Dear Valued Partner,

First, we would like to thank you all for the work you are doing to support our businesses throughout the State of Illinois. Your efforts are more important now than ever.

As we look to address and eliminate longstanding inequities, we promise to continue working diligently to secure access to resources for small businesses throughout the state .

The civil unrest and events of recent days have placed enormous stress and grief on all of our communities across the country and in Illinois - with many of our businesses facing extensive damage where looting may have occurred. This arrives as our state faces the unprecedented challenges brought on by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We know some businesses are now at a point of inflection, forced to reconcile the costs of repairs, insurance claims, and what their futures may look like. Yet as Governor Pritzker indicated earlier this week, we will get through these trying times by working together to bring needed change and to make necessary investments in our communities that need it most.

To help businesses who are facing these damages, DCEO is working with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) who can provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by civil unrest in counties who have received a disaster declaration through SBA.

To obtain these special business loans for businesses in our communities, SBA must first issue a disaster declaration. For counties to qualify, businesses must first document their damages from the protests and looting and share this information with SBA. To streamline this process, DCEO has created a form to assist businesses with reporting. This information will then be used to submit for a disaster declaration from SBA for impacted counties.

Please note: The form is not an application for funding and information obtained will not be used for or against businesses should they decide to later submit an application for a loan through SBA.

As we are able to secure declarations by county, we will send out information regarding loans (including links to applications) and businesses that fill out the form will receive this information directly.

Given your organization/business is closely tied to many businesses, we ask that you please take a moment to distribute this form to businesses in your networks who have experienced an impact (including property damage or other losses) due to civil unrest so we can provide the necessary information to SBA and secure access to loans for these businesses.

Once we have collected a sufficient number of forms to receive a declaration in every impacted county, the form will be suspended.

Also, DCEO is working with federal and local partners, like yourselves, to ensure assistance is available for businesses. If you or businesses in your area are looking to connect with our team or our Small Business Development Centers, you can find contact information here.

This site is being continuously updated with resources and information for businesses.

Should any businesses reach out to you regarding questions about DCEO programs, resources or incentives you can feel free to refer them to our First Stop Business Information Center. They can email or call our toll-free helpline at 1.800.252.2923.
Thank you again for all for your hard work.

Kristi Dula
Deputy Director, Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology
Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity