COVID-19 Resource Center

As Illinois’ innovation community continues to weather the COVID-19 storm, ISTC is committed to keeping members and partners updated on new resources available to assist business, non-profits, and education institutions through this challenging time. This Resource Center page will include the latest updates as new resources become available, and keep a running list of assistance programs currently in place.


For assistance navigating or applying for federal or state assistance, please contact ISTC



What’s next for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?

On Tuesday (4/21), the White House and Congress reached a deal to provide additional funding to PPP. Via The Hill: “The deal includes $310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), $60 billion of which is set aside for small lenders and community financial institutions; $50 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program; $25 billion for testing; and $75 billion for hospitals, according to details later released.”


How does the SBA Paycheck Protection Program work?

The new Paycheck Protection Program created through the CARES Act begins accepting applications April 3rd. The latest details from ABIC:

Starting [April 3rd], small businesses and nonprofits can apply for the nearly $350 billion in loan/grant available through the Payroll Protection Program, Division A of CARES 2.2 trillion Coronavirus Economic Relief.
Paycheck Protection Program FINAL Borrower Form HERE
  • Up to 100% forgivable as long as employers keep paying their workers.
  • Employers can borrow up to 250% of their average monthly payroll (with max. of 10M)
  • Eligible if you are: sole proprietor, partnership, C-Corp, S-Corp, LLC, Independent contractor, Eligible self employed individual, 501c3 nonprofit, 501c19 veteran organization, tribal business of SBA
Talk to your lender today (or a local lender): Ask to apply for SBA 7a program called “Payroll Protection Program” FINAL Borrower form HERE


Besides PPP, what else is in the federal stimulus package?

Part of the larger CARES emergency relief package, the Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act passed both the US Senate and House, and was signed by the President on March 27th. Beyond the PPP, the Act… (Source: ABIC)

  • Provides $265 million for grants to offer counseling, training, and related assistance to small businesses affected by COVID-19 to SBA resource partners, including Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers and $10 million for the Minority Business Development Agency’s Minority Business Centers and Minority Chambers of Commerce. 
  • Allows for expedited access to capital by establishing a $10 billion program for small businesses who have applied for an EIDL loan to request an advance of up to $10,000 on the loan to provide paid sick leave to employees, maintaining payroll, and other debt obligations.  
  • Requires SBA to pay all principal, interest and fees on all new and existing SBA loan products including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs for 6 months, and provides $17 billion for this purpose.

Via SSTI: At a high level, the following sections of the third coronavirus relief package are most likely to be relevant to the technology based-economic development fields:

  • Tax credits of up to $5,000 per worker for businesses meeting certain size and employee retention requirements — note that companies cannot use both the credits and emergency SBA 7(a) loans;
  • SBA is receiving more funding for emergency small business loans — qualifying SBA loans may now include deferral of payment for one year — and 501(c)(3) nonprofits are eligible for these loans (more details on SBA loans);
  • EDA is receiving $1.5 billion for their economic development assistance programs (including project funding, revolving loan funds and technical assistance);
  • USDA has also received funding to provide their business and industry loans on an emergency basis;
  • MEP is receiving $50 million to help expand assistance to manufacturers;
  • NIMBL Manufacturing USA center is receiving $10 million (per a release by Sen. Patrick Leahy);
  • SBA small business development centers (SBDCs) and women’s business centers (WBCs) are receiving $192 million and $48 million, respectively, to expand technical assistance;
  • Higher education will benefit from $14 billion in relief, including $6.2 billion each for institutions and for student aid (per the Chronicle of Higher Education); and,
  • NSF, NIH, DOE’s national labs, and other agencies are receiving funds to advance vaccine- and treatment-related R&D and commercialization.


Federal Assistance

SBA Paycheck Protection Program

Passed through the CARES Act stimulus legislation, the Paycheck Protection Program offers foreseeable loans of up to 2.5X payroll costs through SBA approved lenders. Loans will be forgiven if it is used only on eligible costs (including payroll, rent, utilities, and related costs). Regulations around the program are currently being developed by SBA, with the goal launching by Friday, April 3rd.


SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

Businesses can secure up to $2 million in low interest loans (3.75% for business, 2.75% for non-profits). SBA is offering long-term repayments, up to a maximum of 30 years. 


Small Business Development Centers

SBDC has a resource page listing help for small businesses and encourages them to contact their local SBDC for assistance as well.


State Assistance

Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund

The United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, in collaboration with the Office of Governor JB Pritzker, have established the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to raise funds from individual, corporate, and foundation donors to be disbursed to nonprofit organizations across the state serving individuals, families and communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.


Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

Businesses located outside of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply for low interest loans of up to $50,000. Loans include a 5-year repayment period with no payments due for the first six months. Learn more here.


Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

Repurposes $20 million in CDBG to offer grants of up to $25,000 to businesses with less than 50 employees. Grants will be offered on a rolling basis. Learn more here.


Other resources

  • City of Chicago Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program is offering $5,000 grants to support businesses with four or fewer employees. Apply before May 5th
  • Facebook is offering $100 million in small business grants across 30 countries. Learn more here.
  • JPMorgan Chase announced a $50 million global philanthropic commitment to address the immediate public health and long-term economic challenges from the COVID-19 global pandemic. Learn more here.
  • The University of Chicago and Washington Prime Group released the Open for Small Business Initiative with webinars and templates for entrepreneurs. Learn more here.
  • Crain’s Chicago Business has a toolbox of available resources for business owners and leaders. Learn more here.  
  • The Salesforce Care Small Business Grants program provides individual grants of $10,000 grants to U.S. small business to help them weather this crisis. You can learn more here.
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISTC) and State Farm have partnered to offer central Illinois small business with $10 million. Learn more about the initiative.


Special thanks to ABIC, SSTI, and Van Scoyoc Associates for their assistance tracking ongoing developments. Are there resources we’re missing? Let us know.

Last updated: 4/30 (10:30am CT):


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