Yesterday, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced two brand new programs that were specifically designed to providing much needed capital to rural and downstate small businesses.
The Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund is a $60 million program to offer low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for “small businesses in every industry outside of the city of Chicago.” To be eligible to apply you must have fewer than 50 employees and have less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 and the first payment will not be due for six months.
Additionally, the Governor announced the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This program is a $20 million grant program for “small businesses in suburban and rural counties across Illinois.” These grants are available to businesses of up to 50 employees the chance to work with their local government to obtain a grant of up to $25,000. To be eligible for this grant, your community must be qualified to receive Community Development Block Grant funds.
Illinois State Senator Andy Manar released this statement, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of downstate communities,” Manar said. “Rather than massive corporate investments, the rural way of life is driven by the ability of family-owned businesses to support each other. I applaud Governor Pritzker for recognizing rural downstate business owners’ unique needs and taking bold action to help them protect their livelihoods and endure the challenges and uncertainty posed by COVID-19.”
Applications for these grants will be available on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website by Friday, March 27th, 2020.