one-on-one business advice

For doing business with the State of Illinois

contact information

Far South Community Development Corp.
Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center
837 W. 115th St.
Chicago, IL 60643

Franchon Greenfield, Director
Phone: (773) 830-6562
Fax: (312) 380-0109

Regular Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Chicago Lawyers’ Committee:
City of Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund 
The City of Chicago recognizes that COVID-19 has put a difficult burden on our business and non-profit community. As a response to this challenge, the City of Chicago has established the $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund (the Resiliency Fund), which will provide small businesses and non-profits with emergency cash flow during this health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans.

Loans of up to $50,000 are available for businesses and nonprofits located in Chicago with a gross annual revenue of less than $3 million.



  • Used for working capital, of which 50% must be for compensation costs
  • Requires personal guarantee from borrower
  • Must have business license for at least one year before applying
  • Must provide zip codes of employees
  • Funds will be distributed equitably across geography and industry
  • For-profits and nonprofits
State of Illinois
Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible to apply now.


  • Eligibility: Prioritize downstate, <$ 3M revenues, <50 employees, 500 credit
  • Maximum: Oct-Dec 2019 average monthly revenues, up to $50K
  • Rate: 3%
  • Term: No payment for 6 months, fully amortized over 5 years
  • Application >>>
  • Details
  • Used for working capital, of which 50% must be for compensation costs
  • Requires personal guarantee from borrower
  • Must have business license for at least one year before applying
  • Must provide zip codes of employees
  • For-profits only
Paycheck Protection Program, from the CARES Act


  • Eligibility: <500 employees per location, other TBD from SBA
  • Maximum: 2.5x average monthly payroll for previous year, up to $10M
  • Rate: 1%
  • Term: no payments for 6 months, full term up to 2 years
  • Lenders who are eligible to originate these loans are listed>>>>


  • Loan will be forgiven for compensation expenses (up to $100K per employee or business owner), rent or mortgage interest, and utility costs incurred for 8 weeks after origination
  • Loan forgiveness is not taxable
  • No “credit elsewhere” test, no personal guarantee, no collateral, no fees
  • Includes nonprofits and sole proprietors
  • Available funding will likely go quickly

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance

To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan,

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA Debt Relief

The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.

Under this program:

  • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
  • The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.


  • Up to $25,000
  • Fast turnaround
  • Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loa
Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund 

Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, LISC is offering grants of up to $10,000 to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Applications for the 1st round of grants are closed. LISC will continue to accept applications for the 2nd round. Learn more here >>>

Facebook Business Grant Program
Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits. Businesses who have been operating for over a year, employ 2 to 50 people, and have experienced challenges from COVID-19 are eligible to apply. Learn more here >>>>

University of Chicago South Side COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Emergency Fund

The University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement, through its UChicago Local initiative will provide one-time bridge grants of up to $7,500 to support small local businesses in Douglas, Oakland, Grand Boulevard, Kenwood, Washington Park, Hyde Park, Woodlawn, Greater Grand Crossing, and South Shore. 1st round Applications are due on April 6th at 11:59 PM CT. Learn More here>>>

Bumble Small Business Grant Program

Bumble is giving out $5k grants to select small businesses who apply through their website >>>

JamesBeard Foundation: Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund

>>> The purpose of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund (the “Fund”) is to provide critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) national disaster, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business. To apply, please see this link >>>>

Arts for Illinois Relief Fund is now available to provide financial assistance to artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19. The fund is a partnership between the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the broader philanthropic community. Arts for Illinois Relief Fund is administered by Arts Alliance Illinois in partnership with 3Arts and Arts Work Fund. To date, more than $4M has been committed from public and private sources to seed an upcoming statewide campaign that will provide additional funding to meet the growing and critical needs of the state’s creative sector. Artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by COVID-19 are urged to apply for grants through


Background information:

· This $14 million grant program aims to help small hospitality businesses make ends meet, providing up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels.

· The deadline to apply was April 1.

· Applications were considered via a lottery system. There was no benefit to submitting an application first as long as a valid, complete application was received by the deadline.

· Grants will support working capital – like payroll and rent – job training and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery.

· Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000.

· Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000.

· Hotels that generated less than $8 million in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000. The program repurposes job training and tourism promotion funds to provide this emergency grant assistance.

FAQ section for potential Q&A

How were businesses selected?

Accion assigned each applicant to a lottery group based on the business type, which was relevant to the available funding, and business location, which informed our recommended distribution of awards to ensure businesses in the Chicago area, metro Chicago and downstate would receive awards. Businesses were assigned a number in each group based on the order in which their application was submitted. Accion used an independent unbiased number randomizer to create an ordered set of lottery winners. Accion segmented the number of businesses in each category based on the amount of funds available.

How were businesses notified?

Accion has been notifying businesses of their selection today. In some cases, businesses may not have submitted an appropriate document (an unsigned tax return, for example, or an incomplete business license identifier) and Accion has been conducting outreach to those businesses to offer a chance to submit a revised document. Accion offered businesses 24 hours to provide alternate documentation. In the case where businesses were not eligible either based on the documents that were submitted or alternate documentation, Accion moved to the next business in line. Applicants were contacted based on the email and phone contact information submitted via their application.

Why wasn’t my business selected?

The program administrator received approximately 12,000 applications in total, which was a significantly higher number of interested applicants than funding available. Businesses were selected based on a random, unbiased lottery protocol. This process information is posted on Accion’s website.

What resources are available for my business if I didn’t receive the loan?

DCEO is keeping an up to date list of resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19 at Businesses may be eligible for emergency loan programs under the SBA, including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program, which they can access through the SBA and their local SBA 7(a) lender respectively. Businesses located downstate

outside the Metro East area may also be eligible for a grant under our Downstate Stabilization program and can apply with their local government.

Additionally, businesses can reach out to members of our frontline staff:

· Small Business Development Center Program:

· Regional Economic Development · Minority Economic Empowerment

Will this grant make me ineligible for other loans and programs?

This award will not make a business blanketly ineligible for other loans and programs from the Department’s perspective. However, grant amounts will show up on a business’s revenue statements and might impact how eligibility is considered by other organizations beyond the Department’s control.

Which businesses were eligible to receive a grant through the program and how did Accion determine eligibility?

· Food and beverage businesses who generated less than $1M in revenue in 2019 were eligible to apply. Businesses that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 were eligible for $25K, and businesses that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 were eligible for $10K. Businesses must hold a valid restaurant or liquor license or comparable certification in the area in which they are located.

· Hotels that generated revenues less the $8 million in 2019 were eligible to apply. Hotels were eligible to receive grants up to $50K. Businesses must hold a valid hotel, motel or other lodging license in Illinois. Accommodations related to home sharing, including Shared Housing Unit Operators and Hosts, were not eligible.

Accion utilized the information reported by the businesses for the purpose of assigning a business to a lottery group by size and location. In certain cases, businesses applied and submitted information indicating they were not eligible (e.g. revenues above $1M for restaurant and $8M for hotel). Those businesses were deemed ineligible.

In certain cases where a business did not have a completed or valid documentation, Accion offered business owners a chance to remedy this information by providing prior year documentation or an alternate verification of business activities. The most common cases of this were unsigned tax returns or confusion over what to submit as a business license in areas of the state that to not require a traditional business license to operate. Startup businesses were offered a chance to prove eligibility through partial year revenue statements.

Why did it take longer than anticipated to notify businesses?

The program received approximately 12,000 applications from businesses across the state. In order to give every business the fairest shot at receiving a grant award, Accion, the grant administrator, required

extra time to process and validate documentation related to eligibility and address any questions that may have arisen. Accion will be making grant payments as quickly as possible, via automatic deposit if a business prefers, to expedite awards. A full explanation of the lottery process is available on Accion’s website.

What is the definition of hospitality business?

Hospitality refers to hotels, bars and restaurants and other similar establishments licensed or permitted to serve food or liquor to customers or as lodging accommodations.

Do you plan on doing something for middle market businesses or larger companies?

We’re looking at any other funds we can use to help larger companies including looking at statutory changes that could help those companies. If you need specific things waved or extended, please let us know. For example – layoff notices in IL typically require a 60-days’ notice. In the current time we are in, that’s nearly impossible – we are actively working on adjusting that now.

Does Airbnb apply under the hospitality grant?

Home sharing operators and units such as Airbnb were not eligible.

What is the timeline from when applicant clicks submit to the awards being handed out?

It is not first come first serve. Once the application window closes, they applicants were entered into a lottery which will determine which eligible winners get the grants – applicants should know that there is a higher demand than what we can give out.

Will all grants/loans be determined by lottery?

The hospitality grants are a lottery-based decision system, anything that is a grant will be determined by the lottery. Anything that is a loan is not a lottery.


Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced the $10 million Community Recovery Fund on April 7th that will offer no-interest loans to suburban small businesses, gig workers, and independent contractors whose livelihoods have been battered by the new coronavirus.

Loan Terms: One-time, five-year loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses and up to $10,000 for independent contractors.

Application Period: Fund will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-serve basis later this month.

If you are interested in applying for a loan, please complete this interest form. The fund will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-serve basis later this month.

What can funds be used for (Use of Funds)?: TBD

To be eligible, businesses must meet the following requirements:

  • Small businesses must have less than $3 million in annual revenue and
  • Fewer than 25 workers.
  • Independent contractors like hair stylists, nail technicians, service repair workers, and freelance writers must have less than $100,000 in gross annual income and earn at least half of their income from contract work.
  • Small business, gig workers and contractors must have locations or reside outside of Chicago in Cook County to be considered for those loans.


88 Small Business Grants for 2020 (Best & Active Grants Only!)




Need guidance on how to navigate the maze of governmental contracting? Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) can advise you on how to maximize opportunities and gain marketing exposure to government agencies and large corporations. We offer free one-on-one advising and a variety of workshops to help your business grow in government contracting. Businesses that have an established commercial market, commitment to quality and can commit time and effort are the perfect candidates.

PTAC offers

  • Customized computerized bid opportunity matching
  • Registration assistance
  • Certification assistance (MBE, WBE, DBE, VOSB, SDVOSB, 8(a), HUBZone)
  • Proposal review
  • Proposal preparation assistance
  • Market research
  • Procurement history reports

Illinois PTAC

The Illinois PTAC at the Far South Community Development Corporation is provided through a cooperative agreement with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). Program support is made possible by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and Far South Community Development Corporation.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Franchon Greenfield, 837 W. 115th St. Chicago, IL 60643 at (773) 830-6562

helpful documents

Next Event Coming Soon!

2021 schedule is on the way!


11AM CST- Business Credit with Anterio Jackson | Chief Amazement Officer at Credit Honor
12PM CST- Crowdfunding with Florence Hardy | Sr. Director, Business Services at Far South CDC
1PM CST- Business Financing with Sharnell Curtis-Martin | Community Development Relationship Manager at CIBC Bank
2PM-4PM CST- Business Stimulus Q&A including SBA’s EIDL programs, State of Illinois Emergency loan program and City of Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or DCEO.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Kathryn Jackson at 847.986.0615 or via e-mail @