Illinois rolls out financial support to help keep small businesses afloat

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Small businesses in Illinois could get financial support to keep their bills paid during the outbreak.

Local leaders announced three new emergency assistance programs on Friday, geared toward providing economic assistance to small businesses in the community.

Two of the programs will give out grants, the other will provide loans.

“We’re just trying to keep our head above water,” said Salamone’s Co-Owner Rosalie Salamone. “These grants and loans that they’re offering, if we qualify for them, would definitely help us out. It would help us reach our payroll. It would help us reach our mortgage payments, insurance. It would help with everything.”

“Restaurants and small businesses are trying to keep people on board. So, whatever we can do to help them with their payroll, pay rent, or pay their other costs that are continuing,” said Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford). “And even though the revenues are not coming in, the sooner the better. I think this is a matter of weeks and not a lot of months as far as timing and when we can get money into these business’ hands.”

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program
To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. Bars, restaurants and hotels can access $14 million in grants to support working capital (rent, payroll and other accounts payable), job training (such as new practices related to take out, delivery and sanitation) and technology enabling new operations.

Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. Hotels that generated less than $8 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000. Funding for the new program comes from money originally budgeted for tourism promotion, job training and other purposes.
• Application deadline is 5 p.m. April 1.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program
To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in federal funds to establish the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.
• Application period opens March 27.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
The $60 million program will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses in every industry outside of Chicago. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and then begin making fixed payments at 3-percent interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.
• Application period opens March 27.

To submit applications or get more information, visit the DCEO’s website.

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