Hi LSRCC members and local businesses,

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted significant policy changes at all levels. We're here to catch you up and support business in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood.  Please see our COVID-19 Business Resources  website for a comprehensive list of resources to aid your business during this time.
Stay-at-Home Order Extended to May 30, Non-Essential Retail Businesses Allowed Delivery and Curbside Pick-Up Starting May 1st.

Governor Pritzker announced an extension of the stay-at-home order this afternoon and revealed some details. He plans to sign an executive order establishing this extension next week.

The press conference and press release covered the following changes going into effect on May 1st:
  • Non-essential retail businesses will be allowed to take orders online and over the phone for delivery and curbside pick-up
  • Green houses and garden centers can open as essential businesses
  • Animal grooming services can reopen as essential businesses
  • Current essential businesses will have a cap on occupancy and new social distancing guidelines, including mandatory masks for employees who cannot maintain social distancing
  • The general public will be required to wear a mask in areas where they cannot maintain a 6 foot distance from others
More Money on the Way to CARES Act Programs  

The U.S. Senate and House approved an additional $320 billion to fund the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and an additional $60 billion in funding for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). The White House should sign this into law shortly, then funding will be made available to local lenders.

We've heard the challenges our businesses have faced in applying for and receiving these loans. Many of these challenges have not been addressed in the new bill authorizing additional funding. We will continue to take feedback from our local businesses to our elected officials so these challenges can be addressed in future measures.  

The Paycheck Protection Program offers forgivable loans to keep employees on board and pay for necessary business expenses. See the following links for eligibility information and a list of local lenders.

Banks may not reopen applications immediately if they are working through a backlog in applications. If the bank you currently do business with cannot prioritize your loan for any reason, consider applying with non-bank lenders like LISC.

PPP landing pages:
The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses, nonprofits, and self-employed with working capital loans of up to $2 million. Successful applicants also are eligible for a $10k Emergency Grant that does not need to be repaid.  
Participation in this program is allowed along with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), although the $10k grant will reduce the eligible loan forgiveness amount by $10k. 

City Resources

The city has partnered with several local organizations to provide training and resources necessary to assist business in locating funding assistance due to COVID-19. They can help support application to EIDL (referenced above) so feel free to reach out.
Applications close tomorrow, April 24th. If you have submitted an application for a loan you should have received an update from the Resiliency Fund team on Friday, April 17th.   
Tax Deferment Extended
The City of Chicago has extended the deferral of business tax payments to June 1. Retailers are expected to continue collecting these taxes but will not be required to remit payments to the City until June 1. This applies to the following taxes:
  • Restaurant Tax
  • Hotel Accommodations Tax
  • Bottled Water Tax
  • Checkout Bag Tax
  • Ground Transportation Tax
  • Parking Tax
  • Amusement Tax
    City Webinars and City Licenses
    BACP continues hosting multiple webinars each week to share information from experts specifically tailored to businesses and workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please visit www.chicago.gov/businessworkshops
    to register.  
  • As a reminder, BACP offices remain closed. However, BACP is continuing to process business license applications and renewals, where applicable, online or over the phone. Please visit www.chicagobusinessdirect.org or contact customer service at revenuecs@cityofchicago.org. Please allow for extra time as BACP staff are working hard to keep City services going under this disruption.
    Contact Info for City Questions
    • Please contact BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org for general business questions, including how to register for webinars and how to understand the Stay at Home Order
    • Please contact BACPlaborstandards@cityofchicago.org  for questions related to labor issues
    • Please submit questions on the Resiliency Loan Fund via this webform. However, please be aware that the Resiliency Fund team will be unable to answer specific questions about your loan status until it has been assigned to underwriting
    • Please contact coronavirus@chicago.gov for general COVID-19 questions
    Private Grants
    We know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We've heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.
    Timeframe: Opens | Apr. 20, 2020, 10:00 AM (EDT); Deadline | May 6, 2020 11:59 PM (EDT)
    Amount: Offering a $4000 grant for the recipients in the US; $2500 cash, and $1500 in optional ads credits
    Eligibility: (1) Be a for-profit company; (2) Have between 2 and 50 employees; (3) Have been in business for over a year; (4) Have experienced challenges from COVID-19; (5) Be in or near one of the 27 locations where Facebook operates [Chicago/Cook County is one of their locations]
    Other Info: (A) Applicants don't have to have Facebook or Instagram accounts; (B) Emphasis on Minority, Women and Veteran-owned businesses; (C) Also offering gift card and fundraising tools; (D) Applications are decisioned within a month, and are not first come-first served; (E) To complete your application, you'll need at least one of the following documents: FEIN, Official Business Registration, Business License
    For additional resources about how you can help your business prepare for and manage through disruptions like COVID-19, visit their recently-launched Business Resource Hub.
    Hello Alice, a free, predictive technology, multi-channel platform that guides business owners by providing access to funding, networks and services, has launched a funding and mentorship program for entrepreneurs, which is open to anyone, but has a special focus on women, people of color, LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs with disabilities, and those affiliated with the military. Business owners may apply for grants of up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. In addition to funding, grant recipients will receive ongoing support from the Hello Alice community.
    Timeframe: General Business for All Grant applications are due September 25, 2020 at 12:00 am PT. $10,000 COVID-19 Business for All Grants are awarded on a rolling basis.
    Amount: $250,000 in growth grants will be awarded to Business for All applicants; One grand prize winner will receive a $50,000 business grant, Two runners up will each receive a $25,000 business grant, Twelve finalists will each receive a $10,000 business grant, Three business / entrepreneur support organizations (nominated by you!) will each receive a $10,000 grant to continue their work in supporting business owners; Hello Alice is also offering $10,000 COVID-19 Business for All Grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by coronavirus.
    Eligibility: (1) Must be a legal resident of the U.S., excluding Puerto Rico; (2) At least 18 years of age or older; (3)Must be a legal for-profit business entity based in the U.S.; (4) Applicant must be the business owner who is the Founder and/or leading executive (President, CEO, CFO, COO, or any such other similar title.)
    As an additional resource, Hello Alice has also launched their COVID-19 Business Resource Center which is updated daily, with real-world funding, resources, and support for small business owners adapting to the impacts of coronavirus.
    Small businesses across the country are confronting extreme economic challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Financial support at this critical time can make the difference between staying in business or closing permanently, leading to lost income, jobs and economic stability. Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, we are offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available.
    Timeframe: Applications must be submitted by Tuesday, April 28 at 11:59PM EST. Applications are being accepted in "rounds".  A round is open for one week and then closed.  Dates for each round are posted on the LISC website.
    Amount: Grants will be made in the amounts of $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000.
    Eligibility: Applicants may apply for one business only and must be 18 years of age to apply. For business owners with multiple businesses, please complete this application based on your largest business owned. Each grant is limited to one grant per individual and business tax ID.
    Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission. Priority will be given to minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses.
    All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.
    Non-profit organizations are ineligible for this funding.  Be sure to check LISC's Covid-19 Resource Page: https://www.lisc.org/covid-19/covid-resources/  for the latest resources available to non-profit organizations and individuals.
    The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation and GlobalGiving | The Red Backpack Fund
    Since its inception, Spanx and The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation have been dedicated to elevating and supporting women through entrepreneurship. Knowing the ripple effect that empowering women can have to strengthen neighborhoods, cities and countries, The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis.
    Timeframe: Between May and September 2020; The first round of applications was open from April 6 at 12pm ET through April 12 at 11:59pm ET. Final grant recipients will be notified by the week of May 11. Each month, we will accept additional applications. The portal will open for applications again on May 4, June 1, July 6, and August 3.
    Amount: GlobalGiving, via The Red Backpack Fund, will award at least 1,000 emergency assistance grants to majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits in the U.S. Each grant will be $5,000.
    Eligibility: Majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5M, at least one additional paid employee and fewer than 50 individuals on staff. Sole proprietors are not currently eligible to apply. Businesses must be in good standing and incorporated as a legal entity, and be able to demonstrate that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing hardship.
    Yelp and GoFundMe | Small Business Relief Fund
    Together, Yelp and GoFundMe are making it easy for people to donate directly to the businesses they love and support their communities. By leveraging Yelp's opt-in program, business owners claim their GoFundMe fundraiser with the click of a button. It will be displayed on the business's Yelp page, giving more visibility to the fundraiser.
    The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe have pledged to match up to $1 million in total donations from matching grants made possible by the Small Business Relief Fund. The Fund is managed by GoFundme.org and will make a $500 matching grant for the first 2,000 eligible businesses that claim or otherwise start their fundraising page on GoFundMe and raise $500.
    Timeframe: Started on March 24; Ends when fund is depleted.
    Amount: Through the Small Business Relief Fund, qualifying businesses that have raised at least $500 on GoFundMe can receive a matching $500 grant.
    Eligibility: To be eligible to join the matching initiative, businesses must: (a) be in the United States, (b) have claimed their business on Yelp by March 22, 2020, and (c) have five or fewer locations. Additionally, businesses must (d) be listed in at least one of the following categories: Restaurants, Food, Nightlife, Beauty/Spas/Salons, or Active, though some exceptions apply; (d) have been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic, (e) be independently owned and operated and not nationally dominant in their field, and (f) intend to use funds to either to help care for their employees / workers or pay ongoing business expenses.
    To start your fundraiser with Yelp and GoFundMe, log in to your Yelp for Business account, and if you're eligible, beginning April 8 you will see a pop-up window allowing you to create a fundraiser on GoFundMe. After you complete the process on GoFundMe, the fundraiser will appear on your Yelp Business Page. Your fundraiser could be eligible for matching funds.
    The $500 matching grant program is in addition to $25 million relief program, which Yelp announced on March 20, primarily focused on supporting independent, local restaurant and nightlife businesses, in the form of waived advertising fees and free advertising, products, and services during this period. On April 23, Yelp extended this relief program through May 25, 2020.


    We've created our own survey to assess local needs and advocate for solutions for small business in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood. Your information will be kept anonymous - please share your needs so we can work on your behalf.   
    We're available and invested in your success. For further questions or individualized assistance, please email Jerry Mandujano, Neighborhood Services Director, at  jerry@lincolnsquare.org
    Thank you! 
    Two Neighborhoods.  One Community.  Working Together.
    2611 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 - 773.728.3890