Applications open for $100 million small business loan fund
The Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund was created this month by Mayor Lightfoot as an immediate response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chicago businesses that employ 50 or fewer people are eligible to apply for a low-interest loan of up to $50,000 if they have seen revenue losses of at least 25 percent due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 guidance:  DPD's operations continue, largely remotely

With City Hall temporarily closed to the public except for select, essential services, the majority of DPD staff is working from remote locations. Email is the best way to reach us. General inquires may be sent to  DPD@cityofchicago.org . People who need in-person zoning reviews or administrative adjustments should see the  department's COVID-19 zoning guidance .

Neighborhood Opportunity Fund:  City processing more than 300 applications
A total of 325 South, West and Southwest side entrepreneurs applied for grants of up to $250,000 from the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund last month. The City expects to complete its review and announce preliminary finalists later this spring. An additional application round will open up in July.

During this challenging time, we want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information regarding all of our resources available to you. Due to the recently passed federal stimulus package, your business may be eligible for aid from the federal government. Learn more about the current available options below.
 
·      Paycheck Protection Program  – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide $349 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to small businesses and non-profits. Portions of these loans will be forgiven to the extent that recipients maintain their existing workforce or rehire. Loans can be up to $10 million and interest rates are maxed at 4% for portions of the loan that do not qualify for loan forgiveness. Learn more  here .
 
·      Economic Injury Disaster Loan –  The 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. Borrowers can request an emergency advance of $10,000 within 3 days of submitting the application and do not have to repay the advance if they are denied a loan. Learn more  here .
 
·      Subsidy for Current Loan Payments  – The SBA will cover up to 6 months of principal and interest payments that are owed on most existing SBA loans. Learn more  here .
 
·      Training and Advising for Existing Businesses  – Additional funds are provided to SBDCs, Women’s Business Centers, and Minority Business Centers for education, training and advising to small businesses. Small Businesses can take advantage of this now.
 
·      Aid to Midsize Businesses and Nonprofits  – $454 billion will be available from the U.S. Treasury to provide financial assistance through loan programs established by the Federal Reserve. As part of that, a special fund is dedicated to midsize businesses and nonprofits with 500-10,000 employees to provide financing to banks and other lenders to make direct loans to these entities. The interest rate on those loans would be capped at 2%, with no payments due for the first six months. These loans cannot be forgiven.
 
·      Significant restrictions will be placed on the midsize business and nonprofit assistance, such as prohibiting paying out dividends while the loan is outstanding. More guidance will be forthcoming from the U.S. Treasury on additional criteria and funding access.  
 
 
As previously announced, there are additional small business grants and loans available including the  Hospitality Emergency Grant  (applications due April 1),  Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund  and  Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program . Learn more  here .
 
We will continue to update you on any additional information we receive from the federal government, which is forthcoming on a daily basis. If your company or industry is adding jobs during this time, please let us know so we can partner with you to find workers.
We’re exploring every avenue we can to provide extra support for Illinoisans right now and to make it easier for people who need food assistance. This week, all of Illinois’ Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients will begin receiving the maximum benefit amount. Between April 8th and April 20th, all eligible SNAP recipients will see their first additional funds if they are not currently receiving the maximum benefit.  

This will impact more than 450,000 Illinois households. The additional funds are intended to help Illinoisans obtain food and support for their families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum SNAP benefit amounts will be implemented for April and May. It is not known at this time whether these extended maximum payments will continue beyond May. 

Increased benefits will be automatically loaded onto SNAP recipients’ Link cards, and there is no need for anyone to re-apply, to visit an office, or to call. All new applications authorized in April will also receive the maximum allotment for their household size.  

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act gives states the option to provide SNAP households with the maximum SNAP allotment, which is based on household size. SNAP households not currently receiving the maximum allotment will receive additional SNAP benefits to bring their allotment amount to the maximum. Households already receiving the maximum benefit will not receive additional benefits.  

Maximum amounts per household size are as follows: 
Illinois SNAP recipients receive their benefits at different times each month, so increased SNAP benefits will be loaded on different dates for SNAP recipients. 
 
I hope this change brings meaningful relief to families across Illinois who need it the most, right now. The IDHS team continues to hold all of our friends and partners in our thoughts as we journey through this unprecedented time together. 

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