Crisis Resources for Small Businesses & Organizations
(as of 5/30/2020)
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:
- 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
Stay-at-Home Order & Reopening Plan
Governor JB Pritzker extended the statewide Stay-at-Home order through May 30th, 2020. Some non-essential businesses may offer limited services, and face coverings are required while in public. The governor also announced a phased approach to reopening and recover. Read more about that plan here.
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.
- Chamber member G&G Law has a good write-up of the earlier Stay-at Home Order, and what it means.
- What is an essential business? If my business is closed, what am I allowed to do? All this and more is answered in this FAQ document from DCEO. If you are a nonessential business, and inspectors find that you are not in compliance with this order, you can be fined $10,000. Review the City of Chicago’s reopening plan to learn more about how and when your business may reopen.
- Prohibition on Liquor Sales after 9:00pm: On Wednesday, April 8th, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a temporary prohibition on all liquor sales after 9:00pm. Go here to read the full press release.
COVID-19: Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Business owners and organization leaders: please read the COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Employers from the Chicago Department of Public Health.
More Business Resources:
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/#/
SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan – FUNDS MAY NOT BE AVAILABLE – CALL YOUR BANKER ASAP
Reach out to your banker and tell them you want to apply for the Federal Paycheck Protection Program loan. This fund is currently exhausted, but we hope that the Federal government will allocate additional funds for the program. This program provides loans up to $10 million, and a portion may be forgiven if used for eligible expenses such as payroll. How to apply? Call your banker. Even thought the fund is exhausted, they may be able to get your application started. If your banker cannot help, let us know and we can connect you with a local banker who can. Go here for a full list of PPP lenders.
Other Grant and Loan Programs:
Application openings for these programs vary, so please visit the links below for more details.
- LISC & Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program
- Hello Alice’s Business for All Grants
- The Red Backpack Fund
Delayed Due Dates for Local Taxes:
Mayor Lightfoot announced that the collection of the following City business taxes will be delayed until June 1: 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.
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.
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need help with your online listing.
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.