Latest NewsMarch 1, 2024We post a weekly resource list featuring key opportunities in Illinois. The Resource List includes workshops, cohorts, career and funding opportunities, and more. Check out this week's resource list! These events are presented by state, local and neighborhood organizations. The list is...February 22, 2024We post a weekly resource list featuring key opportunities in Illinois. The Resource List includes workshops, cohorts, career and funding opportunities, and more. Check out this week's resource list! These events are presented by state, local and neighborhood organizations. The list is...February 13, 2024We post a weekly resource list featuring key opportunities in Illinois. The Resource List includes workshops, cohorts, career and funding opportunities, and more. Check out this week's resource list! These events are presented by state, local and neighborhood organizations. The list is...
RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, WORKERS AND FAMILIES
Emergency Resources for Business
Illinois Emergency Business Support
ILLINOIS BUSINESS INTERRUPTION GRANTS PROGRAM
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will launch 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. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 of which has been set aside for childcare providers, and is funded by the CARES Act.
DCEO will make the application for BIG available on Monday, June 22.
Click here to learn more.
ILLINOIS DISTRESSED CAPITAL PROGRAM
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's new economic recovery program will provide $25 million to support Illinois businesses that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during the recent protests and demonstrations on or after May 25, 2020.
The Distressed Capital Program will reimburse the costs to repair structural damages, including repairs to storefronts and entrances, improving electrical systems, and restoring exterior work.
The program will prioritize small businesses, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, businesses that have a high community impact - such as grocery stores - and businesses in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment.
The Rebuild Distressed Communities NOFO will solicit applications from regional and local organizations that will perform outreach, coordinate local qualified vendors, and provide funds to cover the cost of repairs and building improvements for businesses in their region. The Distressed Capital Program also includes provisions to ensure BEP-certified contractors, including minority- and women-owned businesses, are the first in line to do the repair work.
DCEO will invite applications for the Distressed Capital Program with a NOFO made available on Monday, June 22.
Click here to learn more
Employee Retention Credit
The U.S. Treasury and IRS launched the Employee Retention Credit on March 31, 2020. Eligible entities can receive a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages for retaining idled workers on their payrolls during the COVID pandemic.
Qualified wages are based on the average number of a business’s employees in 2019. If the employer had more than 100 employees on average in 2019, then the credit is allowed only for wages paid to employees who did not work during the calendar quarter. For eligible employers with under 100 employees, all employee wages qualify for the credit. The credit is capped at the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits. The provision is effective for wages paid or incurred from March 12, 2020 to January 1, 2021.
Tax credits enabled through CARES Act
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.
Interested businesses should consult a tax expert or reference the IRS for updated guidance. The IRS website will updated as more information becomes available.
Visit IRS FAQ to help small and midsize businesses navigate Paid Sick and Family Leave Tax Credits
NOTE: Penalties and interest for late payment of sales taxes owed from February through April will be waived for eating and drinking establishments that incurred a sales tax responsibility of less than $75,000 in CY2019.
- Federal Economic Impact Payments (4/9/2020)
- Cancel or Reschedule a 2019 Income Tax Return Electronic Payment (4/3/2020)
- Changes to Estimated Payment Requirements (4/2/2020)
- Extension of the Expiration Date of Certain Illinois Sales Tax Exemption ("E") Numbers (3/30/2020)
- Illinois Income Tax Filing and Payment Extension (3/25/2020)
- Short-Term Relief from Penalties for Late Sales Tax Payments (3/19/2020)
Chicago COVID-19 Loan Support
Chicago Community Loan Fund
Pop Up Call Center
Hours of Operation: May 18 - May 31, Monday - Friday, 8am - 8pm
Emergency Resources for Workers
Worker relief enabled through CARES Act
- Workers laid off due to COVID qualify for UI so long as they are prepared to return to work.
- Workers sent home due to COVID illness or quarantine, or are caring for an affected family member, are also eligible for UI coverage.
- IDES is waiving the standard 1 week wait to be eligible for UI coverage. Link: https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/COVID-19-and-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx
Click here to File an Illinois Unemployment Claim
Online filing (any time of day, except 8pm to 10pm for processing):
- Those with last names beginning with letters A-M: Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
- Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z: Mondays, Wednesdays, or Fridays.
- Saturdays are available for anyone to accommodate those people who could not file during their allotted window.
Call Center Filing Schedule:
- Last names beginning with letters A-M: Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
- Last names beginning with letters N-Z are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
- Fridays (7:30am – 6pm) are available for anyone to accommodate those people who could not file during their allotted window.
Jobs Available During COVID
Click here for job resources