COVID-19 Small Business

Note: Information on this page may not reflect the current environment and is meant for historical information purposes.

Ensure to focus on yourself, your family and your employees first during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can protect yourself and others by wearing a mask, staying six feet from others and avoiding crowds. 

The Illinois workNet Quick Start Guide can connect you to resources and tools to help you achieve your business goals from recruiting & filling job openings to using Labor Market Information (LMI). 

Common Questions

Restore Illinois is about saving lives and livelihoods. This five-phased plan will reopen our state, guided by health metrics and with distinct business, education and recreation activities characterizing each phase.

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has posted a list of Essential Businesses & Operations.

The state is allowing a two-month delay for tens of thousands of businesses to pass along sales tax proceeds. 

 Please note: Some of these programs may have closed due to a lack of funding
  • US SBA Disaster Loan (Specific to Civil Unrest)
    New disaster declaration for some locations in Illinois. Homeowners, renters, churches –can apply for these low-interest disaster loans if they were impacted by the civil unrest. Businesses of all sizes and non-profit organizations can apply for low-interest disaster loans to cover uncompensated physical losses; small businesses and most non-profits can also apply for economic injury.
  • Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act was signed which makes modification to the original program released a couple of months ago. The bill will provide businesses with more time and flexibility to keep their employees on the payroll and ensure their continued operations as we safely reopen our country. 
  • US SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Direct application to an approved lender. This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees during COVID-19. 
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Small businesses are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. NEW Note: if you applied via document upload you will receive an email from SBA about additional documents required. For first time applications the portal to apply online has been open again on March 30.
  • US SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program Business that have a CURRENT relationship with the US SBA & a financial lender (hold a loan previous to COVID-19) 
  • Cook County Community Recovery Fund: Rapid relief loans for small businesses, gig workers and independent contractors in South Suburban Cook County. 
  • DCEO Fast Track Grants: $25 million initiative to accelerate funding to help complete critical public infrastructure projects. This program will help ensure planned capital projects move forward in spite of revenue loss facing the entire state, will prioritize projects in underserved communities, and will ensure skilled labor can return to the job site just in time for the summer construction season. 

Please note: Some of these programs may have closed due to a lack of funding.

Business Interruption Grant (BIG)

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. 

Reinvest DuPage

The Reinvest DuPage program will provide grants of up to $15,000 for DuPage County-based businesses with fewer than 15 full-time employees and less than $1.5 million in annual revenues. Monies received under the program may be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and other expenses necessary to maintain operations. A 1099 contractor whose annual income is less than $100,000 can also receive relief through the program

WorkNet DuPage Grant Program Application

The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has made some funds available for WorkNet DuPage and our counterpart offices throughout Illinois to prevent essential, small businesses from laying off or furloughing employees.

Per the Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA), you are required to give sick pay. 

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. 

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formally food stamps, can help low-income families buy food they need.

Additional Assistance

Client Liaison: Maryellen Schlosser,

Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)
Expansion through governmental contracting with guidance in selling to the local, state or federal markets.

Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Advisors in business planning, pre-commercialization market assessment, proof of concept, assistance in the areas of management, strategic marketing, finance and operations.

Illinois International Trade Center (ITC)
Expert assistance with distributor discovery and vetting, international lead generation global shipping challenges market and competitor analysis, financing options and sales and marketing strategy.


Contact Information

Business Development Center
Main Line: (630) 942-2600
535 Duane Street, Office 233
Glen Ellyn IL 60137

Rita Haake, Center Manager
Phone: (630) 942-2184
Fax: (630) 942-2606

Regular Hours
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.