Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – 2:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. Join here

To be reconsidered or to ask for a loan increase for your existing EIDL loan, please send information and applicable documents to pdcrecons@sba.gov

SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (super helpful and available) or email-   disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. In Illinois For business inquiries: 1-800-252-2923 or CEO.support@illinois.gov

Paycheck Protection Program

For general information regarding the now closed PPP loan, please click HERE. Existing borrowers could potentially apply for forgiveness directly with the SBA. For more information, please click HERE.

Paycheck Protection Program borrowers: If your loan is $150,000 or less, you may be eligible to apply for direct forgiveness through SBA using our online portal. Follow the steps below.

  1. Find out if your lender is participating
  2. Watch a video about how to use the portal.
  3. Apply for forgiveness.

For additional information, visit the SBA website.

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

For Employees

ChiServes.com Worker Portal

  • To support out-of-work hospitality workers, the City has partnered with The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to launch ChiServes.com, 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: Open now until August 31, 2022 

The Illinois Restaurant Association Employee Relief Fund(IRAEF) will offer emergency assistance grants to Illinois food and beverage workers facing an unanticipated hardship within the past 90 days such as: accident, illness, injury, death of an immediate family member or natural disaster. All grant requests will be reviewed. The grants cover costs of living expenses for life-altering events and range from $250-$1500.

You will need 3 of the 4 following documents to fill out the application:

Document One: Proof of Illinois residency (Valid Illinois License or State ID)
Document Two: Pay Stub from the current food service establishment where you are employed for a minimum of 90 days
Document Three: Proof of hardship
Document Four: Additional documentation if applicable (not required)

The applications for the IRAEF Restaurant Employee Relief Fund are currently open and the grants are awarded on a rolling basis. Apply Here

GCI information sessions click here for link

  • December 2nd 1pm Verizon and ILR employee grants

Application link:  https://www.illinoisrestaurants.org/page/ReliefFundApplication

Chicago Reopening and other Business Resources

Over 50% of the business licenses in Greater Chatham (Chatham, Auburn-Gresham, Avalon Park and Greater Grand Crossing) and South Shore communities are held by Food and Beverage businesses.


July 1st Chicago Minimum Wage increases
chicago-labor-standards-july-2019-min-wage-and-sick-leave Download


Support your open local restaurants for pick-up & delivery List of RESTAURANTS

IRA webinar 30 Restaurant Marketing Ideas in 30 Minutes Webinar HERE

IRA Nov 19th webinar replay on Exploring New Revenue streams for restaurants


RestaurantOwner.com COVID Resource Library


CSSI Culinary H.E.L.P. Resource Podcasts and worksheets HERE


Working Credit – credit score improvement

Business owners and employees can receive consulting to improve your credit score Sign up for a session with our friends at Working Credit scheduling HERE


4/29/21 City of Chicago Capacity Restrictions
042921-capacity-limitations-city-of-chicago-phase-4-guidelines Download


March 2nd, City of Chicago Restaurant and Bars open to 50 patrons or 50% capacity, 6 per table, 1am 020321-50-expansion-of-operating-hours-and-increased-capacity-to-come-into-effect-immediately-bacp-update Download  

City Resource page


Liquor licenses extended until March 2021
Due to the hardships on liquor license holders as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, all licenses with a renewal date of March 31, 2020 or after are automatically extended to March 31, 2021.
Details HERE


City of Chicago Reopening Businesses Portal
Important Chicago Reopening Notice – check out Reopening Portal


Need cash fast for your business? Kabbage online no fee digital gift certificates
Customers can purchase a gift certificate, business gets the cash right away, customer uses it sometime in the future. Easy to set up on the Kabbage platform. Business gets all the certificate value ($15-$500) less credit card fees, paid in days. Kabbage Help Small Business

COVID-19 Information

Links to sites for the latest in COVID-19 information

City of Chicago COVID Dashboard
CDC what you need to know Latest Response
State of Illinois COVID-19 Latest Response
Illinois COVID testing sites Sites
City of Chicago Latest Response
UofC Polsky Small Business Center Latest Response
UofC Community Support Programs
Illinois Restuarant Association Latest Response