News from the Reference Desk Category: Finance

Your credit and the CARES Act

If you made accommodations with your lenders or creditors due to financial hardships related to coronavirus, follow these steps from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to ensure that your credit reports and scores are not negatively impacted. On this page you’ll also find helpful info relating to mortgage relief options, student loans and avoiding scams!

CLICK HERE!

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 

Protection for Renters During COVID-19

If you are a renter and have questions about your rights, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has some information that may be helpful HERE.

The CARES Act, which was recently passed by Congress, provides certain protections for most tenants in federally subsidized or federally backed housing, including limits on evictions and fees for not being able to make your rent payment.

Some states and local governments have taken action to offer rent relief.

In addition, there are a number of resources and professionals who can help with your housing or financial situation, including nonprofit credit and housing counselors.

Money Smart Week Goes Virtual!

Money Smart week, originally scheduled for April 4-11 this year, was canceled like almost everything else due to the COVID-19 precautions.  Financial literacy doesn’t stop being relevant, however, and so in an expanded celebration of Financial Literacy Month all April, the good folks behind MSW have created useful, educational, and insightful webinars on various topics. Each topic is uniquely relevant to our current environment and is pre-recorded so you can view them when it is most convenient for you! Just click on the links below:

-Take Control of Your Finances

-Inside America’s “Financial Diaries”

-Money and Budgeting for Kids!

-Medigap Insurance: How to Pick the Right Plan
Another canceled MSW program that will give you insights into which plan is right for you and how to use the tools available at MPPL to access related information.