COVID-19

Please find resources below to assist small businesses during COVID-19

  • Phase 4 Reopening Guidelines for Businesses
    To prepare businesses and employers to implement new and updated safety guidelines in Phase 4, the State of Illinois has developed a business toolkit complete with signage, posters, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations.
    Phase 4 guidelines include five new industry categories and updated recommendations for the existing categories from Phase 3. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines.
    Find complete information at: https://dceocovid19resources.com/restore-illinois/restore-illinois-phase-4/
  • Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)
    If your business experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures, you may qualify for a new grant.
    The program includes $20 million for bars and restaurants, barbershops and salons, or gyms and fitness centers unable to offer outside service, providing at least 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each.
    Applications and more information available at: https://bit.ly/BIGGrants
  • Cook County Community Recovery Fund is offering one-time, zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for eligible suburban small businesses and up to $10,000 for independent contractors in suburban Cook County through the COVID-19 pandemic. Click for more information or to apply!
  • !!IMPORTANT NOTICE!! CHICAGO HEIGHTS BUSINESSES – PLEASE READ RULES FOR REOPENING You must strictly abide by the enclosed rules published by the Illinois Department of Commerce, including wearing of masks and arranging your service area seating to comply with social distancing. For restaurants and bars that have not previously established outside serving areas, before you commence outside service, you must prepare a handwritten plan/diagram outlining your intended design and service area and submit for review and approval by Code Enforcement Director Gary Miller (Tx# (708) 756-5328. You are NOT AUTHORIZED to begin outside service until formal approval is issued by Mr. Miller. For further information regarding COVID-19 Restore Illinois policies and rules CLICK HERE or contact ceosupport@illinois.gov. CLICK HERE to read the FULL NOTICE.
  • On Tuesday, May 5th, Governor Pritzker released Restore Illinois, a five-phased plan that will reopen our state. The plan recognizes that the economy will start growing again when consumers feel that it is safe. To prepare businesses and employers to implement the new safety guidelines and to bring many residents back to work, the State of Illinois has developed a business toolkit complete with signage, training checklists, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest and greatest public health recommendations. Get the Toolkit
  • (May 6) The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has created a guide to help business navigate emergency aid resources during COVID-19. Get the guide
  • (May 2) The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) can provide tailored guidance to businesses regarding essential and non-essential rules. We will also deliver information on how businesses that are allowed to operate may do so safely and under the latest public health guidance. Click to learn more.
  • (May 1) Governor Pritzker’s Stay-at-Home order extended, with exceptions. Read full list here: https://www.iml.org/page.cfm?key=23857&slide=408
  • The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) in partnership with the strategy consulting firm, Milpa Services, are conducting a statewide survey to measure the COVID-19 impact on Latinx business owners in Illinois. If you are a Latinx business owner in Illinois, please consider completing the 8-10 minute survey in English or Spanish. Deadline to complete the survey is May 15, 2020
  • DCEO is offering a variety of webinars for all of our communities impacted by COVID19.

    COVID-19 Resources: Online with OMEE
    The Business Development Managers from OMEE will provide you with the latest updates regarding federal and state programs and answer any questions regarding available resources. This is an open online conversation with OMEE constituents (racial/ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran – owned businesses).

    To register for one or more of the following dates and times, please click here.
    Dates and Times:
  • Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    COVID-19 Resources for African American Small Business Owners

    DCEO’s African American Business Development Manager Matt Simpson will be hosting a series of webinars focusing on African American small businesses. Matt will be joined by a representative from the Small Business Administration to discuss the federal programs that are available. Please note, the below webinars are open to all Illinois small business owners. However, DCEO recognizes that there are unique challenges that African American business owners face and will speak to those concerns in this webinar series.

    If you have questions, please contact Matt at matthew.simpson@illinois.gov

    Dates & Times:

    Friday, May 8, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – North Central, Northern Stateline, Northwest, West Central, and East Central Regions (Peoria, Decatur, Champaign, Quad Cities, Galesburg) please register at https://bit.ly/3b9Kknj

    Friday, May 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. – Northeast Region (Chicago South Suburbs, Dolton, Riverdale, South Holland, Thornton, Lansing) please register at https://bit.ly/2RDzyhl

    COVID-19 Resources for Latinx Small Business Owners
    DCEO’s Latino Business Development Manager Diana Alfaro will be hosting a series of webinars focusing on Latinx small businesses in collaboration with DCEO’s Team RED – Regional Economic Development member, Manuel Lopez, in English or Spanish. Please note, the below webinars are open to all Illinois small business owners. However, DCEO recognizes that there are unique challenges that Latinx business owners face and will speak to those concerns in this webinar series. 

    If you have questions, please contact Diana at diana.alfaro@illinois.gov. The web link will be sent the day before. Please note, if you can’t make these webinars, there are additional ones focusing on Latinx small businesses coming.

    COVID-19 Resources for Latinx Small Business Owners (SPANISH)

    El Departamento de Comercio y Oportunidad Económica (DCEO por sus siglas en inglés) tendrá un seminario web (webinar) para explicar los recursos disponibles para aquellos negocios pequeños impactados por el coronavirus. Antes del evento, usted recibirá un correo electrónico con los detalles para participar.

    Martes, 28 de April de 2020 (Español) – Coanfitrión: Cámara de comercio hispana de Peoria (Illinois central enfocado), 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (CDT), para registrarse hacer clic aquí
  • On Friday, May 15th, 2020 at 2:00p.m. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Regional Economic Development Team, Office of Minority Economic Empowerment, and Small Business Association will be hosting technical assistance webinars specifically for African American Businesses and Workers. Click here to Learn more & Register
  • Mayor Gonzalez Urges Chicago Heights Businesses to Seek Federal Payroll Money / González urge a las empresas de Chicago Heights a buscar dinero de nómina federal
  • Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce
  • Flow Chart: Essential v. Non-Essential Businesses
  • Local/regional points of contact who are available to assist impacted businesses
  • IL. Small Business Emergency Loan DCEO is offering small businesses located outside of Chicago, with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019, low interest loans up to $30,000
  • Hospitality and Emergency Grant. Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor, who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019, along with hotels with a valid license, who generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019, are eligible to receive working capital grant assistance.
Cook County Government Releases COVID-19 Taxes, Fines and Fees Relief Package.   A series of measures are being taken to waive various County fines, fees and deferring tax collections to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Go to the Cook County COVID-19 Response website to learn more.