COVID-19 Resources for Local Businesses
Various programs have been established by both the U.S. Government and the State of Illinois intended to provide assistance to the business community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This page is intended to assist our local business community in navigating and understanding the various options available to them for relief and assistance at this time.
- PHASE IV GUIDELINES
- PHASE III GUIDELINES
- FEDERAL PROGRAMS
- STATE/local PROGRAMS
- EATING/DRINKING ESTABLISHMENTS
- BUSINESS RESOURCES
- GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
The State of Illinois has released its Phase IV guidelines for businesses across several industries.
For the full Phase IV guidelines, please click here (link).
Meetings and Social Events
Hotel meeting rooms and ballrooms, as well as other indoor and outdoor event venues. Excludes arenas, stadiums and other mass gathering venues.
Indoor and Outdoor Recreation
Customer-facing establishments primarily engaged in providing indoor and outdoor recreational and amusement services.
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants and bars with tables spaced 6-feet apart and other special rules.
Establishments primarily engaged in the preservation and exhibition of objects of historical, cultural and/or educational value.
Establishments primarily engaged in the preservation and exhibition of live plant and animal life displays.
Theaters and Performing Arts
Seated theaters, cinemas and performing arts centers primarily engaged in showing live and pre-recorded performances.
Youth and Recreational Sports Guidelines
Youth sports games or matches, group sports lessons, recreational team or group sports practices.
Stage and location operations that support the production of film and television.
Manufacturing facilities such as plants, factories and mills.
Non-customer-facing offices such as: legal; accounting services; architectural/engineering design; and other professional services.
Retailers and merchandisers such as: grocery stores; hardware stores; clothing stores; pharmacies; department stores.
Stores providing assorted services for dropped off goods, such as: dry cleaners; electronics repair shops; shoe repair shops; car washes.
Health and Fitness Centers
Gyms, fitness centers, yoga, dance, cycling, pilates, barre studios and other customer-facing fitness centers.
Personal Care Services
Hair salons, hair braiders, barber shops, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, waxing centers, tattoo parlors.
Day camps not licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) including recreational day camps, educational day camps and religious day camps.
On Tuesday, May 5th, Governor Pritzker released Restore Illinois, a five-phased plan that will reopen our state, guided by health metrics and with marked by distinct business, education, and recreation activities characterizing each phase. The Restore Illinois plan recognizes that the economy will start growing again when consumers feel that it is safe to return to work, shop and dine out, and engage in social and recreational activities. Under the Restore Illinois framework, certain businesses and activities are allowed to resume in Phase 3 with IDPH-approved safety guidance in place.
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 this 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. Phase 3 guidelines span 10 different industry categories. 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.For Industry definitions and guidelines, please see below:
Restaurants and Bars (Outdoor dining and drinking)
Full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants, snacks bars, taverns, and other food and beverage businesses
Manufacturing facilities such as plants, factories and mills.
Health and Fitness Centers
Gyms, fitness centers, yoga, dance, cycling, pilates, barre studios, and other customer-facing fitness centers
Non-customer-facing offices such as: legal; accounting services; architectural/engineering design; and other professional services
Personal Care Services
Hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, spas, massage parlors, waxing centers, tattoo parlors
Retailers and merchandisers such as: grocery stores; hardware stores; clothing stores; pharmacies; department stores; shopping malls
Customer facing services such as driving ranges, outdoor shooting ranges, paintball courses, outdoor adventure parks
Stores providing assorted services for dropped off goods, such as: dry cleaners; electronics repair shops; shoe repair shops; car washes
Recreational youth programs such as sports camps, recreational camps, educational camps
Youth sports games or matches, group sports lessons, team or group sports practices (no competitive sports permitted in Phase 3)
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Health Care Enhancement Act
Friday, April 24, President Trump signed the new legislation (link) into law to further assist American businesses, workers and healthcare providers. The legislation provides $310 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $60 billion more for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Disaster Loan Program, $75 billion in funding for hospitals and healthcare providers, and $25 billion to support our Nation’s testing efforts. Read more from the SBA here (link). Find more on the Paycheck Protection Program here (link).
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
UPDATE: The SBA’s EIDL program is now open for agricultural businesses ONLY to apply. Non-agricultural businesses that submit an application will not be accepted. The SBA has resumed processing EIDL applications that were submitted before the portal stopped accepting new applications on April 15th and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
The maximum EIDL is a $2 million working capital loan at a rate of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits with up to a 30-year term.
Payments on Coronavirus EIDL loans are deferred for one year. Up to $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee. Approval can be based on a credit score and no first-year tax returns are required. Borrowers do not have to prove they could not get credit elsewhere.
Eligible applicants for an EIDL can receive a $10,000 emergency grant within three days of application (through Dec. 31, 2020). For more information, please visit this link.
Employee Retention Credit
This program is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. Fore more information, please visit this link.
Small Business Debt Relief Program
This program will provide immediate relief to small business with non-disaster SBA loans - 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loans on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees for six months. For more information, please visit this link.
Subsidies for Current Loan Payments
The SBA will automatically pay the principal, fees, and interest that is owed on certain existing loans for a period of six months. Interest will continue to accrue on the loans.
Current and future SBA 7(a), 504, and microloan loan holders are eligible. Future loan holders must have a loan issued prior to September 27, 2020.
The SBA COVID-19 response website continues to be updated as more information becomes available. See SBA Debt Relief.
Delay Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes
All employers and self-employed individuals may defer the 6.2% employer share of Social Security taxes for two years. Fifty percent of the deferred payroll taxes are due on December 31, 2021, and the remaining amounts are due on December 31, 2022.
Additional Tax Changes:
- Business Expense Deduction Changes: Business Expense Deduction Limits are increased from 30% to 50% for 2019 and 2020. Additional rules apply to partnerships.
- Retail Tax: Retailers, restaurateurs and hotels will be able to immediately deduct qualified property improvements and amend previous year filings.
- Relaxes Net Operating Loss Limits: Businesses will be allowed to carry net operating losses arising in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 tax years back five years. The taxable income limit is temporarily removed to allow a NOL to fully offset income for those years. Additional rules apply for life insurance companies.
- Alternative Minimum Tax: Corporations are able to accelerate their ability to recover the AMT credits from previous years and claim any resulting refund.
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity Business Interruption Grants Program
The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program is a $636 million program developed by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19.BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs as defined in the eligible cost list found below.
Applications for a second round of funding are live as of Thursday, September 17. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois, but with a particular focus on businesses downstate, in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), and for heavily impacted industry and region s- representing businesses that have been unable to reopen or operating at a severely diminished capacity since the spring.
For more information and to apply, please click here (link).
Will County CARES Small Business Assistance Grant Program
Applications for Will County's CARES Small Business Assistance Grant Program are now open at Will County's website (link). Applications will be accepted through September 28.
This program targets businesses with less than $2.5 million in revenue and fewer than 25 employees which have had significant COVID-19 expenses or disruptions. Selected businesses may receive up to $15,000 in grant assistance. Full eligibility criteria is available here (link).
Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
Low interest loans of up to $50,000. For more information, please visit this link.
Low-Interest Bridge Loans for Business
Through this program, the Treasurer’s Office partners with approved financial institutions to provide loans - either lower rate loans, or loans to a business or non-profit that would not otherwise qualify - to Illinois small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, please visit this link.
Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) Licensing (IDFPR) IDFPR is providing relief from professional licensing requirements, including extensions for licenses due March through July and waivers from certain continuing education requirements.
In an effort to assist eating and drinking establishments impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, effective immediately, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is waiving any penalty and interest that would have been imposed on late Sales Tax payments from qualified taxpayers. For more information, please visit this link.
FAQ for Businesses Concerning Use of Face-Coverings During COVID-19
The State of Illinois Department of Human Rights has developed a list of FAQs for businesses to provide guidance regarding the application of face-coverings.
First Secure Bank Launches "Get in Line Now" Program for Small Businesses
While Congress works on legislation to temporarily reopen the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and fund it with an additional $250 billion, First Secure Bank is establishing a "Get in Line Now" program to help local small businesses with the application process.
Through the Get in Line Now program, First Secure Bank’s loan officers will work with small businesses to complete the PPP application. As soon as the PPP program reopens, First Secure Bank will file the applications on the businesses’ behalf in the order that they are received to help businesses submit their PPP applications as quickly as possible.
For more information, please contact First Secure Bank at 815-942-3232.
- CDC Guidance for Businesses (link)
- US Chamber of Commerce (link)
- Illinois Manufacturers Association (link)
- Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (link)
- Illinois Restaurant Association (link)
- Illinois Retail Merchants Association updates (link)
- IL Department of Commerce - Essential Businesses & Operations (link)
- Grundy County Chamber of Commerce (link)
- Grundy Economic Development Corporation (link)
- Will County Center for Economic Development (link)
- Small Business Administration - Guide (link)
- IL Department of Commerce - COVID-19 Impact (link)
- US Chamber - Summary of Federal Assistance (link)
- IDES - FAQ’s for Unemployment Benefits (link)
- OSHA - Guidance on Preparing Workplaces (link)
- U.S. Department of Labor - Wage and Hour Division
- U.S. Department of Labor - Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (link)
- U.S. Department of the Treasury (link)
- USDA Rural Development - Loan Programs (link)