News from the Reference Desk Category: Business

IL Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program begins June 23

From the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO):

DCEO will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs). Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Specifically, the program includes support for:

Businesses in DIAs – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each

Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing at least 1,000 grants of up to $20,000 each

Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each

Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each

The application for BIG will be available on Tuesday, June 23–keep checking site for updates.

Cook County Community Recovery Loan Fund Now Accepting Applications

Cook County has launched an initiative to provide economic relief to small businesses and independent contractors in response to COVID-19. Beginning today, the Community Recovery Loan Fund is accepting applications. The $10 million fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans up to $20,000 for small businesses and up to $10,000 for independent contractors. The fund is only available in Suburban Cook County. Application deadline is June 17, 2020
Who can apply?
Small Businesses  are eligible if they are: 
  • Employing 25 or fewer employees
  • Earning less than $3 million in annual revenue
  • Located in suburban Cook County, and
  • Revenues have decreased more than 25% as a result of COVID-19
Independent Contractors  are eligible if you are:
  • Making at least half of your yearly income in 1099 contract work 
  • Earning less than $100,000 annually 
  • Residing in suburban Cook County 

Attention Mount Prospect Small Business–Support Local Small Business Week

Attention Mount Prospect Business! Submit your information now to be included in the “Mount Prospect Supports Local Business” Campaign. The Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce and Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association are teaming up to co-sponsor “Support Local Business Week” June 1 to June 7. Local businesses are invited to submit any specials or promotions they would like to be featured HERE. The information will be shared via social media and the organizations’
websites throughout the week.

SCORE Webinar: Online Business Tune Up

Join veteran business owners from SCORE for a presentation on the changing consumer buying behavior which in turn elevates the importance of an effective online growth strategy, followed by a three phase Online Business Tune-up guided by key questions and action steps that help attract the right customer, close the sale, and drive continual improvement. A question and answer session with the co-presenters will follow the presentation. The webinar will be offered twice:

Wednesday, June 3 from 1-2:15 p.m. — REGISTER
Thursday, June 4 7-8:15 p.m. — REGISTER

RBdigital Big Bonus!

The Library is a longtime subscriber the magazine streaming resource RBdigital. Just recently we’ve upped the game. From only 55 different magazine titles, we now have thousands. I was up to page 7 on the results list when I gave up counting.  Some that I’ve been enjoying the past week include Archaeology, Cook’s Illustrated, Bon Appetit, GQ France, Architectural Digest India, and National Geographic Mexico. If you have a printer and crayons, you can print pages from the coloring books for adults! Yes, there is an app.

Our other magazine streaming site is PressReader. It has some of the same magazines but thousands of others as well as newspapers including Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune. It also has a great app.