Businesses and Nonprofits

Operation Hope provides financial emergency preparedness & recovery assistance through their Hope Inside Disaster Program, to individuals, families, and businesses, either directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here:


Chicago Microbusiness Recovery Grant Program: The City of Chicago announced a grant program of $5,000 for small businesses that have four or fewer employees and have an annual revenue of $250,000 or less. Applications are open now through Monday, May 4, at 5 p.m. 

Open for Business: The Chicago Tribune is compiling of local businesses providing delivery and carry out services. If your business isn’t listed, fill out this form to help other Chicagoans know that you are open for business.

The Treasurer’s Office has provided $50 million from its Catalyst Fund to establish the City’s $100 million Small Business Resiliency Fund for emergency loans. Zero or low-interest loans of up to $50,000 are available.  You can apply through the Treasurer’s Office at or through the City’s website.

Under the CARES Act, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a number of coronavirus relief options, including the Paycheck Protection Program, a forgivable loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. See all options here:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a small business guide and checklist for coronavirus emergency funds, visit: Corona Virus Smallbiz Loan (PDF)

The Cook County Community Recovery Fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses and $10,000 for independent contractors in suburban Cook County, visit:

State Farm and LISC Chicago announced a $10 million Small Business Rescue Fund to help support Chicago’s small businesses and non-profits through the creation of a new loan program that will be administered by LISC. Email for more information about this program and to apply.

Spanx created the Red Backpack Fund to provide $5,000 grants to women-owned businesses. The window for applications will be open every month. To learn more about the program or to get notified when the applications are being accepted visit their website at:

The State of Illinois has a variety of programs to support small businesses. Loans are available through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, including the Participation Loan Program.

The COVID-19 Emergency (1E) Assistance Program was created to help support businesses as they make changes to their physical location to maintain social distancing for essential workers. The applications are being submitted to the Department of Commerce and Economic

Opportunity through the Workforce of Will County. This program is available to businesses across Illinois.

A Better Chicago is offering loans to initiatives and organizations that are supporting African-American and Latino youth. This includes providing direct financial support to young people, helping provide essential goods and services and more. See if your program would qualify, by checking out their website.

For City of Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP), visit:

Taxes: The deadlines to FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020.

For more information about new grants and low-interest loans that are being introduced, please follow our page on social media for regular updates

Hello Alice has created a Business for All grant program that allows small businesses to apply for grants up to $50,000. To find out more about this grant opportunity, visit:

It’s important to let other people know that you are open for business. Help Main Street! has compiled a list of businesses that are open for online orders and for purchasing gift cards. If your business isn’t on here, add it!

Yelp and GoFundMe have joined forces to help small businesses to match funds they are able to raise on GoFundMe up to $500. Yelp also created their own relief fund with $25 million to help small businesses. This program has extended their application deadline to May 25th, don’t miss it!

Google is also helping small businesses by donating ad credits to help them reach their customers. These credits can be used throughout 2020. For more information, visit:

The Women’s Business Development Center’s Direct Lending Program, provides loans to small businesses who otherwise cannot get a loan from a bank.


The Chicago Community Trust, the Alliance Community Foundations and United Way are helping nonprofits meet their needs for providing emergency food, housing, health and childcare services.  Nonprofits seeking assistance should contact the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund

The University of Chicago’s Community Programs Accelerator is providing South Side nonprofits with up to $7,500 to assist with operating costs and expenses associated with moving programming online.  For eligibility and more information, visit   

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