SPRINGFIELD – Restaurants, hotels and other small businesses across the state are encouraged to take advantage of two new emergency assistance programs, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D- Chicago) announced. 

“This pandemic has put a halt to many of the local businesses Illinoisians depend on,” Van Pelt said. “It’s good the Governor has set emergency programs in place, so that our city’s small businesses can get the relief they need. Otherwise the repercussions of this pandemic may cause insurmountable damage.”

To provide assistance to struggling small business owners, Gov. JB Pritzker revealed the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund, a $60 million program that will support low-interest loans. Small businesses in Chicago can apply here.

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Loan recipients will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

Pritzker also announced the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, which offers $14 million in grants to restaurants, bars, hotels and other hospitality businesses to help them make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis. It will provide up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels.

Grant funds can be used to compensate employees and pay rent, or to support new practices like expanded pick-up, delivery and sanitation.

“Just because these businesses are nonessential doesn’t mean they are unimportant,” said Van Pelt. “Even businesses who are essential are struggling right now due to the adjustments they made under the new safety measures. My hope is that these programs will help keep our small business owners afloat.”

Applications to the Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will be available on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website today. 

The application period for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program is open now and closes April 1 at 5 p.m. Businesses can find more information on the program here or apply here. A Spanish-language application is available here.




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