Sunday, March 29, 2020

April 1st is Census Day!

The time has come for everyone to be counted! Less than one week ago, the 2020 Census fully kicked off, and invitations continue to arrive in mailboxes across the nation. Currently, more than eleven million households have responded. America is stepping up to shape our future and ensure families and communities are counted. Click here for more info.

Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund Webinar

The Chicago Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection
will host a webinar to provide an overview of the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, loan terms, requirements, and how to apply. To register, or for more information, go here.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Unemployment Benefits Filing Schedule

Due to the unprecedented number of claims for unemployment benefits, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has implemented a filing schedule. You can file for benefits both online and by phone. Please note: Part-time employees are permitted to apply for benefits.

New Online Filing Schedule:
Last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays. 
Last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule:
Last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm. 
Last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
Fridays 7:30am – 6pm. will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether you receive benefits Claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid off or let go from their job due to COVID-19. Please visit for details and more information.

City of Chicago Mental Health Resources

Emotional reactions to this emerging health crisis are expected. Remind yourself, your family and your friends that feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed or having other symptoms of distress such as trouble sleeping is normal. If symptoms become worse, encourage them, and yourself, to reach out for support and help. 

The following are free mental health resources available to all Chicago residents:
  • Connect to a NAMI Chicago Helpline mental health counselor by calling 311 or directly at 833-626-4244
  • Connect to Bright Star Community Outreach's trauma counseling helpline at 833-TURN-123
  • Connect to free teletherapy services at Chicago Department of Public Health Mental Health Centers by calling 312-747-1020.
  • For after hours support, contact Crisis Text Line which serves anyone, in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Instructions: Text HELLO to: 741741 to access a trained crisis counselor.

Visit the City's Coronavirus Resource Center for more information.

Friday, March 27, 2020

City of Chicago COVID-19 resource page

The Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) resources page for City of Chicago Businesses, Consumers and Employees impacted by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak. Lots of updates and helpful information. Take a look at it here.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Cook County needs to know how the crisis is affecting your business

The COVID-19 outbreak has created a challenging business climate and Cook County wants to help you navigate this difficult time. Please complete the survey below to help the County prioritize business assistance programs. The survey link is here.

SIgn up for the Cook County text alerts at 888-777 with the message "alertcook"

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Grant program for restaurants and hospitality industry

This afternoon Governor Pritzker announced three new state initiatives to assist with the COVID-19 crisis.   Small businesses must apply for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program by April 1st. For more information go here.

City fund supplies emergency loans for small business

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

You can help

17th Ward Constituent Night Postponed

Parents, need internet access?

If you are aware of families who cannot afford internet access, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE)  has posted free internet access opportunities to support school learning during the closures from AT&T, Spectrum, and Comcast at under "free internet access resources."

Monday, March 23, 2020

Free tools and advice to help your business during the crisis

With the unique challenges of COVID-19, Godaddy is committed to helping you keep your business open — and your customers and employees safe. find free tools and expert advice here.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Bilingual SBA disaster loan training available now

All Illinois small businesses can now apply for low-interest disaster loans to help offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. We know you have questions about the program, and the Illinois District Office is committed to hosting free webinars as long as there is demand. These trainings will cover:
  • Eligibility
  • Use of proceeds
  • Terms
  • Filing requirements
  • Additional small business resources
Choose the date and time most convenient for you. Click the link to register now.
This event is cohosted with the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Session will be in English with Spanish translators.
More webinars will be announced soon! Watch your email for future events.