This is a challenging time and an ever-changing landscape for our communities. Business as usual no longer exists. Business owners are worried about keeping their businesses afloat and families are worried about how they’ll pay rent and other necessities in the coming weeks. The purpose of this page is to provide information to the business community as soon as we have it. 

Stay in touch!

  • Sign-up for Cook County text alert: Simply text ‘AlertCook’ to 888-777.
  • Sign-up for our email list here.

Support for Small Businesses and Manufacturers


  • Cook County Community Recovery Initiative is a comprehensive initiative to provide economic relief to small businesses, non-profits, community service organizations and independent contractors (1099 workers) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  View details



Business Operations

  • Details about the Federal Aid Package CARES have been released and have a variety of resources for Small Businesses. Read this summary to learn more.
  • The US Chamber of Commerce has released their Small Business Loan Guide that you can learn about financial assistance for your company.
  • Technical Assistance for Small Businesses: There are a variety of new loan products (see more below) on the market to assist businesses currently. We are pleased that our grantees, Women’s Business Development Center, with a location in Richton Park offers excellent resources and tools to assist businesses navigate this landscape. For example, Cash Flow Solutions for Small Businesses  is a good place to start. In addition, the new Southland SBDC which grew of the South Suburban Economic Growth Initiative is offering webinars how to apply for SBA funds. 
  • State of Illinois ‘What is Essential?” Quick guidance on what is considered essential for businesses to maintain operations.

Financial Support

  • Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) released Chicagoland COVID-19 Community Development Resource Guide for developers, small businesses and nonprofit organizations
  • Chicago Small Business Relief Fund – This $100 M fund will provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans.
  • Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund 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 owe 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. Application will open March 27, 2020.
  • DCEO is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes to help hospitality businesses make ends meet during the COVID-19 pandemic. DCEO is working with partners including Accion to launch the program and have started to accept applications.
  • Facebook Small Business Grants Program Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.
  • SBA Disaster Assistance - Low-interest federal disaster loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • Tax Relief - IRS Guidance related to Coronavirus for businesses and individuals

Supply Chain

  • Resources to Become a Critical Supplier- During these challenging times, finding new ways to work together and forge new partnerships will help our communities stay safe, healthy and able to recover quickly from this crisis. The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development, the Chicago Metro Metal Consortium and the Illinois Defense Network have developed resources and guidance on joining the supply network for COVID-19.
  • Supply Chain Needs/Interests: Visit IMEC. Want to provide goods or services to help in this crisis?


Support for Employees

  • Unemployment Benefits - Governor Pritzker has made unemployment benefits available to those whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19.

View the webinar from Cook County on the Paycheck Protection Program.

Stay in Contact with us

Sign up here for more information


This webpage was last updated on April 9, 2020.