This Thursday from 3:00-4:30 pm the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting a webinar for small business owners to learn more about the state and federal programs being offered to help them through this difficult period.

If you're a small business owner and wish to attend the webinar, please register by using this link: https://zoom.us/s/357027304

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Paycheck Protection Program – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide $349 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to small businesses and non-profits. Portions of these loans will be forgiven to the extent that recipients maintain their existing workforce or rehire. Loans can be up to $10 million and interest rates are maxed at 4% for portions of the loan that do not qualify for loan forgiveness. Learn more here.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan – The 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. Borrowers can request an emergency advance of $10,000 within 3 days of submitting the application and do not have to repay the advance if they are denied a loan. Learn more here.

Subsidy for Current Loan Payments – The SBA will cover up to 6 months of principal and interest payments that are owed on most existing SBA loans. Learn more here.

Training and Advising for Existing Businesses – Additional funds are provided to SBDCs, Women’s Business Centers, and Minority Business Centers for education, training and advising to small businesses. Small Businesses can take advantage of this now.

Aid to Midsize Businesses and Nonprofits – $454 billion will be available from the U.S. Treasury to provide financial assistance through loan programs established by the Federal Reserve. As part of that, a special fund is dedicated to midsize businesses and nonprofits with 500-10,000 employees to provide financing to banks and other lenders to make direct loans to these entities. The interest rate on those loans would be capped at 2%, with no payments due for the first six months. These loans cannot be forgiven.

Significant restrictions will be placed on the midsize business and nonprofit assistance, such as prohibiting paying out dividends while the loan is outstanding. More guidance will be forthcoming from the U.S. Treasury on additional criteria and funding access.

How can you help?

We are still looking for organizations to donate, make or sell personal protective equipment (PPE). If you are interested, please contact the following:
Donate: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Make: Go to https://bit.ly/3dICp1O
Sell: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
More information available here.

Additionally, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business is conducting a survey among small business owners to understand how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted small businesses. This survey is completely optional. Your responses will be anonymous and will not impact your eligibility to receive any financial assistance.

However, your responses will help us communicate your needs to policymakers and provide better recommendations for what they can do to help business owners in this time of crisis. Please fill out the survey here.

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When and where do I file for benefits?

Your unemployment insurance (UI) claim should be filed once you have become unemployed. We recommend filing for benefits online at www.ides.illinois.gov.
If you have any questions, contact IDES Claimant Services at (800) 244-5631.

What information do I need to file for benefits?

  • Social Security number and name as it appears on your Social Security card.
  • Your driver's license or state ID.
  • The name of all employers you worked for in the last 18 months; the beginning and ending dates of employment for these employers; the mailing address of each employer; phone number and separation reason for each employer.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your Alien Registration information

How much will I receive and how long does it last?

Your benefit amount is based on your recent income. The maximum benefit amount is $484 per week. Those who have a qualifying dependent receive an additional amount. Benefits are paid for up to 26 weeks. If an extension is approved by the federal government, you will be notified.

What does it mean to certify for benefits?

After filing a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, you must “certify” your eligibility to receive payment.

When do I certify for benefits?

After filing your claim for unemployment insurance benefits, you will receive a notice titled “UI Finding”. This notice will indicate your first certification date, which is approximately 2 weeks from the date you submit your claim. You will be required to certify on the date indicated on the notice and every two weeks thereafter in order to receive payment.

How do I certify for benefits?

The best way to certify for benefits is by going online to www.ides.illinois.gov/certify. You can also certify by calling (312) 338-4337.

When do I receive payment and where is it sent?

After completing your certification and your responses are approved, benefits are received within 2-3 business days. You will be issued a debit card automatically. You may, however, sign up for direct deposit when you file for benefits, or at any point thereafter.

What are Rapid Response Services?

Rapid Response Services are available to employers who are planning or have gone through a permanent closure or mass layoff, or a natural or other disaster, that results in mass job dislocation. The State Dislocated Worker Unit coordinates with employers to provide information to workers and employers about employment and retraining services designed to help participants retain employment when feasible, or obtain re-employment as soon as possible. For more information, visit Rapid Response Services for Businesses or contact your local Illinois workNet Center.

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SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) congratulated former U.S. Transportation Secretary and Congressman Ray LaHood today after his appointment to serve as the Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Board of Directors.

“Secretary LaHood has demonstrated his exceptional, bipartisan leadership qualities time and time again over the course of a 36-year career in public service, with 19 of those years being spent in service of Peoria and Central Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Koehler said. “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Ray LaHood and I look forward to seeing what he will be able to accomplish in his new role.”

LaHood’s appointment is now pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

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Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120