The City of Chicago has officially opened applications for $100 million in low-interest loans for small businesses looking for help during the coronavirus pandemic.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, along with Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and the city’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection announced the launch of the application process for the program in a press release Tuesday.
The loans are available through the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, and are aimed at helping businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Applications for the loans are available at the city’s Resiliency Fund website.
“These unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. We know that our business owners and entrepreneurs don’t have the luxury to wait for federal support which is why with the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, we are putting money directly into the hands of our small businesses now so that they can weather this storm,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “When we support small businesses, we support their workers, who in turn help uplift the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and I want to thank our public and private partners who helped make this relief a reality.”
The news comes on the day that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced an extension of the state’s “stay-at-home” order, which will keep businesses deemed non-essential closed through at least the end of April.
According to city officials, five year loans of up to $50,000 are available to businesses and non-profits with annual revenues of less than $3 million that have suffered at least a 25 percent decrease in revenue as a result of the outbreak. Eligible businesses must employ fewer than 50 employees, and at least 50 percent of any loans awarded must be applied toward payroll.