Grant and Relief Resources for Entrepreneurs

Post by 
Innovation DuPage
Published 
September 26, 2020
The information in this post was last updated on September 29th, 2020.

To help entrepreneurs and small business owners find the help they need, we have compiled a list of resources targeted at COVID-19 related business challenges. This list will be updated as new information and resources as they become available.

The College of DuPage Business Development Center website is being updated daily with information for COVID-19 Small Business Assistance.

See something we missed that should be included? Shoot us a message at ID@InnovationDuPage.org.

Financial Help

Loans and Grants

Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)

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. Applications for a second round of funding are set to go live September 17. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois. Funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other eligible operational costs.

SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant

SoGal Foundation partnered with Winky Lux, bluemercury, twelveNYC, Lively and other sponsors to provide several $5,000 and $10,000 cash grants to Black women or nonbinary entrepreneurs impacted by COVID-19.

GoFundMe Small Business Relief

GoFundMe is offering matching grants of up to $500 to help small businesses that have created a fundraiser through the Small Business Relief Initiative or had an existing GoFundMe fundraiser.

WomensNet Amber Grant

WomensNet distributes $1,000 monthly grants to women with small businesses, for a total of at least $10,000 every month. They’ve also expanded their grant-giving to include a year-end grant of $25,000. Deadline: Rolling

Red Backpack Fund

GSpanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund, making at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the impact of COVID-19. Rolling Deadline

Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) grants

Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MBDA helps minority-owned businesses access the resources they need to grow, with regular grant competitions. Visit their site for information on various current opportunities. Rolling Deadline

Main Street Lending Program

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors acted on June 8 to allow more small and medium-sized businesses to be able to receive federal Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic financial support via low-interest loans. The program will lower the minimum loan amount, raise the maximum loan limit, adjust the principal repayment schedule to begin after two years, and extend the term to five years, providing borrowers with greater flexibility in repaying the loans.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The CARES Act was unanimously passed by Congress on March 27th, 2020 and is the largest economic stimulus package in American history. This act involves multiple areas of assistance and this link will help you better understand what may apply to your small business. For additional information, check out the U.S Chamber of Commerce’s Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist’.

The Paycheck Protection Program is included in the CARES Act. This program is designed to keep small business workers on the payroll. More funds have been replenished and applications are now being accepted. Due to the increase in volume, the site has been experiencing technical difficulties. If you have trouble accessing the site keep checking back. Need help with questions please contact The College of DuPage Business Development Center.

Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Relief Loan

This loan brought to you by the SBA can be used for: Fixed Debts, Accounts Payable, Payroll, other Bills. For more details and information on how to apply, check out our dedicated ‘SBA Disaster Injury Loan’ post.

Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)

The WBDC knows that access to capital is critical for business success. They provide loans to small businesses who otherwise cannot get a loan from a bank.Loans are available to small businesses located in Northwest Illinois and targeted towards businesses with less than $1 Million in annual revenue.

Illinois Department of Commerce Loan

Small businesses are the backbone of the Illinois economy, and the Advantage Illinois program is there to assist. By working with the state’s banking community and venture capitalists, they help entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund

The Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund will help to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis. Applications will begin to be accepted on March 31, 2020.

Facebook Small Business Grant Program

Facebook is offering cash grants and ad credits to businesses that may be experiencing disruptions in these uncertain times. The money given can support your workforce, help with your rent costs, connect with more customers, and cover operational costs.

Honeycomb Credit

Community sourced loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 via the crowdfunding platform. Honeycomb is offering 45-day payment free periods, 6-month interest-only periods and reducing their posting, success, and investor fees.

Worknet DuPage

Worknet DuPage is providing worker training grants intended to help manage the cost of training new employees through the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) . This grant is applicable to various industries and occupations including healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, accounting, office & clerical, trucking & logistics, and more.

Tax Relief

Research and Development Tax Credit

A government-sponsored tax incentive that supports businesses that conduct R&D in the United States. The tax credit is more comprehensive than most realize. Businesses of all sizes can apply and do not need research labs to be eligible. The credit is meant to encourage innovation and maintain technical jobs in the U.S.

IRS Tax Relief

The IRS is offering tax help for taxpayers, businesses, tax-exempt organizations and others – including health plans – affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

Illinois Tax Help

In an effort to assist eating and drinking establishments impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, 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.

What Help is Available to Employees as a Business Owner?

COVID-19 Changes to Unemployment Rules

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Please review this link for the information to assist your employees.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

This program helps those with low-incomes buy the food needed for good health.

Tips for Working from Home

Github’s Guide to Remote Work

GitHub has curated a remote work emergency toolkit for leaders and managers and a remote work starter guide for employees to assist businesses during this time in order for everyone to maintain optimal productivity and stability.

Facebook Minimizing Business Disruption During Emergencies

Facebook is helping workplaces stay connected by helping minimize disruptions to businesses during emergencies. Utilize their multiple channels to stay in touch with customers and employees.

DuPage County Business Help

The College of DuPage Business Development Center

The Illinois SBDC/PTAC/ITC at College of DuPage, as expert advisors, are here to advise and guide small businesses within our community. They post a weekly COVID-19 Small Business Update answering questions they receive.

1-on-1 Business Mentoring

Innovation DuPage is offering free 1-on-1 zoom mentoring sessions for all Chicagoland startup founders. What challenges are you facing? We will work through them with you. Get help with Fundraising • Brand Identity • Deck Review • Sales & Marketing Strategy • Customer Discovery Cash Flow & Burn Rate • Value Proposition • Market Research • Business Model Canvas • and MORE.

Choose DuPage

Choose DuPage is volunteering their expertise to assist businesses in DuPage County. Get help with Banking, Education, Insurance, Legal, and Marketing. Join the conversation on social media about what businesses and residents are doing to help during these times by using the #DuPageDifference.

DuPage County Health Department

A resource in maintaining the health and safety of residence of the DuPage county. Stay up to date on what is happening in your area.

Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce

View the WDCC’s informational fliers in relation to COVID-19 and how they are supporting businesses during this time .

Glen Ellyn Chamber of Commerce

View what professions are considered essential and non-essential along with a list of local grocery stores, pharmacies, medical offices and other critical services located near Glen Ellyn.

New Policies and Legal Resources

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

IDFPR has announced new guidance on license expiration dates, continuing ed deadlines, and more to help licensees maintain their licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can find the official press release here .

Insurance Interruption Coverage

Your business insurance may contain interruption coverage you can use during COVID-19, learn more by clicking the title.

Emergency Family & Medical Leave Expansion Act

On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was passed and signed. These are two provisions providing paid leave to employees forced to miss work because of the COVID-19 outbreak: the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act, and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. Learn more about how this could serve you in the link.

Innovation DuPage (ID) is a non-profit venture that unites entrepreneurs and small business owners with the people, resources and programs that help them grow. We connect our members with vetted mentors who can help establish a strong foundation as they rapidly scale. Connect with us on our website, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook or call 630-942-3340 to discuss your next steps.

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