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Business Resources

Cook County Community Recovery Initiative

Cook County has launched 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.

The Community Recovery Initiative includes a loan fund for small businesses and independent contractors and a technical assistance network to help small businesses, nonprofits and independent contractors access the full range of state and federal funding available to recover financially from COVID-19. Visit cookcountyil.gov/recovery for more information and sign up for updates on the program. Download an overview of the initiative.

Cook County Financial Relief Package

With businesses and residents facing so many challenges and difficulties created by the coronavirus, Cook County is moving to waive various County fines, fees and deferring tax collections. Waiving these fines and fees and deferring the County’s tax collection will assist businesses in terms of cash flow to the tune of $35 million during these trying times. This can provide some breathing room for businesses that are struggling. 

Under this relief package, due dates for Home Rule Taxes like the Alcoholic Beverage Tax, Amusement Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gasoline and Hotel Accommodations Tax will be pushed back. So will numerous fines and fees under the jurisdictions of the Departments of Transportation and Highways, Environment and Sustainability, Revenue, Building and Zoning and Public Health.

Download the full list of business-friendly efforts.

Resident Resources

AlertCook, Hotline and Email

Sign up for AlertCook, Cook County's text alert system. Simply text "AlertCook" to 888-777.

The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) has opened a new hotline, with live translation services available in all major languages: (708) 633-3319. This hotline is available Monday through Friday during regular office hours and is staffed by CCDPH staff. If you cannot immediately reach a member of staff, please leave a voicemail. Voicemails will be returned.

CCDPH has also launched an email service for all COVID-19 questions and concerns at CCDPH.COVID19@cookcountyhhs.org.

Homelessness Prevention

  • If you are a suburban Cook County resident and need financial assistance with mortgage, rent payments, rent deposits, utility payments, or other housing issues please call the Homeless Prevention Call Center at (877) 4-COOK-15 or (877) 426-6515. Listen carefully to the prompts to choose which kind of help you need. City of Chicago residents should call 311 or (312) 744-5000 (outside of Chicago).

  • Emergency shelter: Due to changes in shelter operations due to COVID-19, please call the Homeless Prevention Call Center at (877) 4-COOK-15 or (877) 426-6515 if possible to be directed appropriately to shelter resources. If you are not able to call, please see shelter providers in suburban Cook County.

Domestic Violence

Visit the Domestic Violence Hotlines: http://www.suburbancook.org/dv

Food Access

  • The Greater Chicago Food Depository responds to food insecurity in our community every single day. Anyone in need of food assistance can turn to the Food Depository’s network of agencies and programs. With some exceptions, their network of 700 partner agencies and programs remains open. These sites are modifying their distributions to promote social distancing, including offering pre-packaged boxes of groceries.
  • School districts throughout Cook County suburbs are providing meals to families in need. Find the details here: http://bit.ly/CookCountyMeals
  • Download this list of South Suburban Food Pantries.

Detailed Health Information

Cook County Department of Public Health: https://www.cookcountypublichealth.org/communicable-diseases/covid-19/

  • Updated cases in Cook County
  • Information for healthcare providers and communities
  • Detailed health and hygiene recommendations
  • Contact information for suburban Cook County
  • Information for individuals: Clean, Cover and Contain

Illinois Department of Public Health: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Regularly posted updates on new cases in Illinois
  • Updated cautions and advisories
  • Recommendations specific to Illinois

Employment Questions

Residents who have questions about the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance and COVID-19 can visit the service page for frequently asked questions at the Department of Human Rights and Ethics.

Job seekers can visit the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership's website to find out who's hiring now.

Residents with questions about unemployment insurance and COVID-19 can visit Illinois Department of Employment Security for frequently asked questions.

Emergency Management and Regional Security Donation Initiative

On March 26, 2020, President Preckwinkle signed Executive Order 2020-6 directing EMRS to accept supplies, equipment, goods, services and other donations from private partners, corporations, and individuals for rapid deployment to Cook County agencies, first responders, municipal partners and not-for-profit organizations working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis to provide our region’s most vulnerable communities with emergency assistance. In times of crisis, coordination is vital and valued in getting critical resources to communities most impacted and the Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) has been working diligently to mobilize philanthropic, government, and business partners to support our community.

The County is asking closed hospitality, entertainment, educational and manufacturing facilities as well as other businesses that have PPE inventory currently not in use, to donate those items so that Cook County can distribute them to facilities who most need them now.

Cook County is accepting eye protection such as face shields and goggles, nitrile (non-latex) gloves, surgical face masks, non-contact (infrared) thermometers, disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer and infection control kits. The County will also accept Tyvek or Tychem coveralls, shoes and boot coverings and gowns including surgical, isolation and personal protection.

All PPE should be in the manufacturer's original packaging and unopened. Cook County is unable to accept products not in their original packaging or homemade items. Anyone who would like to donate PPE or has any questions should email donate@cookcountyil.gov.

Executive Order 2020-8: Authorization of Line of Credit

On Monday, April 6, 2020 President Preckwinkle signed Executive Order 2020-8, authorizing the Chief Financial Officer to draw upon a $100 million line of credit to ensure continuity of operations due to COVID-19.

County Offices Closed to the Public: Vital Services Available Online

Please be advised that County facilities will be closed to the public to the extent possible, effective March 23, 2020 to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and comply with the State of Illinois' Stay at Home Order. Please visit specific agency pages for more information about office hours and remote contact information. Services will still be available online, and staff will still be available by phone or email, even though physical office spaces are closed to the public.

Please note that the Governor's Stay at Home Order has been extended to April 30, 2020. President Preckwinkle issued Executive Order 2020-7 to ensure that Cook County complies with the extended Stay at Home Order.

For more information, resources and Frequently Asked Questions about the Stay at Home order, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov.

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This webpage was last updated on April 8, 2020.