What is the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance Program?

Cook County and our partners are providing business advising and recovery grants to support small businesses affected by COVID-19. The Cook County-Chicago Business Advising Program will expand the capacity of established business service organizations to help and guide business owners across Chicago and Cook County with acquiring new capital and customers, understanding the impact of COVID-19 on their finances, implementing change and risk management strategies, adjusting business models, and operating under new safety regulation. The Cook County Recovery Grants program will provide grants up to $10,000 to businesses in suburban Cook County whose sales have been reduced due to COVID-19.     

How our Small Business Assistance Program Can Help You

Through business service organization partners, the program will serve small businesses with the following: 

  • Optional group educational webinars to get small businesses thinking about how they have been impacted and how they want to pivot their business
  • One-on-one business advising (also known as technical assistance or ‘TA’ amongst economic development circles) to help small businesses address their unique needs
  • Standardized curriculum, intake, and other impact measurement tools to ensure continuous program improvement and consistent impact reporting and accountability 
  • Cook County Recovery grants of up to $10,000 for businesses that have seen losses due to COVID-19 in suburban Cook County and the unincorporated areas.

Webinar Series

The Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance webinars will serve as guided, interactive sessions that start to get small business owners thinking about how their business has been impacted and how they may want to pivot their business.  The webinars will take place for six consecutive weeks starting on Thursday, September 24th from 2:00pm – 4:00pm CDT. 

In this webinar, participants will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the type of assistance available to their business through the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance program
  • Understand the most critical elements to consider when recovering from a business disruption such as COVID-19
  • Identify immediate next steps they can take to recover from a business disruption
  • Gain a better understanding of business continuity and resiliency planning

Register here for the webinar series. 


To understand if your small business is eligible, find out more details and to apply for relief, please visit: cookcountysmallbusinessassistance.com 

If you have any questions and/or are encountering technical difficulties, please review information to troubleshoot your situation at the following link. For more specific technical questions please reach out to Submittable’s Customer Support team at support@submittable.com. For questions specific to your application, you can reply to your Business Support Organization.


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Business Service Organizations:

Chicago Urban League, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women's Business Development Center

Support Business Service Organizations:

Accion, Berwyn Development Corporation, Chicago TREND, Cook County Black Chamber Corporation, Southland Development Authority

Referral Partners:

Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council, Chamber 57, Chicago Heights Economic Development Corporation, Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, Chicago Southland Economic Development Corporation, Economic Strategies Development Corporation, Far South Community Development Corporation, Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation, Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce, Ignite Technology & Innovation, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, Illinois Restaurant Association, Indo-American Center, Mid-South Business Association and Resource Center, Mujeres Latinas En Acción, Next Level Northwest, Northwest Side Community Development Corporation, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Rogers Park Business Alliance, Schaumburg Business Association, Somercor, Southwest Collective, Sunshine Enterprises, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago