Cash Assistance Programs

Payroll Protection Program (PPP)

Purpose: Forgivable loan to support up to two months of payroll and other operational costs.

Amount Offered: up to $10,000,000, based on average payroll.

Offered through: Small Business Administration

Who Can Apply 

This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and self-employed persons), private non-profit organization or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by coronavirus/COVID-19. 

Businesses in specific industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s Size Standards for those industries. Small businesses in the hospitality and food industry with more than one location could also be eligible if their individual locations employ less than 500 workers. 

Loan Details and Forgiveness 

The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. 

Documents needed for Application:

Local Content Expert:

Jim Foley

Small Business Center Director, Bradley University


Economic Disaster Injury Loan (EIDL) Program

Purpose: Emergency loan that includes up to $10,000 forgivable ‘advance’ to offset payroll and other operating expenses.

Amount Offered: Up to $2,000,000

Offered through: Small Business Administration

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. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. 


This program is for any small business with less than 500 employees (including sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and self-employed persons), private non-profit organizations or 501(c)(19) veterans organizations affected by COVID-19. 

Businesses in specific industries may have more than 500 employees if they meet the SBA’s size standards for those industries. 

The Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance funds will be made available within days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. 

Documents needed for Application:

Local Content Expert:

Jim Foley

Small Business Center Director, Bradley University


Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Program

Purpose: Emergency loan to offset operational business expenses due to COVID19

Amount Offered: Up to $25,000

Offered through: Small Business Administration

The Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program, announced by publication of a notice in the Federal Register on Oct. 16, 2017 (82 FR 47958), is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities. As initially announced, the EBL Pilot Program authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses located in communities affected by Presidentially-declared disasters. In contrast, those small businesses apply for and await long- term financing (including through SBA’s direct Disaster Loan Program, if eligible). 

The Small Business Administration is allowing businesses who already have existing relationships with various SBA Lenders, more available access to for loans up to $25,000. These loans are designed for companies with an urgent need for cash. 

EBL loans can only be made up to six months after the date of an applicable Presidential Disaster Declaration. For the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, EBL loans can be approved through Mar. 13, 2021. 

What Lenders are authorized to make an EBL Loan? 

  • EBL loans can only be made by SBA Express Lenders that had a valid SBA Form 2424, “Supplemental Loan Guaranty Agreement SBA Express Program,” in effect as of the date of the applicable disaster. (For the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, the date of the applicable disaster is Mar. 13, 2020.) 
  • SBA Express Lenders may only make EBL loans to eligible small businesses with which the lender had an existing banking relationship on or before the date of the applicable disaster. 

▪ A relationship with any of the SBA Express Lender’s affiliates will not satisfy the requirement of an existing banking relationship. 

▪ Lenders are cautioned that the provisions of 13 CFR § 120.140 (“What ethical requirements apply to participants?”) continue to apply to the EBL Pilot Program. 

What Small Businesses are eligible for the EBL Pilot Program? 

EBL loans may only be made to: 

  • For Presidential Disaster Declarations, small businesses that were located, as of the date of the applicable disaster, in Primary Counties that were declared disaster areas under the Presidential Disaster Declaration or in any Contiguous Counties; or 
  • For the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration, small businesses located in any state, territory, and the District of Columbia that have been adversely impacted by the COVID19 emergency. 

For more information and a program overview and program terms, please visit the link: Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program

Local Content Expert:

Jim Foley

Small Business Center Director, Bradley University


Downstate Stabilization Loan (DSL) Program

Purpose: Emergency grant to offset operational business expenses due to COVID19.

Amount Offered: Up to $25,000

Offered through: Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and its detrimental impact on small businesses, the state is invoking its option to adjust Community Development Block Grant allocations to address specific needs to benefit Illinois’ non-entitlement communities in case of unforeseen circumstances. $20 million will be available for this program. The Downstate Small Business Stabilization component has been established to provide working capital funds to a community’s businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 virus. 

The program component makes funds available for 60 days of verifiable working capital up to a grant ceiling of $25,000 and is available for businesses that employ 50 people or less. The number of employees includes the business owner(s). These funds may be used to assist private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely. 

Notice of Funding Opportunity 

The Guidebook includes detailed information about program requirements and eligibility, as well as the Application forms. 

Applications must be submitted by a unit of local government recognized by the Illinois Constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale. This includes cities, villages, and counties. Municipalities must not be a HUD direct Entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives “entitlement” funds (see list in program Guidebook). Applications will be made “in support of” the benefiting business and funds will be passed through to the business via a Participation Agreement. 

To avoid the spread of COVID-19, all applications must be submitted by scanning in the required documents and emailing them to: ceo.ocd@illinois.gov 

Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here: Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program FAQs 

For technical assistance, please reach out to the grant manager in your area, email ceo.ocd@illinois.gov, or call the Office of Community Development at 217-785-6174. 

The following items must be completed and included as part of the application: 

Local Technical Assistance Providers

For Cities Other than Pekin & Peoria 

Tory Dahlhoff

Director of Rural Development, Greater Peoria EDC


For City of Peoria

Cesar Suarez

Economic Development Specialist, City of Peoria


For City of Pekin

Mark Rothert

Economic Development Director, City of Pekin


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Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan (SBEL) Program

Purpose: Emergency loan to offset operational business expenses due to COVID19

Amount Offered: Up to $50,000

Offered through: Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are establishing the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000. 

Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will pay nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below-market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term. 

Loan funds must be used for working capital, and at least 50% of loan proceeds must be applied toward payroll or other eligible compensation, including salaries, wages, tips, paid leave, and group healthcare benefits. Eligible uses will exclude compensation in excess of $100,000. 

Loan Guidelines 

Term and Interest Rate: Emergency Loan offered as a five-year term loan at 3% annual interest, simple. Payments are deferred for six months, and fixed principal and interest payments will be due after initial deferral. The loan may be repaid early without penalty. 

Loan Amount: Borrowers may receive up to $50,000, with borrower loan amounts determined by average monthly revenues prior to COVID-19. 

Loan Uses: Loan funds must be used for working capital, and at least 50% of loan proceeds must be applied toward payroll or other eligible compensation, with a commitment to hire or retain at least 50% of a business workforce for six months. 

Borrower Eligibility 

Businesses must have received less than $3 million in gross revenue in 2019 and employ fewer than 50 employees. The employee threshold will be based on average employment over the period of October 2019 to December 2019. Seasonal businesses may base employment on average from January 2019 to December 2019. 

The business has experienced at least a 25% decrease in revenues as a result of COVID- 19. 

Business must be located in Illinois and provide proof of an Illinois business address and a valid business license from an Illinois jurisdiction. Business have been in operations for at least one year. 

Please ensure ability to provide bank statements dating back to October 2019 and most recent tax returns. 

At this time, non-profits and farm business that would traditionally qualify under the USDA’s farm loan program are not eligible. 

Click here to visit DCEO’s website for guidance

Click here to apply: Accion Small Business Emergency Loan

Local Content Expert:

Anthony Rolando

IL DCEO, North Central Region


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Small Business COVID19 Relief (SBR) Program

Purpose: Emergency loan to offset operational business expenses due to COVID19

Amount Offered: Up to $25,000,000

Offered through: Illinois Office of the Treasurer

The Office of the Treasure for the State of Illinois has made available up to $250 million in deposits to financial institutions throughout the state with interest rates at nearly zero. These investments are solely to assist businesses affected by Covid-19 and help overcome revenue shortages. 

According to the Treasurer’s Small Business Covid-19 Relief Website: 

  • State funds will be deposited with qualified financial institutions for a 1-year term at a near-zero deposit rate of 0.01% (0.0001). 
  • Deposits can be drawn in $1 or $5 million increments, up to a maximum of $25 million per financial institution. 
  • Deposited funds facilitate affordable loans (not to exceed 4.75%) to small businesses and non-profits to be used to provide bridge funding, pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills. 
  • Eligible Illinois businesses or non-profits must: (1) have been shut down or limited due to COVID-19; (2) have less than $1 million in liquid assets or $8 million average annual receipts (per SBA standards), and (3) be headquartered in the state of Illinois or agree to use the funds in Illinois.
  • Deposits can be renewed on a basis determined by the Treasurer’s Office. 
  • Financial institutions will be required to provide reports to the Treasurer’s Office regarding the usage of program funds, including the number and types of loans provided and the economic impact of such loans. 

To view eligibility and apply for this program visit the website here: Illinois Treasure’s Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program 

Local Content Expert:

Paris McConnell

Community Affairs Specialist, IL Office of Treasury


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Other Financial Assistance Programs

SBA Debt Relief Program

Purpose: Offers debt relief on historic or new SBA-approved loans.

Award Amount: Varies based on historic and current loan terms.

Provided by: Small Business Administration

As part of our coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans. Borrowers do not need to apply for this assistance. It will be automatically provided as follows:

  • For loans not on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
  • For loans currently on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due after the deferment period has ended, and will make six monthly payments.
  • For loans made after March 27, 2020 and fully disbursed prior to September 27, 2020, SBA will begin making payments with the first payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.

SBA has notified 7(a), 504 and Microloan Lenders that it will pay these borrower loan payments. Lenders have been instructed to refrain from collecting loan payments from borrowers. If a borrower’s payment was collected after March 27, 2020, lenders were instructed to inform the borrower that they have the option of having the loan payment returned by the lender or applying the loan payment to further reduce the loan balance after SBA’s payment.

Local Technical Assistance Provider

Jim Foley

Director, Small Business Development Center, Bradley University


Employee Retention Tax Credit

Purpose: To offset 50% of qualified wages through a tax credit.

Award Amount: Varies pending on number of employers and size of payroll

Provided By: Internal Revenue Service

The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. This Employee Retention Credit applies to qualified wages paid after Mar. 12, 2020, and before Jan. 1, 2021. The maximum amount of qualified wages taken into account with respect to each employee for all calendar quarters is $10,000 so that the maximum credit for an Eligible Employer for qualified wages paid to any employee is $5,000. 

Eligible Employers for the purposes of the Employee Retention Credit are those that carry on a trade or business during the calendar year 2020, including a tax-exempt organization, that either: 

  • Fully or partially suspends operation during any calendar quarter in 2020 due to orders from an appropriate governmental authority limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings (for commercial, social, religious, or other purposes) due to COVID- 19; or 
  • Experiences a significant decline in gross receipts during the calendar quarter. 

Note: Governmental employers are not Eligible Employers for the Employee Retention Credit. Also, Self-employed individuals are not eligible for this credit for their self-employment services or earnings. 

For more information and FAQ’s regarding the Employee Retention Credit Program, visit the IRS Website

For guidance on how to claim the ERTC, click here.

Local Technical Assistance Provider

Delay of Payment of Employer’s Payroll Taxes

Purpose: To postpone collection of payroll taxes, offering relief to businesses as they reopen

Award Amount: Varies pending on number of employers and size of payroll

Provided By: Internal Revenue Service

The CARES Act will allow employers and self-employed individuals to defer paying their portion of the Social Security payroll tax of 6.2 percent, otherwise due with respect to wages accrued between Mar. 27, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020. The deferred amounts will ultimately have to be paid to the U.S. Treasury in two installments. 

  • The first half of the deferred amount of payroll taxes from 2020 will be due Dec. 31, 2021, 
  • The second half of the remaining half due Dec. 31, 2022. 

The above-delayed provisions apply to all employers regardless of size. However, employers who receive Small Business Act loans that are forgiven under the CARES Act are not eligible for this payroll tax deferral. 

Employers that receive paycheck protection loans under the CARES Act are not eligible for the payroll tax deferral if such loans are forgiven under the CARES Act provisions. 

Modifications to Minimum Tax Liability of Corporations

Purpose: A refundable tax-credit providing relief to businesses suffering from COVID19

Award Amount: Varies based on business tax liability

The CARES Act amends section 53 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”) to accelerate a corporation’s ability to recover AMT refundable credits under section 53(e) that otherwise could have been claimed in 2020 and 2021, to 2018 and 2019, with an option to elect recovery of the full credit amount for 2018. As a result, corporations may obtain additional cash flow that can be used to address the impacts of COVID-19. 

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 repealed the corporate alternative minimum tax (“AMT”), but allowed a credit of AMT paid in prior tax years to be used against a corporation’s normal tax liability in taxable years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 and to treat 50% of the credit as refundable in taxable years 2018-2020 and 100% for taxable years beginning in 2021. The CARES Act provides that 100% of an AMT credit will be treated as refundable in the case of a taxable year beginning in 2019. 

Further, the CARES Act provides a special election to take the entire refundable credit amount in 2018 and to file a tentative refund claim no later than Dec. 31, 2020. Such credit with such a refund claim is to be verified and processed in a manner similar to tentative refund claims filed under section 6411 of the Code. 

The CARES Act requires the Secretary of the Treasury to review the application, determine the amount of the overpayment, and apply, credit, or refund such overpayment, within 90 days of filing in the same manner as section 6411(b) of the Code. 

If a corporation filed or was required to file a consolidated return, either for the taxable year in which the credit arose or for the preceding taxable year affected by such loss or credit, the provisions of section 6411(c) of the Code shall apply to adjustments to the same extent and manner as the Secretary of Treasury may provide. 

For more information on filing and to find application Form 1139 visit here: IRS Form 1139

Local Technical Assistance Provider

Modifications of Limitation on Business Interest

Purpose: Provides a modified income tax incentive for businesses suffering from COVID19

Award Amount: Varies by business tax liability

Provided by: Internal Revenue Service

The CARES Act increases the business interest expense limitation of Section 163(j) (as amended by the TCJA) from 30% to 50% of adjusted taxable income (i.e., effectively EBITDA) for tax years beginning in 2019 and 2020. For these tax years, taxpayers subject to the limitation (generally, taxpayers with average annual gross receipts for the prior three tax years below $26 million) may now deduct business interest expense up to 50% of their adjustable taxable income. However, taxpayers may still elect to apply the 30% limitation. In the case of a partnership, the election must be made by the partnership. 

Special Rules for Partnership 

The increased limitation does not apply to partnerships for tax years beginning in 2019. However, partners allocated excess business interest in a tax year beginning in 2019 will be treated as having fully deductible business interest in the following tax year equal to 50% of that allocated excess business interest amount. The remaining 50% of such allocated excess business interest will be subject to the customary limitations for excess business interest, such that it can only be applied against subsequent tax years’ excess taxable income from the partnership. 

Election to Use 2019 Taxable Income to Compute Limitation. For tax years beginning in 2020, taxpayers may elect to use their 2019 adjusted taxable income to determine the limitation amount (prorated if the taxpayer’s 2020 tax year is a short tax year). This election must also be made at the partnership level. 

Businesses should work with their tax accountants on interest deductions. 

Sales Tax Deferrals for Bar’s & Restaurants

Purpose: Provides deferrals on sales tax for bars and restaurants as they reopen.

Provided By: Illinois Department of Revenue

In an effort to assist eating and drinking establishments impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, effective immediately, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is waiving any penalty and interest that would have been imposed on late Sales Tax payments from qualified taxpayers. 

Who is a qualified taxpayer eligible for relief? 

Taxpayers who are eligible for relief from penalties and interest on late Sales Tax payments are those operating eating and drinking establishments that incurred a total Sales Tax liability of less than $75,000 in the calendar year 2019. What are the reporting periods for which qualified taxpayers are allowed relief? Qualified taxpayers will not be charged penalties or interest on late payments for Sales Tax liabilities reported on Form ST-1, Sales and Use Tax and E911 Surcharge Return, that are due for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods. 

What must qualified taxpayers do to request relief? 

For most qualified taxpayers, IDOR will automatically waive penalties and interest. If you receive a notice from IDOR that imposes penalties and interest that you believe should have qualified for a waiver, you can respond to the notice to indicate that you believe you should have qualified for relief. IDOR will review the response and grant relief, if appropriate. Qualified taxpayers are required to file Form ST-1 for each reporting period by their original due dates, even if they are unable to make a payment. To qualify for relief, taxpayers must pay their liabilities due in March, April, and May 2020 on four dates starting on May 20, 2020. 

What are the four dates when my payments are due? 

The required payment schedule for liabilities reported on Form ST-1 is as follows: 

  • One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due May 20, 2020. 
  • One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due Jun. 22, 2020. 
  • One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due Jul. 20, 2020. 
  • One quarter (1/4) of the liability for the February, March, and April 2020 reporting periods is due Aug. 20, 2020. 

Taxpayers with questions should visit the IDOR website at tax.illinois.gov or email us at REV.TA- Sales@illinois.gov 

Workforce Technical Assistance

Employee Recruitment Assistance

Purpose: Supporting finding new employees through local career services offices.

Provided by: CareerLink, Illinois Central College, Bradley, Eureka, etc.

Employee Childcare Assistance

Purpose: to connect essential employees and re-turning employees to childcare resources as re-opening continues.

Provided by: Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development

  • A dedicated help line has been created so Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can help connect essential worker families to emergency child care. Call toll-free (888) 228-1146. The helpline will be available from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM Monday through Friday to answer calls, but callers will be able to leave a message 24 hours a day.
  • To find emergency child care in your area, visit COVID-19 Emergency Provider Search.
  • During the declared COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, the children of Prioritized Essential Workers are eligible to receive child care through the IDHS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Prioritized Essential Workers include those working in Health Care, Human Services, essential Government services (e.g. Corrections, law enforcement, fire department), and essential Infrastructure. The COVID-19 Prioritized Essential Workers Child Care Application includes instructions that clarify who is eligible to receive child care through this program.
  • For residents in Cook County, Illinois Action for Children (IAFC) has launched a temporary text messaging service to answer CCAP questions during IAFC’s office closure. Text: 312-736-7390 Monday through Friday between 8:30 AM-5:00 PM. Priority will be given to emergency provider and essential workers.
  • Illinois residents experiencing stress and mental health issues related to COVID-19 can text “TALK” or “HABLAR” to: 5-5-2-0-2-0. Within 24 hours, you will receive a call from a counselor employed by a local community mental health center to provide support.
  • GOECD – Child Care Closures: A Letter to Families
  • CDC – Emergency Responders: Tips for Taking Care of Yourself 

Employees in “essential businesses” (i.e. health care, manufacturing, grocery, etc.) can find find more information about emergency daycare services here.

Incumbent Worker Training

Purpose: Provide funds to offset incumbent worker up-skilling, or re-training.

Provided By: CareerLink

Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) assistance helps local employers develop and implement training programs for your existing employees to increase productivity and boost the company’s competitiveness.  To be eligible for an IWT training grant, your company must need to train existing workers in order to avert potential layoffs or increase your workers’ skill levels.  If eligible, your company can be reimbursed 100% of the cost of the skills training.

Local Technical Assistance Providers

Norm Griffin, ngriffin@careerlink16.com, 309-321-0255

Dona Nanney, dnanney@careerlink16.com, 309-807-1375

On the Job Training Funding

Purpose: Provide funds to offset necessary on-the-job training or re-training.

Provided By: CareerLink

On-the-Job Training (OJT) assistance has been designed as a way of helping businesses manage the cost of training new employees.  Through OJT, employers may be reimbursed 50 to 75% of an eligible new hire’s wages during a customized training period.  The duration of the OJT assistance is determined by the requirements of the job and the skills fo the individual.  Individuals must meet WIOA eligibility criteria.  Wage requirements may apply.

Local Technical Assistance Providers

Norm Griffin, ngriffin@careerlink16.com, 309-321-0255

Dona Nanney, dnanney@careerlink16.com, 309-807-1375

Apprenticeship Programs

Purpose: To connect your business with new workforce through various earn & learn programs.

Provided by: CareerLink & Illinois Central College.

Apprenticeship assistance provides financial resources to employers of apprentices.  Individuals must meet WIOA eligibility criteria.  This federally funded service helps defray the costs of the apprentice’s classroom training costs; provides supportive services to the apprentice during training; and reimburses employers a percentage of the apprentice’s on-the-job training wages.

Local Technical Assistance Providers

CareerLink services:  Norm Griffin, ngriffin@careerlink16.com, 309-321-0255

Illinois Central College services: Paula Nachtrieb, Paula.Nachtrieb@icc.edu, 309-690-6845

Illinois Emergency Layoff Aversion Fund

Purpose: Provide funds for materials or supplies to prevent essential businesses from furloughing employees

Provided by: Illinois DCEO & CareerLink

DCEO has made funds available to CareerLink to prevent essential, small businesses from laying off or furloughing employees.  They are looking for businesses for whom these potential grant dollars would make the difference between keeping workers on or having to layoff/furlough. Here are some sample scenarios that qualifying businesses (“essential” per the Governor’s order and “small” by the SBA’s definition) can apply to cover:

  • A small business needs their employees to be at work, on‐site, but cannot afford frequent deep cleaning to help prevent potential exposure to COVID‐19. Layoff aversion funds could be used to pay for a cleaning/sanitization service.

  • A small business whose employees use specific software or computer applications asks their employees to work from home/remotely in order to support social distancing and limit potential exposure to COVID‐19. Layoff aversion funding could be used to purchase the software programs and/or hardware (computers) that the employee would need to use from home to support their work.

  • A call center environment needs to have their employees work from home/remotely in order to support social distancing and limit potential exposure to COVID‐19. Layoff aversion funding could be used to purchase remote access supplies, including laptop computers and/or smart phones, that the employee would need to use from home to support their work.

  • In order to support social distancing and limit potential exposure to COVID‐19, a company that usually runs two shifts of workers adds a third shift, so that fewer employees are on onsite at any given time. Layoff aversion funding could be used to offset related costs to the employer or workers, excluding wages and benefits.

  • Incumbent worker training to redirect and reassign existing employees on critical business needs. Layoff aversion funding can help pay for projects to support the production of goods and services that are needed to address COVID‐19 National Health Emergency and/or preserve critical business operations to stay in business.

Please note that this list is not all inclusive. Employee payroll and benefits cannot, however, be covered through this funding opportunity. Upcoming costs as well as expenses incurred already since the start of the Governor’s stay-at-home order (March 20) can be reimbursed through this grant. The amount that can be awarded per company is $5,000-$50,000.  There is a very brief application document that companies in need should complete and submit to your local WorkNet office by close of business Wednesday, May 6.

Local Technical Assistance Provider

Norm Griffin, 309-321-0255, ngriffin@careerlink16.com.

Industry Specific Technical Assistance

Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program

Program Purpose: The Rural Development’s Rural Economic Development Grant and Loan Program promotes rural economic development projects which create and/or save jobs.

Provided by: USDA

MAXIMUM LOAN: $2,000,000


  • Business expansions & start-ups, including real estate, buildings &
  • Facilities and equipment to provide medical care including upgrades to
    electronic medical record systems
  • Community facility projects that create or save employment
  • Educational facilities and equipment including distance learning
  • Business incubators
  • Advanced telecommunications and computer networks for medical,
    educational and job training services


  • Maximum 10 Year Loans
  • 0% Interest rate
  • 20% Matching requirement

Program Contact:

Mary Warren



Rural Development Business & Loan Gurantee

Program Purpose: This program bolsters the existing private credit structure through the guaranteeing of loans for rural businesses, allowing private
lenders to extend more credit than they would typically be able to.

Who may apply for this program: Lenders with legal authority, sufficient experience, and financial strength to operate a successful lending program like Federal or State Chartered Banks, Savings & Loans, Farm Credit Banks, & Credit Unions.

What is an eligible area?
• Rural areas outside a city or town with a population
of less than 50,000
• Urbanized areas near a city of 50,000+ may not be eligible
• The borrower’s headquarters may be based within a
larger city so long as the project service area is located
in an eligible rural area
• The lender may be located anywhere
Check eligible addresses for Business Programs

Program Contact:
Dwight Reynolds
Area Director
USDA, Rural Development
1904 W. LaFayette Avenue, Suite 3
Jacksonville, IL 62650
Phone: 217-243-1535 Ext. 6
Email: Dwight.Reynolds@il.usda.gov


Illinois Manufacturing Helpline

The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, headquartered at Bradley University, has established a virtual helpline for manufacturing businesses here.

Illinois Manufacturers Association FAQ

IMA has put together an FAQ on COVID related business issues that is being constantly updated. You can find it here. While geared towards manufacturing, it is relevant for all types of business operations.

Temporary Restraining Order Over Workers Compensation Rule

From Illinois Manufacturers Association: Sangamon County Judge John M. Madonia issued a temporary restraining order following a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association earlier this week seeking to block emergency amendments filed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission that create a presumption that the workplace is the cause of COVID-19 cases.


During the Covid-19 crisis and ongoing changes they remain available to help the unemployed.

  • Apply online @ apply.resourcemfg.com
  • Download the Mobile App
  • Check online daily for updates on available jobs
  • Call or text to schedule over the phone interviews – Resource MFG Workforce Specialist 309-682-6511
New State Safety Regulations For Manufacturers

Within the Executive Order are new safety requirements for the manufacturing sector.  These include:

  • Providing face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six feet of social distancing at all times
  • Staggering shifts
  • Reducing line speeds
  • Operating only essential lines while shutting down non-essential lines
  • Ensuring that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing; and
  • Downsizing operations to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing and to provide a safe workspace in response to the COVID-19 emergency


Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

The United States Bartenders’ Guild National Charity Foundation has launched a program to assist bartenders, bar-backs, cocktail servers and other similar workers who are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID crisis (i.e. unpaid medical bills, eviction notice, etc.). Assistance is not available for businesses, just individuals. Find application link here.

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

The National Restaurant Association, thanks in part to a donation from Guy Fieri, has created the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Laid off restaurant employees who have worked at least 90 days part- or full-time in a restaurant in the past year can apply for a one time $500 payment. Applications open starting April 2. Find the application link here.

Guidance For Closed Food Service Operations

The Illinois Department of Public Health has provided guidance for re-opening bars and restaurants that have been closed during the state ban here.

Illinois Restaurant Association Resources Page

The Illinois Restaurant Association has compiled a comprehensive list of resources available to the restaurant industry including state and federal guidance, archived webinars, and business operations resources.  Near the bottom of the page is a list of links to various relief funds for restaurants and their employees. Click here for more.


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Childcare Providers

Purpose: Provide emergency certifications to child care providers who want to offer emergency care to essential workers.

Provided by: Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development

Home Childcare Provider Guidance

Effective March 21, 2020 and for as long as the public health emergency continues, licensed and licensed-exempt child care homes may serve up to six children of essential workers as a legally license-exempt home. Click here for additional guidance. No application or registration is required to continue operation, but homes choosing to remain open to serve the children of essential workers must:

Licensed & Licensed-Exempt Childcare Center Guidance

Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Pritzker amended the Executive Order to allow certain license-exempt child care centers to provide care for the children of essential workers without needing to apply for an Emergency Child Care License during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. It is recommended that centers serve no more than 50 children per center with a maximum group size of 10 per classroom. Click here for additional guidance that includes examples of the types of programs that qualify for this option. No application or registration is required to continue operation, but license-exempt centers choosing to remain open to serve the children of essential workers must:

Licensed Childcare Center Guidance

Effective March 21, 2020 child care centers can apply to become an Emergency Child Care Center to continue to serve the children of essential workers during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. It is recommended that centers serve no more than 50 children per center with a maximum group size of 10 per classroom. Click here for additional guidance. Centers that would like to apply to become an Emergency Child Care Center must:


Non Profits

Community Foundation Of Central Illinois Accepting Grant Applications

The Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI) announces the first grant cycle for the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund will begin accepting applications on April 22, 2020. The Fund will provide flexible financial support to nonprofit partners within the CFCI service area (a 50-mile radius of the city of Peoria, IL excluding Knox and McLean Counties), who are responding to increasing needs as a result of COVID-19. For the first cycle, applications are due Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Organizations may apply for up to $5,000. Find application and more information here.

Other Technical Assistance and Resources

Safely Reopening Guidance
Restore HOI

Let’s safely get back to business. Whether you are a business-owner looking to safely reopen or a resident looking for a certified COVID-19 compliant place to shop, Restore HOI is here to help. A local coalition of public health officials, small business owners, and elected officials from eleven counties developed guidelines and a certification process for businesses to gradually reopen. This phased plan uses IDPH guidance and leverages our region’s unique strengths to allow our economy to reopen while protecting residents’ health and safety.
On the RestoreHOI website you’ll find local businesses that are complying with the reopening guidelines. You can also register your own business as voluntarily compliant.

Visit the RestoreHOI portal here to certify your business and find guidance on compliance.

Illinois DCEO Reopening Industry Guides and Toolkits

To prepare businesses and employers to implement the new safety guidelines and to bring many residents back to work, the State of Illinois has developed this business toolkit complete with signage, training checklists, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest and greatest public health recommendations. Phase 3 guidelines span 10 different industry categories. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines.

Common Guidelines for all Phase 3 Businesses and Operations to follow can be found in the Phase 3 Business Toolkit.

For Industry-specific definitions, guidelines, and toolkits please click here.


Purpose: Expanded unemployment benefits for individuals, including new eligibility for workers.

Award Amount: Varies based on past income, but includes expanded benefits

Provided by: U.S. Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the publication of Unemployment Insurance Program Letter 14-20 (UIPL) outlining relevant provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act related to the administration of and eligibility criteria for state unemployment insurance (U.I.) programs, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for those not typically eligible for U.I., such as gig workers, and expanded U.I. Benefits. 

The UIPL outlines several new programs under the recent CARES Act. PUA provides benefits for eligible individuals who are self-employed, seeking part-time employment, or who otherwise would not qualify for U.I. Benefits under state or federal law. To be eligible, among other requirements, individuals must demonstrate that they are otherwise able to work and available for work within the meaning of applicable state law, except that they are unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable or unavailable to work because of COVID-19 related reasons. 

Under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, eligible individuals who are collecting certain U.I. Benefits, including regular unemployment compensation, will receive an additional $600 in federal benefits per week for weeks of unemployment ending on or before Jul. 31, 2020. 

Additionally, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program allows those who have exhausted benefits under regular unemployment compensation or other programs to receive up to 13 weeks of additional benefits. States must offer flexibility in meeting PEUC eligibility requirements related to “actively seeking work” if an applicant’s ability to do so is impacted by COVID-19. 

The Employment and Training Administration administers federal job training and dislocated worker programs, federal grants to states for public employment service programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. These services are primarily provided through state and local workforce development systems. 

To receive unemployment insurance benefits, you need to file a claim with the unemployment insurance program in the state where you worked. Depending on the state, claims may be filed in person, by telephone, or online. 

  • You should contact your state’s unemployment insurance program as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. 
  • Generally, you should file your claim with the state where you worked. If you worked in a state other than the one where you now live or if you worked in multiple states, the state unemployment insurance agency where you now live can provide information about how to file your claim with other states. 
  • When you file a claim, you will be asked for certain information, such as addresses and dates of your former employment. To make sure your claim is not delayed, be sure to give complete and correct information. 

Where Do I File for Unemployment Insurance? 

Unemployment insurance is a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to eligible workers. Each state administers a separate unemployment insurance program, but all states follow the same guidelines established by federal law. 

Illinois claimants can learn more, apply, and monitor benefits here.

Business License Extentions

Purpose: Extending deadlines around licensing renewal and fee structures to support businesses during pandemic hardship

Provided by: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced several proactive measures to help professional licensees and education providers in light of the challenges confronting all Illinoisans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing the limitation of in-person course availability and to further reduce contact between individuals, the Department has issued a series of variances that provide relief from the provisions of certain Administrative Rules pertaining to license renewal terms and to continuing education requirements. The five Variances may be found here.

Any professional licenses issued by the Department that have renewal dates between Mar. 1, 2020 through and including Jul. 31, 2020, are granted an automatic extension to renew to Sep. 30, 2020. Additionally, all current licensees under the Department’s jurisdiction whose license renewal deadlines fall within the period beginning Mar. 1, 2020 through and including Jul. 31, 2020 shall have up to, and including, Sep. 30, 2020, to complete their continuing education coursework. 

The Department is also allowing licensees to complete their continuing education coursework without requiring live attendance and permit for the interactive webinar and online distance education courses in addition to currently permitted methods. These and all Departmental licensees must continue to comply with all pertinent provisions of their respective licensing Acts. 

Additionally, during the period beginning Mar. 17, 2020, through and including Jul. 31, 2020, all massage therapy schools are permitted to offer online instruction for their lecture-based, non- hands-on courses. 

Finally, all cosmetology schools licensed under Article IIID of the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act of 1985 (“BCENT”) are permitted to teach online theory courses above the current ten percent (10%) hour limitation for students who are graduating on or before Jul. 31, 2020. 

Please note that all Continuing Education requirements MUST be completed at the time of renewal. Applications for renewal must indicate that all Continuing Education requirements are met. 

For a complete list of professions that are affected by this renewal extension, please click here. 

Human Resources

Local HR Consulting & Technical Assistance

Anderson HR Consulting

Raylana S. Anderson, SHRM-SCP, CEBS, MBA, SPHR is the founder and owner of Anderson Consulting. She serves as an HR consultant or interim HR director, partnering with leadership teams to recommend staffing solutions, strategically plan hiring, and institute best practices. Her role includes building an HR function and implementing HR practices to lead, support and sustain high performance as well as promote a culture of engagement and innovation. Raylana’s success includes leading HR for privately-held firms from 50 to 500 employees, as well as leading HR teams as business partners in global public firms. She has consulted with corporations and nonprofits and directed major change initiatives including acquisitions and IPOs. From an individual perspective, she has reviewed thousands of resumes, interviewed hundreds of individuals and assisted hiring managers in conducting interviews and selecting individuals to invite into their organizations. Raylana is also a media contributor with articles on human resources and employee benefits in The Wall Street Journal, CFO, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Inc., HR Magazine and InterBusiness Issues. Learn more at www.andersonhrconsulting.com

Contact Anderson HR




HR Fit

Erik Christian is a human resources professional with over a decade of experience helping companies at the executive level. Erik is focused on helping employers succeed by improving their human resources functions. Erik has specialties in, high-publicity employee relations issues, protracted labor negotiations and staff reductions, hiring procedures, personnel policies, and employee assessment programs, building an HR department from the ground up. Erik holds the SHRM-SCP, SPHR, and IPMA-CP certifications, as well as a master’s degree in public administration, with a graduate certificate in management of non-profit organizations. Learn more at https://www.hrfitnow.com/

Contact HR Fit




Other HR Resources


AAIM Employers’ Association provides comprehensive HR solutions for companies of any size.  We offer employers the services, tools, and resources they need to hire, develop, and retain employees efficiently and effectively. AAIM’s mission is to support the development of an elite group of employers that deploys progressive and comprehensive talent management solutions to create great communities to live in by developing great places to work.

Find free COVID19 HR resources here.

Center for Creative Leadership

The CCL began in the twentieth century in North Carolina (U.S.A.), when Lunsford Richardson, with the help of his son H. Smith Richardson, founded a company to sell and distribute a series of home remedies he had invented as a small town pharmacist. The company, built around one of these remedies, Vicks VapoRub, a salve containing menthol that relieved head and chest congestion, eventually grew into the Vick Chemical Company. Today, the CCL’s mission is to advance the understanding, practice and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide. To fully realize our mission, the Center will create new knowledge that advances our field and that positively transforms the way leaders, their organizations and their societies confront the most difficult challenges of the 21st century.

Find free COVID19 HR & Leadership Resources here.

Procurement & Business Opportunities

Small Business Procurement & Biz Opps Resources

The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides a number of resources and guides on how to grow business through various contracting means and how to become a certified federal contractor, minority-owned business, woman-owned business, LGBTQIA business, and more. The local Small Business Development Center at Bradley University also has experts on procurement and contracting to help answer questions or small businesses looking for new revenue streams.

Visit the SBA Business Guide website here.

Visit the Peoria SBDC Business Guide website here.

Contact the SBDC here

Jim Foley



Local & Interstate Business Procurement & Biz Opps

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council through their ElevateGP led by Director of Business Assistance, Sally Hanley can assist businesses in identifying new business opportunities and local resources/incentives to support business growth. Returning to normal and looking to replace lost revenue is challenging, but the folks at the GPEDC can help.

Contact the GPEDC

Sally Hanley

Director of Business Assistance


(309) 495-5953


Manufacturing Procurement & Business Opportunities 

Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network

Through the GPMN we are working to make the region more resilient by diversifying our manufacturing sector, this includes identifying new clients, qualifying your business to go after federal contracts, and using cutting edge market research to identify new private business opportunities. Learn more about the GPMN here.

Contact GPMN here

Mark Slover

Director, Greater Peoria Manufacturing Network




Illinois Defense Industry Network 

The Federal government, through the Department of Defense contracts trillions of dollars each year in work across the country. In response to the pandemic, becoming a certified federal contractor can help diversify your business, recoup lost revenue and find new revenue to return to better. The GPEDC has staff at the ready to get your business certified to go after this new revenue stream, find their contact info below.

Contact GPEDC

Linda Krendick

ILDIN Program Manager, Peoria


(309) 339-0355


Illinois Manufacturing Helpline

The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, headquartered at Bradley University, has established a virtual helpline for manufacturing businesses here.


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Financial Planning and Wealth Management

Will be added as identified.

© 2020 Greater Peoria Economic Development Council