Resources For Businesses Affected By COVID-19

Updated 2/23/21

New Round of PPP Funding

As a reminder, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. PPP Loans can be used to help fund payroll costs, including benefits, and may also be used to pay for mortgage interest, rent, utilities, worker protection costs related to COVID-19, and certain supplier costs and expenses for operations. PPP allows certain eligible borrowers that previously received a PPP loan to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan with the same general loan terms as their First Draw PPP Loan. The SBA will forgive loans if all employee retention criteria are met, and the funds are used for eligible expenses.

To build on the success of the PPP, the SBA has announced several reforms to further target the PPP to the smallest businesses and those that have been left behind in previous relief efforts:

  • Instituting a 14-day period, starting at 8:00 a.m. CST on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 until 4:00 p.m. CST on Friday, March 9, 2021, during which only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief through the Program. 
  • Helping sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals receive more financial support. These types of businesses, which include home repair contractors, beauticians, and small independent retailers, make up a significant majority of all businesses.
  • Eliminating an exclusionary restriction that prevents small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions from obtaining relief through the Program.
  • Eliminating an exclusionary restriction that prevents small business owners who are delinquent on their federal student loans from obtaining relief through the Program. 
  • Ensuring access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to apply for relief. 

 These reforms ensure that small businesses can access much needed PPP funds to persevere through the pandemic, recover, and build back better. These efforts are meant to reach minority-owned and very small businesses that may have previously missed out on accessing loans to help weather the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Paycheck Protection Program remains open for First and Second Draw PPP loans until March 31, 2021.

As a reminder, businesses apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans through a bank, credit union, CDFI or other lenders. Use the SBA Lender-Match tool to get matched to potential PPP & other lenders offering SBA-backed funding. 

To learn more about the PPP, please visit these links:

Overview of First Draw Loan Terms

Overview of Second Draw Loan Terms


ComEd Offers Assistance to Small Businesses

ComEd's new Small Business Assistance Program provides eligible small-business customers that are past due on their energy bills with a one-time grant equal to 30 percent of their total ComEd balance (up to $1,000) for a limited time. Customers whose electric service has not been disconnected can then set up their remaining balance due on a payment plan of up to six months.

Small-business customers can visit or call 1-877-4-COMED-1 (1-877-426-6331) to learn more or apply for the Small Business Assistance Program.


ROUND 2 - Business Interruption Grants Now Available

The Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity has opened another round of Business Interruption Grants.  It is a rolling grant so there is no deadline but sooner is better than later.  Please see the link below for the grant information:

The BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and experienced losses due to COVID-19. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses.  DCEO hosted webinars regarding this program. These webinar recordings from September 23, 2020 can be found by clicking on the links below:


NEW - Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Business and Mitigation Measures Frequently Asked Questions

This updated document from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE.

8/5/20 - Updated Frequently Asked Questions - Business Guidelines - CLICK HERE

Resources to Combat a Resurgence of COVID-19

CLICK HERE to download document including a map of Emergency Medical Service Regions.

Update - Restore Illinois Phase 4 Guidelines for Reopening - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) - CLICK HERE

State COVID-19 Resources for Business, Workers, and Residents

DCEO Header - 1 Opens in new window

A new, one-stop portal has been launched by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to assist Illinois Businesses, Workers and Residents navigate programs deployed as a result of COVIZD-19.  Please click on the graphic above or HERE for more information which will guide you through options for your specific situation.

Promote Your Business on Skokie’s ZoomBusiness Interactive Real Time Business & Health Care Mapsscreenshot - ZoomBusiness Opens in new window


If you have any questions regarding COVID-19 resources available to Skokie Businesses, please call our Hotline (847) 933-8472 or (847) 933-8471 or e-mail: or






Find more information for small businesses affected by coronavirus at  Subscribe to email updates from SBA at to stay up to date on SBA news and events. SBA resource partners (Illinois Small Business Development Centers, WBDC, SCORE, Veterans Business Outreach Center) stand ready to help. Go to to find a counselor or mentor.

Recovery graphic (JPG)