Funding Options For Employers
New Funding Opportunities & Information
Governor Announces Back to Business Grant Program
On August 11, the Governor announced a new Back to Business (B2B) Grant program for businesses and not-for-profit organizations impacted by COVID-19. The $250 million grant program, which is similar to the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) in 2020, will prioritize businesses who did not receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the State’s BIG grant program. Businesses in the hardest hit industries throughout Illinois, as well as those located in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs) will also be prioritized for funding.
The application portal opens on Wednesday, August 18.
Register for one of two webinars on August 19 to review the specifics of the grant program, including eligibility requirements.
- Back To Business Webinar: Thursday 8/19 at 11:00 am: Click here to register.
- Back To Business Webinar: Thursday 8/19 at 2:00 pm: Click here to register.
The Chamber will provide B2B grant program updates and technical assistance for those who need it during the application process. If you have questions or need assistance in applying, please contact Chris Hembrough at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Rescue Plan Changes for Restaurants, Venues
The American Rescue Plan includes long-awaited targeted aid dedicated specifically to the restaurant industry in the form of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), providing $28.6 billion in grants to those in need. Restaurants, bars, and caterers will be able to apply for grants based on lost gross revenue between 2019 and 2020. The maximum grant size will be $5 million for restaurants and $10 million for restaurant groups.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will begin registrations on Friday, April 30, 2021, at 8 a.m. and open applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at 11 a.m. for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The online application will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.
The SBA recommends qualifying applicants familiarize themselves with the application process, and is also offering webinars to provide information regarding the program. Information for preparing for the application and webinars can be found HERE.
White House Announces Tax Credit for Small Businesses that Provide PTO for Vaccinations
To encourage more widespread vaccinations, President Joe Biden has announced a paid leave tax credit to employers that provide full pay for any employee who takes time off to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
The tax credit is available to organizations with fewer than 500 employees, and it also provides full pay for employees who take time to recover from the vaccination. The credit covers up to $511 per day for each vaccinated employee, and is funded by the American Rescue Plan.
The Internal Revenue Service has released a fact sheet to educate employers on how to claim the paid sick leave credit on their quarterly tax filings.
This vaccination flyer is a guide to where you can find vaccination sites locally. The Chamber encourages its members to share this information with their employees. Vaccinations are the key to reaching Phase 5 of the Illinois Restore Plan.
Shuttered Venues Operators Grant Program (SVOG) Starting April 8
A major change in the American Rescue Plan is that venues can now apply for a PPP loan, including a second-draw PPP loan, and still apply for a shuttered venue grant once the program is open. If you were waiting and deciding what to do, you do not need to wait any longer. Apply for the PPP and get your forms ready to apply for the shuttered venue grant starting Thursday, April 8. The US Small Business Administration (SBA) released this interim final rule to codify the change and clarify that if a venue operator receives first- and second-draw loans during the current PPP round and then receives an SVOG, the amount of the SVOG will be reduced by the total of the two PPP loans.
The SBA is hosting a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 1:30 to 3 p.m. CST on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Register here for that session.
Starting Wednesday, February 24, President Biden and the Small Business Administration instituted a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees. The exclusive 14-day application period will run through March 10. Businesses with more than 20 employees will not be able to apply for a PPP loan during this two-week period.
Along with the 14-day period, the SBA is changing its loan calculating formula for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to help them obtain more financial support through the program. The President is also eliminating previous restrictions that prevented some business owners from receiving PPP loans.
All program changes are available here.
The New COVID-19 relief legislation (Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020), signed into law on December 27, 2020 by the President, made a number of changes to the Employee Retention Tax Credits (ERTC) previously available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), including modifying and extending the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), for six months through June 30, 2021. Several of the changes apply only to 2021, while others apply to both 2020 and 2021.
As a result of the new legislation, eligible employers can now claim a refundable tax credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of the qualified wages they pay to employees after December 31, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Qualified wages are limited to $10,000 per employee per calendar quarter in 2021. Thus, the maximum ERTC amount available is $7,000 per employee per calendar quarter, for a total of $14,000 in 2021.
All program details are available HERE.
Businesses can apply to use these additional funds for specific skill/employee training, employee skills upgrades, or layoff aversion assistance. Applications for this program can be found at Business Grants for Employee Training | Illinois WorkNet Center (worknet20.org).
These business grants can help qualifying companies upskill current workers to be more competitive. Additionally, they have been shown to improve productivity, create new revenue streams, and improve retention of valued employees.
There are new federal tax incentives that allow businesses to fully expense the cost of installing or upgrading fire sprinklers in their buildings. Click the link above for details.
Paycheck Protection Program Resumes
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, re-opened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on Monday, January 11, 2021 and will continue through March 31, 2021. The program is initially open to those applying for First and Second Draw PPP loans through Community Financial Institutions (CFIs) that serve minority and women owned businesses.
According to the SBA, all participating PPP lenders will be able to submit First and Second Draw PPP loan applications soon. If you plan to apply, contact your local lending institution today.
- First Draw loan information and application.
- Second Draw loan information and application.
- Additional information can be found here.
SBA Updated Forms and Applications for PPP Loan Forgiveness
- PPP loan forgiveness calculation form updated 01/19/21.
- PPP loan forgiveness application form 3508EZ updated 01/19/21.
- PPP loan forgiveness application form 3508S (under $150,000 loan) updated 01/19/21.
Congress Passes New COVID-19 Relief Legislation
On Monday, December 21, 2020, Congress passed new relief legislation. The new stimulus bill was signed into law by the President on December 27. Click on the links below to better understand some of the critical components of the $900 billion relief plan. The Chamber will provide further details regarding the legislation as appropriate.
What Small Businesses Need to Know About the New Pandemic Relief Package – Changes to PPP and More
- Brief summary pages for each section
- Stimulus Package - 29 page summary
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program
Are you a theatrical producer, talent representative, venue promoter or do you operate a live venue, live performing arts organization, movie house or cultural institution? You may be eligible to apply for the upcoming Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Click HERE to watch a replay of the first webinar held on January 14 to learn about the program, who can apply, and how to prepare for the application.
City of Springfield
CWLP’s Small Business Rate Relief rebate program still available.
Information on additional CWLP bill assistance.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 on June 16.
SBA’s EIDL program offers long-term, low interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.
If businesses need assistance or have questions on this program, they can contact their local Small Business Development Center or contact our First Stop Business Center at 800-252-2923. Click HERE to find your closest SBDC office.