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Financial Help for Small Businesses during the Pandemic







Skokie businesses are entitled to financial help during the pandemic, and the information changes quickly. It is difficult to know where to look and what to do first. Here’s a brief summary of where to get started.

The Village of Skokie has a special, frequently updated Resource Page for Businesses affected by COVID-19. This page includes forms and the latest information and links to local, state, and federal programs. 

Act quickly to take advantage of two small business grant programs. 

Cook County Recovery Grant application open 

Apply for a Cook County Community Recovery Small Business Assistance grant. $10,000 Recovery Grants are now available for suburban Cook County small businesses that have experienced losses due to COVID-19. Applications are open through October 6. The Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance program also offers free one-on-one business advising and webinars offering guidance on how to pivot your business multiple languages. 

Second Round of State Funds Available for Businesses 

The second round of the State of Illinois Business Interruption Grant Program (BIG) opened September 17. It is offering $220 million in assistance to small businesses impacted by the pandemic. The state is prioritizing certain areas and types of business, but the grant program is open to all eligible for-profit and not-for-profit businesses with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and who experienced losses due to COVID-19. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses. See additional information on the BIG program and how to apply here. DCEO will be hosting a series of webinars about the BIG Program. 

Register for any of the webinars with these links: 

The Village of Skokie has a special, frequently updated Resource Page for Businessesaffected by COVID-19. This page includes forms and the latest information and links to local, state, and federal programs.

Business Counseling

Small business counselors, funded by the Small Business Administration, are available to help businesses of any size free of charge. Our local North Cook and Lake Counties SCORE chapter created a Coronavirus Resource Hub, where you can sign up for remote mentoring from a SCORE business counselor and for webinars addressing the issues businesses are encountering. Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are also available to assist businesses seeking loans, counseling, and preparedness planning. A list of nearby Small Business Development Centers, now operating remotely, can be located here

Library Business Resources

The library has online tools to help businesses. Find customers and competitors, take online courses to sharpen your skills, create business plans, and keep up with the latest business news. If your business is located in Skokie or is a member of the Skokie Chamber of Commerce you can apply for or renew a business library card online, and use it to access library business resources remotely. 

Chamber of Commerce

The Skokie Chamber of Commerce has a list of resources available to all businesses during the pandemic and is providing free business webinars on a wide range of topics to current, past, and prospective members. 

Loans and Other Financial Resources

Local, state, and federal resources are available to provide some relief, even to the smallest businesses. Many of these programs are time sensitive, so don’t hesitate to apply.