The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

Dear Member,

I wish I had more of an update, but with the Governor’s extension of the stay-at-home order to April 30 I wanted to send out some reminders of deadlines and resources available to you.

First, for those businesses applying for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, the deadline to apply is TOMORROW, April 1 at 5 p.m. Click here to apply. This grant is given through a lottery process and we’re told you will hear by April 4.

Starting tomorrow, the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will start taking applications. This fund will offer low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will pay 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. To apply and for more details click here.

The details of the forgivable loans through the Federal CARES Act are still being released. What we do know is these loans will be through local banks who are lenders with the SBA. This list here is provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration and will be updated. WE RECOMMEND CONTACTING YOUR LOCAL BANK DIRECTLY to see if they are able to assist with the Payment Protection Program through the CARES Act. In addition, your bank may have its own program to assist you. The CARES Act loans may be forgivable if business owners maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. See the downloads below for more information on the CARES Act loans. The U.S. Treasury Department has released overviews for the lender and the borrower, as well as the application. See below.

There is a lot of information here and being distributed on loans and grants. We know how overwhelming this is. One of the most asked questions is, "Can apply for more than one of these options?" THE ANSWER IS YES. For example, if you applied for the first SBA loan option circulated shortly after local businesses were forced to close, you can also apply for the forthcoming Paycheck Protection Program there CARES.

Also starting tomorrow, employers are required to notify their staffs of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requirements either in their places of business or electronically if employees are working from home. Here is the link with the information that must be shared.

With all of this also comes unemployment benefits questions. The Illinois Dept. of Employment Security has put together a FAQ list that is helpful - click here for the list. will have all of this information, as well as childcare information, health precautions, and other resources for you and your business.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out via [email protected] or my cell phone at 815-715-2806. We will answer as we can and if we don’t have an answer, we’ll connect you with who does. Please also follow our social media pages for COVID-19 updates and Chamber member info.

We stay in consistent contact with our legislators on your needs and ideas, so keep them coming. Continue to keep us aware of changes in your business and tell us how we can help you. Above all, stay safe.

Christina Van Yperen
President & CEO

U.S. Department of Treasury Releases Information on Paycheck Protection Program
Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Treasury shared new information regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Please review the resources provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury below and visit their webpage for additional information.
  • A top-line overview of the program can be found here.
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.
  • The application for borrowers can be found here.

Click Here to Learn More