March 26th, 2020- Governor Pritzker announced two new emergency assistance programs geared toward providing immediate capital to small businesses in rural and downstate communities on Wednesday. State Senator Andy Manar shares his support in the Governor’s recent action, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of downstate communities, rather than massive corporate investments, the rural way of life is driven by the ability of family-owned businesses to support each other. I applaud Governor Pritzker for recognizing rural downstate business owners’ unique needs and taking bold action to help them protect their livelihoods and endure the challenges and uncertainty posed by COVID-19.”
The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund is a $60 million program that 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 will then begin making fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.
The Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program is a $20 million grant program for small businesses in suburban and rural counties across Illinois. These grants will offer 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. The program redeploys Community Development Block Grant funds to support local small businesses.
Only communities qualified to receive CDBG funds are eligible for the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. Applications will be available on DCEO’s website by Friday, March 27. The grants will be offered on a rolling basis. Additionally, a new Hospitality Emergency Grant Program will spend $14 million in grants to help small hospitality businesses, in all areas of the state, make ends meet. It will provide up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels. Eligibility information and the application can be found here.