If you operate a small business in the states of Iowa and Illinois, there are some available relief options that may assist during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the deadlines to apply for these programs are fast approaching.
When researching relief programs and options in your state, an excellent resource is your state’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Local SBDC websites contain up-to-date information to assist in choosing loans and grants to best meet your business’ potential needs. The SBDC even offers one-on-one counseling and additional support.
Iowa’s SBDC Website: CLICK HERE
Illinois’s SBDC Website: CLICK HERE
Although new options for financial assistance continue to arise from state and federal sources, if your business is considering state emergency COVID-19 aid, the time to do so is now, as some of these programs are time sensitive.
In Iowa, small businesses may be eligible for a relief grant and/or tax deferral but the deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 31, 2020 by 12:00 p.m. These programs are not first come-first served, so each application will be reviewed. These two programs stem from Iowa’s Small Business Relief Program which is designed to provide financial assistance to small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
A. SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF GRANT
DEADLINE TO APPLY TUESDAY MARCH 31, 2020 by 12:00 p.m.
The Small Business Relief Grant offers grants ranging from $5,000-$25,000.00 to eligible businesses. The assistance is only intended to provide businesses with immediate, short-term cash flow assistance for approximately the next 30 days.
Funds can be used to assist businesses in maintaining operations or reopening after COVID-19, but cannot be used to pay debts incurred prior to March 17, 2020.
Who is eligible for this grant?
1. Businesses experiencing disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic;
2. Businesses employing between 2-25 people prior to March 17, 2020; and
3. Businesses with physical location in Iowa.
In determining the number of employees, both full and part time employees are considered. Sole proprietors are eligible applicants but must have at least 2 employees. This can include one owner and one part of full time employee.
The grant amount will be determined by the level of impact, including loss in sales revenue and employees.
Notification of award decisions and disbursement of grant funds will be made in early April and the disbursed shortly thereafter.
For more information and to complete and submit the application: CLICK HERE
B. IOWA BUSINESS TAX DEFERRAL
DEADLINE TO APPLY TUESDAY MARCH 31, 2020 by 12:00 p.m.
The Iowa Business Tax Deferral program provides deferral for sales and use or withholding tax to qualified applicants. If tax deferral is granted for a business, someone from the IDR will contact applicants to further discuss the deferral.
Who is Eligible for Tax Deferral?
1. Business experiencing business disruption due to COVID-19 pandemic;
2. Business with physical location in Iowa
For more information and to complete and submit application: CLICK HERE
In Illinois, the following Emergency Small Business Grants and Loans are available:
A. HOSPITALITY EMERGENCY GRANT PROGRAM (Bars, Restaurants and Hotels)
APPLICATION DEADLINE APRIL 1, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.
This grant program is designed for the hospitality industry and is funded with $14 million dollars from the state. Grant funds are available to support working capital such as payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operation. This includes costs for increased pick-up and delivery. Winners are chosen by a lottery and therefore there is no benefit to having your application in before other businesses.
Who is eligible to apply?
1. Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food and liquor who generated less than $1 million dollars in revenue in 2019.
2. Hotels with a valid license who generated revenues less than $8 million in 2019 may also apply.
Amount of grant:
If you own a bar and restaurant that generated less than $500,000 in annual revenue last year you will be eligible for up to $10,000.00.
If you own a bar and restaurant that generated between $500,000 and $1 million dollars in annual revenue last year you will be eligible for up to $25,000.00
Hotels that generated less than $8 million dollars in annual revenue last year will be eligible for up to $50,000.00.
Businesses will be notified on April 4, 2020 if they receive an award. Illinois is striving to make the funds available within 2 days of receiving necessary banking information.
For more information or to apply for the Hospitality Grant: CLICK HERE
B. ILLINOIS SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY LOAN FUND
Illinois has established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans up to $50,000.00. Applicants will owe nothing for 6 months and then will make fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five year loan term.
Who is eligible for these loans?
Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019.
For more information and to apply: CLICK HERE
C. DOWNSTATE SMALL BUSINESS STABILIZATION PROGRAM (RURAL BUSINESSES)
To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties the DCEO is re-purposing $20 million dollars in funds to set up this stabilization program. The fund will offer businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.
Who is eligible?
Businesses with 50 employees or less
Who is NOT eligible?
Businesses operating in urban counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair, Will
Business operating in metropolitan cities: Arlington Heights, Aurora, Berwyn, Bloomington, Champaign, Chicago, Cicero, Danville, Decatur, DeKalb, Des Plaines, Elgin, Evanston, Hoffman Estates, Joliet, Kankakee, Moline, Mount Prospect, Naperville, Normal, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Palatine, Pekin, Peoria, Rantoul, Rockford, Rock Island, Schaumburg, Skokie, Springfield, Urbana, Waukegan
Applications started on Friday, March 27, 2020. To apply you must work with your local government. CLICK HERE for more information
Small businesses are encouraged to reach out to their local SBDC for further questions and advice regarding relief programs during this time.
Written by: Amanda M. Richards