COVID-19 Resources

Resources for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

Below are links to programs and resources being made available to small businesses affected by the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We will continue to send updates as new information becomes available.

Business Assistance Loan Program – Village of Oak Park

Status: Currently closed.

The Village of Oak Park has created a Business Assistance Loan Program using $300,000 in federal CARES Act Community Development Block Grant funds. The program is focused on helping small Oak Park businesses that have been negatively impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Loan applications may be submitted electronically to beginning at 9 a.m., Tues., July 28. No program applications will be accepted prior to this time and date.

Applications will be considered on a first-come first-served basis for 30 days.

Learn More and Application

Business Interruption Grants (BIG) – State of Illinois

Status: Round 1 application period is closed.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures.

Specifically, the program includes support for:

  • Businesses located in DIAs Where There Was Recent Property Damage from Civil Unrest – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
  • Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000*
  • Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each*
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each*

More information and Application

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) – SBA

Status: Active.

On June 15, the SBA began accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications from all eligible small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses. To learn more about eligibility and apply, click here.

EIDL applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Apply for an EIDL Loan Advance
EIDL Loan Application Checklist (READ FIRST)
EIDL Step-by-step Guide

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – CARES Act

Status: Currently closed.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

A portion of these loans will be forgiven if borrowers maintain and/or restore their payrolls during the crisis.  No personal guarantees or collateral are required.

Banks have begun accepting applications:

  • Contact your bank to ask if it is processing PPP loans. If it is, express your interest in applying.  If not, check the SBA lender locator to find a participating bank.
  • PPP loan amounts will be based on 2.5x a business’s average monthly payroll expenses.  By calculating that amount, and organizing the supporting documentation, you can expedite the application process.

Here is a guide to calculate your loan amount and a sample application form to start filling out.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Paycheck Protection Program Guide and Checklist

PPP Application

Small businesses can now apply though non-bank lenders, such as Accion Chicago.

Employee Retention Credit (ERC) – IRS

Status: Active

The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) under the CARES Act encourages businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.

Note: Businesses that have received a PPP loan are not eligible for the ERC program.


US Chamber of Commerce Guide

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund – State of Illinois DCEO

Status: Not accepting new applications.

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) have established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000.

  • Small businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible.
  • Businesses can receive a low-interest loan of up to $50,000 with a 5 year repayment period with no payments due for the first six months.
  • Loan funds must be used for working capital, and at least 50% of loan proceeds must be applied toward payroll or other eligible compensation, with a commitment to hire or retain at least 50% of a business workforce for six months.

Eligibility criteria and application information can be found here.  Once submitted, the State will strive to make a loan decision within 10 days, and make funds available within two days of receiving bank information from a business.

Expedited Lending Program for Small Businesses (Accion Chicago)

Status: Accepting Applications

Accion has announced an expedited lending program up to $25,000 for any businesses with a clean credit report in 2019.  Rather than conduct a full underwrite of your business, they will set the maximum loan amount based on your monthly revenues in January and February.  Click here to apply.


Access a recent webinar on Crisis Management and Cash Flow Management. (Accion Chicago)

Village of Oak Park

Village of Oak Park Cornonavirus Resource Page – For the latest information from the Village of Oak Park and to sign up for EMERGENCY ALERTS.

Chamber of Commerce

Business Resources related to COVID-19, both national and local, are available on the Chamber’s website.  This site is being updated on a daily basis.

Small Business Administration (SBA)

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Tips for Approaching a Lender

OPEDC published a blog post with tips on approaching a lender about loan modification and preparing to open a new commercial loan.  You can find it here.

To sign up for the OPEDC newsletter, click here.

To contact OPEDC staff, email or