Crisis Resources for Small Businesses & Organizations
(as of 9/16/2020)
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.
Please be sure that you are signed up to receive our Uptown Chamber Alert emails. We send important updates as rules change or as opportunities become available. Email us to be added to the list.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information
Please get the latest information from local, state, and national public health agencies:
- City of Chicago Department of Public Heath: chicago.gov/coronavirus
- Illinois Department of Public Health: http://dph.illinois.gov/covid19
- US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: cdc.gov/coronavirus
The City of Chicago plans to begin Phase 3 of the reopening plan in early June. The City’s guidelines may differ from state guidelines. All businesses and organizations should visit www.chicago.gov/reopening to learn more and read sector-specific guidelines.
More Business Resources:
Loan and Grant Programs
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the Small Business Administration. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. How to apply? Go here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
Illinois Business Interruption Grants (BIG) Program
The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. In the second wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic, those that are located in distressed economic areas*, and businesses that did not receive PPP loans or other COVID-19 relief funds. Round 2 will open on September 17th. We strongly suggest applying as soon as possible. Please visit the DCEO website for complete details. *The 60640 ZIP code qualifies as a distressed economic area.
Other Grant and Loan Programs:
Application openings for these programs vary, so please visit the links below for more details.
- Hello Alice’s Business for All Grants
- The Red Backpack Fund
- Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP): The Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) has compiled important information related to COVID-19, including relief programs, advice for employers, and the latest updates on local rules and regulations.
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO): DCEO has information on State business regulations, tax information, and emergency grant and loan programs.
- Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC): Our partners at the SBAC have advocated for small business support legislation and programs during this crisis. They offer many resources and information for these programs.
- Accion: Offers micro-finance options, business coaching, and other support for local small businesses.
- Somercor: Offers Small Business Administration (SBA) loans and administers Chicago’s Small Business Improvement Fund (SBIF) program.
- Local Financial Institutions: Our neighborhood’s banks have programs to assist both businesses and individuals.
- 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.
- 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.
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 (email@example.com) 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!
Uptown United & Business Partners have co-hosted several webinars to support businesses through this challenge. Upcoming webinars are posted on our events page, or near the top of this page. Links to the recordings of past webinars are here:
COVID-19 Legal Issues for Small Businesses, featuring G&G Law
- Follow this link to download a recording of today’s webinar: https://zoom.us/rec/share/xeZQCbb570VJfJWW10HefZUwO7aiT6a8gHdK_qEFy0voUrHYXuWWWAOS8G61kBZS
- If you have any follow-up questions for our panelists at G&G Law, please visit their website, www.gglawoffices.com.
Cash Flow Management during Crisis, presented by Cultivate Advisors
- 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.
- As part of our partnership with Cultivate Advisors, you can watch the full webinar here.
- The team at Cultivate Advisors has opened their schedules to help owners like you build a plan to tackle COVID-19 and come out stronger than ever. For the next two weeks, Cultivate is offering free advising hours to help you build a plan for your business.
- Don’t wait another week and fall behind. Be a proactive leader in your business and claim your free cash flow tool and advising session here.