COVID-19 Business Resources

Business Resources-COVID-19

The Albany Park Chamber of Commerce will use this webpage to provide real-time updates for the COVID-19 as it relates to business operations.

[Last updated: 3:00pm on April 1, 2020]

BUSINESS RESOURCES: capital, unemployment, taxes, webinars, press releases, social distancing, essential businesses, and more

Access to Capital Programs

  • IL Hospitality Emergency *Grant* Program (DUE APRIL 1st)
  • City of Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund (NOW OPEN)
    •  Over $100 million in targeted zero- to low-interest loans to business impacted by COVID-19. The application is now open! Apply here.
    • Loan terms: outlined on the PDF here
      • Loan Amount: 3 months average monthly revenues before the COVID-19 outbreak, up to $50,000
      • Interest Rate: The fixed annual interest rate on the loan will be 1% for the first 18 months. After 18 months, the rate will increase to 5.75% for the duration of the loan.
      • Repayment:
        • For months 1 – 6 a $10 monthly payment of principal; Interest accrues but is not payable.
        • For months 7 – 12: Interest-only monthly payments.
        • Month 13 and thereafter: Monthly principal and interest payments.
      • Proceeds: Proceeds are required to be used for working capital with at least 50% of proceeds being applied toward payroll. The applicant must also make a commitment to maintain its workforce at 50% or more of pre-COVID-19 levels for at least 6 months.
      • Term: Up to 5 years (60 months).
    • Eligibility:
      • 50 or less employees
      • Half of your employees are Chicago residents
      • Demonstrate at least 25% decrease in revenue due to COVID-19
      • Operating for one year from the date of your application (NOTE: there may be some flexibility for those younger than 1 year. However, start ups are not eligible.)
      • No liens
      • Gross revenue is under $3m
  • IL Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan
      • Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses or 2.75% for nonprofits.
      • Maximum loan $2m
      • Loans up to $25k do not require collateral
      • 21 day average for approval turnaround
      • 11 month deferral option of first payment from date of promissory note
  • Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund: APPLICATION DUE APRIL 4 at 11PM.
    • Verizon has committed $2.5m and has teamed up with LISC for $10,000 one-time grants to small businesses across all industries. The app is simple and should take you around 20 minutes to complete. LISC is a reputable nonprofit community and economic development organization with offices across the US so it will be competitive; however, we highly recommend everyone to apply because our organization works closely with LISC's Chicago office on many community issues. Entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital are highly encouraged to apply as well as businesses who have 10 or fewer employees and those in operation for at least a year. If you don't fit this description, do not be discouraged - there are several factors they will be weighing, one of which are LISC-supported census tracts, many of which are in Albany Park.
    • Learn more about the LISC/Verizon grant:
  • Payroll Protection ProgramCOMING SOON IN MID-APRIL
    • Learn more about this program; once the application opens you can apply at your bank or any bank that issues SBA loans. This program provides loan forgiveness with the purpose to help you retain employees. The interest rate is capped at 4% but program information will be made official soon.
  • Arts for Illinois Relief Fund: APPLICATION OPEN
    • Artists, artisans, theaters, or arts/cultural organizations: The application is now open! Individual artists and artisans – including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers – experiencing an urgent need will be able to apply for one-time grants of $1,500 distributed by 3Arts. Grants will be awarded through a lottery system and will be disseminated quickly. Additionally, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations of any size will be able to apply for relief through the Arts Work Fund. Based on their demonstrated financial need, organizations will be awarded grants from $6,000 – $30,000.

Other & Nonprofit Lenders

  • Check with your bank on payment deferral options, waived fees, etc.
  • Discuss flexible payment plans with your landlord
  • nonprofit lender with 0% interest rates for up to $15,000 with a crowd-sourcing model and digital platform
  • ACCION: largest nationwide nonprofit lending network in the United States
    • Line of credit for businesses with clean credit from Jan. 19 to March 20.
    • Interest rate of 9% up to $25,000
  • SomerCor
  • Women's Business Development Center (start ups and existing businesses) who also helps with:
    • Business plans
    • Access to capital
    • WBE certification
    • Workshops & business cohorts


  • IL Department of Employment Security (IDES)
    • Share with your employees, and see if you qualify as a business owner
    • Unemployment benefits have been expanded to cover self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors through Dec. 31, 2020Learn more at IDES.
    • Read the March 11th press release from the Governor's office here on benefits to cover workers without access to paid sick leave impacted by COVID-19.
      • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance - Creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31, 2020 to provide payment to those not traditionally eligible for unemployment benefits (self-employed, independent contractors, those with limited work history, and others) who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.
      • Supplemental Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation -Through July 31, 2020, the federal government would provide an additional temporary Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) of $600 a week for any worker eligible for state or federal unemployment compensation (UC) benefits
      • Allows employers to receive an advance on the tax credit for required paid family leave implemented in Families First Coronavirus Response Ac from Treasury instead of having to be reimbursed on the back end
      • The bill includes $360 million for the Department of Labor to invest in programs that provide training and supportive services for dislocated workers, seniors, migrant farmworkers, and homeless veterans. This also includes funding for DOL agencies to ensure new Paid Leave and UI benefits are implemented swiftly and effectively.



Immediate Hiring



Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

  • Read the PDF here which outlines:
    • Paycheck Protection Program Loans (to be launched in April)
    • Small Business Debt Relief Program
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants
    • Small Business Counseling
    • Small Business Contracting
    • Small Business Tax Provisions

Webinars: Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund & Others on Funding with BACP

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection will host a webinar to provide an overview of the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, loan terms, requirements, and how to apply.

The presentation will be the same for each webinar and additional webinars may be added soon!

Please visit on a rolling basis for more workshops

Wednesday, 4/1 at 3:00 PM Webinar
Finding Funding Now:  Current and Future Options for Small Business Capital During the Pandemic
Presented by Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana
Join this presentation, with moderated Q&A after, in which Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana CEO Brad McConnell will outline what is available to entrepreneurs now and what additional resources will be available soon.  He will discuss what the federal government, State of Illinois and City of Chicago are launching to help small business owners.  Helping neighborhood entrepreneurs grow is Accion's mission.  Now more than ever, Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana is working hard with our partners to creatively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic that threatens the health of small business owners, employees, customers, families, and communities.
Click here to register for the Wednesday, 4/1 Webinar.

Friday, 4/3 at 9:30 AM Webinar
Small Business Resources During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Presented by City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP)
This is a challenging and confusing time for small businesses.  BACP will present an overview of all resources available to small businesses during COVID-19 Outbreak, including available financing, assistance navigating the Stay at Home Order, and local business support partners that can help businesses during this difficult time.
Click here to register for the Friday, 4/3 Webinar.

Recursos en Espanol 

Social Distancing Guidance from Illinois Retail Merchants Assoc.

Business Social Distancing Guidelines (JPG)

Restaurants & Bars

  • Gov. JB Pritzker announced that all bars and restaurants in the state of Illinois will be closed to the public beginning at close of business Monday, March 16th through Monday, March 30th.
  • However, as of 3/20 even during the state's "Shelter In Place," restaurants are considered "essential businesses" and allowed to continue with food delivery and takeout/pickup services. For curbside pickup," customers may enter restaurants to order food and immediately leave upon receiving the food." Customers can not dine-in, nor linger inside or outside a business.
  • Businesses are allowed to sell packaged liquor/goods; businesses must have the appropriate license, check ID's, and not accept cash.
  • List your business for free on several websites if you are continuing delivery, takeout, catering, or gift cards:
  • IL Hospitality Emergency *Grant* Program (DUE APRIL 1)
  • Follow the Illinois Restaurant Association

SBA Illinois Webinars: Applying for Disaster Loans & Start Preparing Documents for Submission

If your small business has been impacted by coronavirus, join this free online training lead by SBA to learn more about the program including:

Eligibility requirements

  • Use of proceeds
  • Terms
  • Filing requirements
  • Additional small business resources

Register now to receive log on instructions emailed to you. Email the Lead Economic Development Specialist at SBA with questions: Carole Harris,

Upcoming SBA Disaster Loan webinars: sign up ASAP, these fill up fast!

Here are the documents you'll need to provide to complete the SBA Disaster Loan application: 

SBA Illinois Office

Taxes & Tax Relief - local, state, federal

  • Income tax deadline is now July 15, 2020
  • Business tax deadline has been extended to April 30, 2020
  • Cook County announces COVID-19 relief for taxes, fines, and fees:
    Download the announcement here (pdf)
  • To further provide relief for businesses over the coming weeks, the City is also extending due dates for tax payments until April 30, 2020 for the following City taxes:
    • Bottled Water tax
    • Checkout Bag tax
    • Amusement tax
    • Hotel Accommodation tax
    • Restaurant tax
    • Parking tax

Business Surveys

  • Albany Park Chamber of Commerce
    • Let us know how we can help you in any way, especially if you are remaining open or need help contacting staff at the city or state level.
  • Small Business Advocacy Council (SBAC)
    • SBAC advocates for small businesses and work in partnership with elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels of government.
    • Currently, the SBAC is advocating that the State of Illinois immediately enact the following rules:
      • No increase in an employer’s contribution rate that is attributed to coronavirus layoffs
      • A 90-day grace period for paying unemployment taxes for a business that certifies it impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
      • Allowing a parent, who out of necessity remains at home with a child whose school has closed because of the coronavirus, to qualify for unemployment insurance as long as the parent seeks work that could be performed from home.
      • All businesses with annual sales of $3 million or less, and whose revenue has declined by 25% or more since March 1st, to be allowed to defer their sales taxes (similar to bars and restaurants who qualify)
  • Economic Impact Study from Illinois Dept. of Commerce
    • Notify the State how this is affecting your business!

Other Resources

Illinois "Stay at Home" Executive Order: March 21 - April 30

Gov. Pritzker announced a statewide "Stay at Home" order to maximize COVID-19 containment and ensure health care system remains fully operational, effective 5pm on March 21, which has since been extended to April 30; see below for a full list of "essential" businesses or view the press release for the full list of "essential" and "non-essential" public functions, business operations, and business activities.

Governor JB Pritzker's "Stay at Home" order: link to download the entire order, pdf.

Chicago has posted an Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage to answer questions about the IL Stay at Home Order. View "Stay at Home" FAQ page here.

Press Releases from Government & Businesses

  • Governor Pritzker Stay at Home Order, March 20
  • Mayor Lightfoot Stay at Home Order, March 20
  • City of Chicago, March 16
  • City of Chicago, March 19
  • Block Club Chicago, March 20
  • GrubHub:  announcement on fees
  • Square: refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March for existing sellers who currently use Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store.
  • Crain's Chicago Business: paywall has been removed, allowing for free use of its COVID-19 coverage. Go directly to their coverage here
  • Zoom Basic Plan: Host up to 100 participants in a meeting and hold unlimited one-on-one meetings with the video-conference provider’s complimentary plan. This does provide a 40-minute limit on group meetings, though you’re not limited to the number of meetings.
  • Yelp: CEO Jeremy Stoppelman announced the company is providing $25 million in coronavirus relief for independent restaurant and nightlife businesses in the form of waived advertising fees, and free advertising, products and services.
  • Facebook announced a $100 million grant for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 and launched the Business Resource Hub, which features recommendations to help small businesses stay connected to customers and stay on track. Click here to sign up to receive notice when the application is open.
  • Kabbage launched an online hub to help boost sales for U.S small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including a system through which businesses can sell gift cards to consumers for use at a later date.

"Essential" Businesses & Operations (per the Illinois "Stay at Home" order):

  • Healthcare and Public Health Operations: Working at or obtaining services from hospitals; clinics; dental offices; pharmacies; public health entities; healthcare manufacturers and suppliers; blood banks; medical cannabis facilities; reproductive health care providers; eye care centers; home healthcare services providers; mental health and substance use providers; ancillary healthcare services — including veterinary care but EXCLUDING fitness and exercise gyms, spas, salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, and similar facilities
  • Human Services Operations: any provider funded by DHS, DCFS or Medicaid; long-term care facilities; home-based and residential settings for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with disabilities or mental illness; transitional facilities; field offices for food, cash assistance, medical coverage, child care, vocational services or rehabilitation services; developmental centers; adoption agencies; businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services and other necessities of life for needy individuals — EXCLUDING day care centers, day care homes, group day care homes and day care centers licensed as specified in Section 12(s) of the order
  • Essential Infrastructure: Working in food production, distribution and sale; construction; building management and maintenance; airport operations; operation and maintenance of utilities, including water, sewer, and gas; electrical; distribution centers; oil and biofuel refining; roads, highways, railroads, and public transportation; ports; cybersecurity operations; flood control; solid waste and recycling collection and removal; and internet, video, and telecommunications systems
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food, beverage, and cannabis production and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Media
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial institutions
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades, including plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers that maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences, essential activities, and essential businesses and operations
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery and pick-up services
  • Educational institutions, for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing essential functions
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
  • Supplies to work from home
  • Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations
  • Transportation, for purposes of Essential Travel
  • Home-based care and services
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Professional services
  • Day care centers for employees exempted by this Executive Order
  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Critical labor union functions
  • Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services
  • Funeral services

Contact Us for Assistance

Alexa Schutz • • 312-860-7884

Dalia Aragonbilingual English & Espanol • • 312-860-8543


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We are here for you, whether its clarification on COVID-19 updates, access to capital, marketing, and more. You can reach staff via phone, email, or text.


Alexa Schutz


Dalia Aragon (Spanish)

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