(As of 4/1/2020)

This page hosts information for Uptown small businesses and organizations to navigate the current situation. We will do our best to update this page as things change.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Please get the latest information from local, state and national public health agencies:

Stay-at-Home Order & Business Closures

Governor JB Pritzker extended the statewide Stay-at-Home order through April 30th, 2020. Only essential businesses may remain open. Chamber member G&G Law has a good write-up of this order, and what it means. 


Loan and Grant Programs

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program –  APPLY NOW: DUE APRIL 1st at 5PM
Grant funds are available for Illinois hospitality businesses to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Hotels and food and beverage businesses can fill out the grant application between by April 1st at 5:00pm. There are a limited number of grants available, and they will be awarded by a lottery. Read more and complete the application here. 
How to apply? Go here: https://us.accion.org/news/covid-19-hospitality-business-grant-program/


Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund – APPLY NOW, DUE APRIL 4

LISC & Verizon are partnering to  provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.
How do I apply? Go here: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/verizon-small-business-recovery-fund/ 

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund Loan – APPLY NOW
Mayor Lightfoot announced the establishment of a $100 million low-interest loan fund for Chicago’s small businesses. These are low-interest loans of up to $50,000. The City is accepting applications now. Go here to apply.  There will be tremendous interest in this program, so don’t delay. Our team can help if you have questions about this program. Download flier in: EnglishVietnameseChinese, Spanish.
How to apply? Go here: https://www.connect2capital.com/partners/chicago-small-business-resiliency-fund/

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Advance Loan – APPLY NOW
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000 from the Small Business Administration. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Apply for the Loan Advance here.
How to apply? Go here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan – PREPARE NOW – CALL YOUR BANKER
Reach out to your banker and tell them you want to apply for the Federal Paycheck Protection Program loan. This program provides loans up to $10 million, and a portion may be forgiven if used for eligible expenses such as payroll. The application process is not ready, but your banker is going to be inundated with requests, and you want to be at the top of their list. Your banker should send a list of documents and information you can compile to be ready to go as soon as the process is released.
How to apply? The application process isn’t open yet, but get ready! Call your banker, and they should be able to tell you how to prepare. If your banker cannot help, let us know and we can connect you with a local banker who can.

Arts for Illinois Creative Relief Fund – APPLY NOW
Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot announced the Arts for Illinois Creative Relief Fund. This is a fund that will allow individual artists and arts organizations to apply for grants to help them get through this time when many venues are not in operation. Arts supporters also have the opportunity to make a donation to the fund. For more information and to apply for funding, click here.
How do I apply? Go here to apply: https://artsforillinois.org/donate-and-apply


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. 


Resource Partners

General Information



  • G&G Law: Small Business-focused law firm (and Chamber members), G & G Law has put together an accessible toolkit to answer a lot of the questions we’ve been getting (and I know you have as well), especially around employment decisions
  • Chicago Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights, they have a hotline and a form for businesses, employers that have questions related to unemployment insurance and other legal issues.

Business Consulting

  • Cultivate Advisors is a small business advising firm headquartered in Chicago. Cultivate Advisors partner with small business owners 1:1 to help build & implement scalable systems so they can increase revenue, grow efficiently and re-discover the joy in entrepreneurship. Learn more at CultivateAdvisors.com.


Chamber Programs

Business Feedback: How is this crisis impacting your business or organization? We need to know so that we can best help your business and advocate for you. Please complete this short questionnaire to update us on your business or organization: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/UptownCOVID19  You can always email our team or call is if you have questions or need assistance. We’re here for you!

Keep it Uptown webpage: We have built this webpage to update neighbors and consumers on how they can best support local businesses and organizations right now. Please be sure that the information on here is correct.

Tag us on social media: Does your business have changes to hours, services, or products? Do you have a new online store? Let us know by tagging us on Instagram (@exploreuptownchi) or Facebook. (Or just send us an email.)

Update your listing on our online directory: Log onto your account and be sure that everything is up to date and accurate. Reach out to John (john@nullexploreuptown.org) if you need help with your online listing.

Support other Chamber members: Check out our online Member Directory or Keep it Uptown page for local businesses and organizations to support. Shop local and give local whenever you can!

Join the Chamber’s private LinkedIn group:  Virtually connect with other members. We might be social distancing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be social! Visit the LinkedIn Group to join.

Do you have any creative ideas for a business promotion, networking opportunity, or educational program to offer? Let us know!