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Small Business Resources

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

As this situation continues we will compile information here that will be valuable to our small businesses. (updated 4/17/20)

Resources for the Beauty Industry

One of the hardest hit industries has been the beauty industry (hair stylists, barbers, estheticians).  These businesses are often run as sole proprietorships with no additional employees, making them ineligible for many of the state and federal programs.  The delay in unemployment filing for the self-employed is an additional hardship. The Professional Beauty Association has put together a set of industry resources regarding the virus here.  They also have a small grant program ($500 max) for beauty professionals facing financial difficulties. Find more here.  info from GPEDC

Save Small Business Fund

The U.S. Chamber Foundation is launching their Save Small Business Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will be providing $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers (between 3-20 employees) in economically vulnerable communities. A zip-code lookup on their website will tell you if a business is considered to be located in a “vulnerable community.” Applications for the Save Small Business Grant Fund will open this Monday, April 20, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. ET.  Interested individuals can sign up for an email alert to be notified of the window opening. The effort is part of the U.S. Chamber’s larger Save Small Business Initiative.  info from GPEDC

Here is a link to the application for The Downstate Stabilization program. (Due Friday)

A DCEO grant that can be used for working capital up to $25,000 (up to 60 days of your business's working capitol is what you would be applying for). You have to be a non-essential business who's employees could not work remotely. Some essential businesses who can prove the extreme impact of covid-19 could be eligible. Bars and Restaurants are encouraged to apply. All applicants will have to show urgent need. You have to have one full time employee (in addition to the owner) or the equivalent. You have to have been in business and the owner of the company since January 1, 2017. They will ask for 3 years of financial information and because this grant has to go through a local branch of government (right now the county is handling these applications) and there has to be a public hearing, those records maybe accessible to the public then and by FOIA. That is a brief description, read my last post for more detail. The GPEDC has simplified the application for you by taking out the local governments responsibilities out and showing you what only you need. Anyone awarded this grant will enter into a participation agreement with Peoria County (possibly Elmwood if you apply later but funds are on a first come first serve basis). This application will go through the GPEDC and then to Peoria County. please feel free to ask me questions. This application has a survey at the beginning that should tell you if you are eligible or not.

Summary of Government Actions to Support Business

PNC has put together a comprehensive summary of all federal programs impacting business (of any size) here. GPEDC updates here.

****Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. Reminder Due by April 1st at 5pm. Decided by lottery and announced on April 4th.

****New Information Released on the Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

**Currently out of funding 4/17, contact your local lender to see if they are accepting applications Payroll Protection Program (PPP) through the SBA as part of the recently released Care Act.

Video explanation from Elmwood Native Levi Carter. Please contact your local banker, Jennifer Beard of Farmers State Bank is working hard to be a resource for you. from GPEDC:

***Sample Paycheck Protection Program Application Available

Late Tuesday the Treasury Department and SBA released a sample application for businesses to better understand the process for receiving a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.  You can download the sample application here and get more detailed information here. According to the information page, businesses can begin applying on Friday, April 3. Self-employed individuals and independent contractors can begin applying starting on Friday, April 10.  Check with your lender to see if they are an SBA approved 7a lender and if they are prepared to take applications on opening day.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program: The program component makes funds available for 60 days of verifiable working capital up to a grant ceiling of $25,000 and is available for businesses that employ 50 people or less.  Number of employees includes the business owner(s).  These funds may be used to assist private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely. The Guidebook includes detailed information about program requirements and eligibility, as well as the Application forms. Please contact Amy Davis at 742-8000 or

Mandatory Employer Posting

The US Department of Labor mandates that employers post “in a conspicuous place” information regarding the elements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The mandatory poster can be found here.  USDOL as has published a Q&A about the poster here. Of note regarding companies who have a considerable number of teleworkers at the moment, USDOL advises that the requirement may be satisfied by emailing, direct mailing, and/or posting on external or internal websites.

Sales Tax Deferral for bars and restaurants

Illinois Department of Revenue Bulletin

Employee Retention Credit

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.  The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. More information from the Treasury Department here and information from the US Senate Committee of Finance here.

The Department of Revenue will defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants — accounting for nearly 80% of all such entities statewide.

Under the directive, eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May made late. The Department of Revenue estimates this will give relief to nearly 80% of bars and restaurants in Illinois.

Penalties and interest will be automatically waived; however, qualified taxpayers must still file their sales tax return even if they are unable to make a payment.

Any taxpayers taking advantage of this relief will be required to pay their sales tax liabilities due in March, April and May in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20. For more information, please view IDOR’s informational bulletin available at (Source Kane County Connects)


Small Business Administration Announces Low Interest Loans

Info from GPEDC after PPP was announced:

Paycheck Protection Plan Update

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is the cornerstone of the federal relief package for small businesses.  While it is important to start the conversation with your local financial institution, the SBA has not yet finalized the application process.  The hope is for that to be completed by the end of this week or early next week. In the meantime, small businesses in need of immediate relief should consider financing under SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  This program is available now directly through SBA. Any borrowing done under EIDL can then be refinanced under PPP. For more information on EIDL, contact Bradley University's Small Business Development Center here.

From a recent SBA message: “Additional information will be coming soon on the CARES Act. The federal agencies involved are working diligently to get program rules and processes in place so help can get out to small businesses as soon as possible. However, it is premature to discuss program implementation specifics of the CARES Act because that work is still being done and program details may change. Our focus is providing our small businesses, lenders, and other small business stakeholders with information that reflects the actual program implementation of the legislation with associated rules and requirements.”

Email Received:

Illinois small businesses impacted by the coronavirus crisis can now apply for low-interest loans from the US Small Business Administration. SBA’s “Economic Injury Disaster Loans” offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses; 2.75% for non-profits.

SBA Illinois is hosting a webinar that covers eligibility requirements, They are full but

PowerPoint slides here

*more info in GPEDC update below

More SBA Webinars Next Week

Illinois SBA has scheduled more webinars for next week to help businesses understand the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.  The webinars are free but “sell out” fast due to limited capacity for an on-line meeting. Click one of the dates below to be taken to the registration page for that session.


Most Recent Update from the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council's CEO Chris Setti: (All Updates Here)

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

The National Restaurant Association, thanks in part to a donation from Guy Fieri, has created the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.  Laid off restaurant employees who have worked at least 90 days part- or full-time in a restaurant in the past year can apply for a one time $500 payment.  Applications open starting April 2. More information here.

IMPORTANT: Summary of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

For small businesses, the most attractive program built into the CARES Act (the federal coronavirus relief package) is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  PPP is funded to the tune of $349 billion through the Small Business Administration (SBA). However, the program differs in significant ways from the currently available Economic Injury Disaster Program.  First, businesses will apply through individual banks, not the SBA itself. Second, while technically a loan program, a portion -- and potentially all -- of the loan can be forgiven, making it act more like a grant.  Below is a high level summary of PPP:

Eligibility: For profit businesses with less than 500 employees (including hotels and food service businesses that have less than 500 employees per location); 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations; veterans organizations; eligible self-employed individuals; independent contractors; sole proprietorships

Loan amount: The maximum loan size is equivalent to 250% of the employer’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million. Payroll costs are defined broadly to include wages, salaries, retirement contributions, healthcare benefits, covered leave, and other expenses. Put another way, the size of the loan is equal to the cost of payroll for about 10 weeks.

Loan terms: Up to 10 years at 4% with the ability to defer principal and interest payment for between 6 and 12 months. There are no fees, no requirement to secure the debt with collateral, no requirement of a personal guarantee, and no penalty for early payoff.

Loan forgiveness: This is the important part! A portion of the loan (up to 100%) will be forgiven in an amount equal to how much the business actually paid for payroll costs, salaries, benefits, rent, utilities and mortgage interest during the eight weeks following the loan’s disbursement. If employees are laid off or their salaries are reduced there could be a reduction in the amount forgiven.  Borrowers will need to apply through their lender for this forgiveness and provide documentation for all costs. Banks will have 60 days to make the determination.

There is a great deal of information available on the internet regarding PPP including articles published by the Economic Innovation Group, National Law Review, Bench and Forbes.

Business owners interested in PPP should call their banker as soon as possible, ask if they are an approved Small Business Administration 7a lender (most locally are) and request a meeting to discuss this program.  Businesses can also get advice from the Small Business Development Center at Bradley University.  We will provide more information on this program and other CARES Act provisions as details come available.


DCEO Covid-19 Impact Form

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