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    On Monday February 1, 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that suburban Cook County can move to Phase 4 of Governor JB Prtizker's Restore Illinois Plan. This will be effective February 2, 2021. CLICK HERE to read more.

    Cook County however have maintained slightly stricter guidelines - CLICK HERE to read more.


    If your business is in River Forest, you are under the jurisdiction of the Cook County Department of Public Health, and as of February 3 you are still subject to the Cook County Order - CLICK HERE.

    If your business is in Oak Parkyou are under the jurisdiction of the Oak Park Department of Public Health, and as of February 4 you are subject to the Oak Park Order - CLICK HERE for more information. CLICK HERE to see the Order.


    The IDPH has divided Illinois into 11 regions and  is monitoring key indicators to identify early but significant  increases of  COVID-19 transmission 

    CLICK HERE to see the regions and the indicator levels.

    CLICK HERE to see the tiered menu of mitigation options



    Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 
    Round #2 has opened!
    WHAT IS THIS? Small businesses, independent contractors and nonprofits in need of support due to COVID-19.  This time the program is coming in two parts:
    First Draw PPP Loans -  This is for those who have not previously received a PPP loan.
    To promote access for smaller lenders and their customers, SBA will initially only accept First Draw PPP Loan applications from participating community financial institutions (CFIs). The applications opened January 11, 2021 - CLICK HERE for information.
     Second Draw PPP Loans - This is for those businesses who have already received a PPP loan. At least $25 billion is being set aside for Second Draw PPP Loans to eligible borrowers with a maximum of 10 employees or for loans of $250,000 or less to eligible borrowers in low or moderate income neighborhoods. - CLICK HERE for information.
    IMPORTANT NOTE - you must apply for all PPP funding through a certified financial institution. Please reach out to me if you need a hand finding someone local who can help you! Our Chamber members are dedicated to supporting our local businesses and specifically Chamber members. The SBA also has a link where borrowers can be matched with qualified PPP lenders using SBA Lender Match.
    Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
    - Applications are still open until Dec 31, 2021
    WHAT IS THIS? This loan provides economic relief to small businesses and non-profit organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue
    CLICK HERE for more information.
    CLICK HERE for the application.
    IMPORTANT NOTE - Funds for the forgivable EIDL advance have been fully allocated and are no longer available.
    NEW - Shuttered Venue Operator's Grant
    This is a new grant and they are not yet accepting applications.
    WHAT IS THIS GRANT? New grant to support venues with a focus on live performance - live venue operators, theatres, live performing arts, relevant museum operators, motion picture theatres. Eligible organizations with a reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have the opportunity to receive up to a $10 million grant under the program
    CLICK HERE for more information.
    RE: DCEO Business Interruption Grant (BIG)
    - Apply NOW - applications are open and will continue until funds are depleted.
    CLICK HERE to apply in English. FAQ's can be found on the website in English And Spanish
     - WHAT IS THIS GRANT? This is a program developed by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. This second round of funding has a particular focus on businesses downstate, in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), and for heavily impacted industries.
    CLICK HERE for more information.
    - A Little Note - in order to apply for this you have to be in a Disproportionately Impacted Area.
    Fearless Fund
    - Apply NOW - applications close January 24, 2021
    WHAT IS THIS GRANT? - The Fearless Fund is disbursing 10 business grants to 10 women of color entrepreneurs in the amount of $10,000 each for covid relief by January 31st, 2021
    CLICK HERE for more information and to apply.
    (NOTE - thank you to Christian Harris of Maid Pro Oak Park for bringing this amazing grant to our attention)
    RE: Oak Park Loan Program
    Applications are still open and there are still funds left for the taking!
    Oak Park’s Business Assistance Loan Program, funded by a federal grant money, continues to be a success having loaned-out almost $350,000 to local, qualified small businesses.  To date, 67 loans have been approved by the Village. The small businesses receiving these loans are from all areas of Oak Park.  

    The Village continues to accept applications for the federally funded Oak Park Business Assistance Loan Program.  Information about the loan program can be found on the Village’s website at https://www.oak-park.us/village-services/business-services/covid-19-business-assistance-loan-program. The Village encourages Oak Park businesses to access the information on the Village’s website to see if you qualify for this important funding opportunity.  Additional money is still available to fund qualified applicants.

    Have you got questions? We have the perfect person for you to talk to! The fabulous Cam Davis from Development Customer Service would love to hear from you and has been shepherding our local businesses through this process for months. Please feel free to reach out to him at cdavis@oak-park.us.
    Sburban Unity Alliance Small Business Relief Fund
    - First round of funding is closed, but the wait list for the second round is OPEN!
    WHAT IS THIS? Suburban Unity Alliance's small business and service/essential workers relief fund will provide micro-grants to each Oak Park small business & employee that have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The micro-grant process will be 100% transparent to the community as the fund provides financial assistance to our local small businesses and employees.
    CLICK HERE for more information.
    - Want to be put on the waitlist for the next round of funding? Contact SUA directly at anthony@suburbanunity.org
    Quick reminder that the OPEDC has a great blog on Tips for Approaching a Lender 
     - The SBA also has a link where borrowers can be matched with qualified PPP lenders using SBA Lender Match.  
    - Looks like Starbucks will be coming to the table with some small business relief - we will keep our eyes open for more information. CLICK HERE for more information.