Non-Profits: Apply & Help Support Small Business Recovery

***Application for eligibility is now closed. 5/24/21.

As part of Cook County’s Community Recovery Initiative, Cook County established the Small Business Assistance program in 2020 to help address the impacts of COIVD-19.  Through the program and its 35+ partners, thousands of businesses have received free services to support resiliency and recovery. Cook County plans to expand the program and provide technical assistance to assist with recovery through the remainder of 2021.

Cook County seeks to identify 20+ organizations to join our network and further aid the recovery of small businesses. We encourage small business organizations located in Cook County to apply. Representatives from business support organizations, government and philanthropic communities will evaluate statements of interest. Selection criteria include the following factors:

  • Experience with delivering technical assistance to small businesses
  • Service area and/or sector focus
  • Ability to reach businesses within Cook County (note: only organizations that reach suburban Cook County can receive Cook County CARES Act funding, but we are actively seeking additional funding for organizations located in Chicago),
  • Prior performance in a program where applicable
  • Capacity to service business during this challenging time

If selected, your organization will be invited to participate in a County-wide network and qualify for funding. Selected partners in the initial round will receive detailed information about responsibilities and the grant period by Jul 1, 2021, but we will seek to invite additional partners over time as we raise additional funding.

Essential Information and Dates: 

Please complete this interest form by noon on Monday, May 24 to be eligible for consideration. Questions may be directed via either of the following channels. We will aggregate all questions into FAQs that will be updated and shared below.

  • Information session: We will host an optional information session on Thursday, May 13 from 3-4pm CT.  Please access through the link provided.
  • Most organizations will receive $15,000 to deliver outreach services to promote resources available for small businesses. A smaller subset of qualifying partners will receive at least $50,000 to provide technical assistance to small businesses.
  • All partners receiving County funding will need to incur expenses by December 30, 2021.
  • We plan to monitor additional sources of funding that will allow the continuation of activities beyond 2022.

If you have questions or can’t attend the information session, please email info@cookcountysmallbiz.org. All questions will be summarized in a document and shared via our listserv.

FAQs  

(last updated: May 18)

Eligibility

1. Can for-profit businesses receive funding as partners of the program?

  • This program is designed to provide funding to non-profits that provide support services to businesses. For-profit businesses are not considered eligible.

2. Are there funds available for organizations that only serve businesses in the city of Chicago?

  • Currently, we have funds in place for organizations that serve businesses located in suburban Cook County. We aim to build a network that provides support throughout Cook County, including city of Chicago. We encourage Chicago-serving organizations to complete the interest form to be considered for future funding as it becomes available.

Interest Form

3. I was not able to attend the optional partner information session, what was discussed?

  • During the information session, we provided an overview of the program, partner roles and financial reporting questions. To view the materials from the session, click here.

4. Is there a way to preview the interest form?

  • Yes, please click this link to preview the interest form.

5. The interest form asks to upload supplemental documents. Is this required, and what sort of documents should be uploaded?

  • Uploading supplemental documents to your interest form is optional. We encourage interested organizations to upload any documents to support their application such as impact reports, program brochures, or anything else you would like evaluators to know that was not captured in the interest form.

6. What should I do if I forgot to include something in my interest form or if there is something else that I would like evaluators to know about my organization?

Partner Types

7. What are the roles and responsibilities of different partner types?

  • To view detailed roles and responsibilities of partner types, please view page 3 of the interest form preview.

8. On the preview of the interest form I see that there are some questions that are required for organizations interested in the Technical Assistance Provider role that are not required for organizations interested in the Referral Partner role. If my organization is interested in both partner types, do I need to do an application for each?

  • No. If your organization is interested in both partner types, choose “either partner type” on question 10 of the interest form. If you choose that option, all required questions for both partner types will appear in the form.

9. Can an organization serve as a Technical Assistance Provider and a Referral Partner? Can an organization receive funding for both roles?

  • No, the role of Technical Assistance Providers encompasses the responsibilities of Referral Partners as well as other responsibilities around technical assistance for BSOs, which is reflected in funding. Organizations can only participate in the program as one partner-type.

10. How many businesses are Technical Assistance Provider partners expected to serve?

  • Technical Assistance Partners are expected to hold 15 one-on-one business advising sessions per full-time employee dedicated to the project per week. Those 15 appointments can be made of new or existing clients of the program.

11. How will Technical Assistance Provider source and receive clients through the program?

  • All program partners will support outreach efforts that will drive prospective small businesses to a centralized intake platform. The program coordinator will match Technical Assistance Provider partners to clients through the platform.

12. How should Technical Assistance Provider partners staff the program?

  • If selected as a partner, Technical Assistance Providers will be expected to dedicate a minimum of one full-time equivalent (FTE) staff member or contractor to the program. Some Technical Assistance Providers may receive funding for more than one FTE, but this would only be expected if partners agreed to this during contracting.
  • Technical Assistance Providers should expect to reserve several hours a month for executive-level staff to provide program oversight and administration.
  • Other staffing considerations may include several hours each month for marketing, or administrative team members.
  • Costs from any personnel or contractors associated with this program are eligible program-related expenses. Financial reports will ask that partners include the percent of time that each associated staff person spends on this program.

Paycheck Protection Program – Extended Through May 31, 2021

Paycheck Protection Program

***Closed as of 5/31/21.

PPP is working for you.  PPP has been extended through May 31, 2021.  Lenders are open and accepting applications.

PPP’s funding formula has been revised for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support.

Additional critical changes have helped to increase equity and access to PPP funds for more small business owners, including:

  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to apply for relief.
  • Revised loan calculations for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support.
  • Elimination of exclusionary restrictions preventing applicants with prior non-fraud felony convictions from accessing funds.
  • Elimination of exclusionary restrictions preventing applicants who are delinquent on their federal student loans from accessing funds.

We have 3 partner organizations — Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, Southland Development Authority, and Illinois Restaurant Association — that will provide guidance such as: PPP Process, understanding eligibility, & document collection. To apply, contact your local CDFI or bank.  You can also reach out to our lending partner Lendistry.

Sign Up: Help is Here!

Toni’s Tips, Cook County Businesses to Support

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – it’s Small business Week.  Join Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle as she shares

Toni’s Tips, a list of Cook County businesses to support.

We’re inviting small businesses to celebrate with us. Small business week is a time to support one another, learn about beneficial programs designed to support you, and tell your small business story.  Toni has been traveling the county to listen and share the inspirational stories of our small business owners.

Enjoy Toni’s Tips!

 

Old Fashioned Donuts – 11248 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL

A staple in Roseland, for over 45 years, Old Fashioned Donuts reigned over by Mr. B is affectionately referred to as the “Donut King”. Stop in for a giant apple fritter.

 

 

 

 

Aztec Dave’s – 2300 S Throop, Chicago, IL  (for pickup order ahead)

Aztec Daves focuses on authentic Mexican recipes and ingredients derived from their own grandmother and adds a modern twist. Priding themselves on the freshest ingredients and top-quality marinated meats. Everything is homemade and prepared fresh daily; from the flame-grilled meats to our original salsas. Start with the Taco Azteca.

 

 

 

Da Book Joint – 430 E. 162nd St, Ste 747, South Holland, IL  

Da Book Joint is a #BlackWomanOwnedBusiness born on the #Southside of #Chicago committed to literary growth and the positive engagement of the youth.

Verlean Singletary, owner of Da Book Joint is dedicated to the development of our country’s youth – support her mission.

 

 

 

The Looking Glass – 823 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 

Proudly, “not just another used bookstore!”, The Looking Glass offers a wide variety of gently used books but also a variety of gift options. Stop in for book-related gifts, unique gift options created by local artisans and a wide array of greeting cards. 

If you’re near Oak Park, consider joining the book club. 

 

 

 

Rise and Dine – 102 S. Milwaukee Ave, Wheeling, IL 

Skillets, french toast and omelets, oh my! Rise and Dine serves up traditional American breakfast food with a brunch that will have you coming back time and time again. 

The crew at Rise and Dine pride themselves on serving only the freshest ingredients and, importantly, having ample parking available. Bring your friends and family – Rise and Dine is safely, open for business. 

 

 

 

Old School Records – 413 Des Plaines Ave, Forest Park, IL 

If you know the magical sound of vinyl, you just know. Old School Records in Forest Park pays homage to the classic sounds and progression of music. Stop in for records, tapes and CDs to take an audible trip down memory lane. 

 

 

 

 

Coffeessions – 820 Wheeling Rd, Wheeling, IL 

Coffeessions is a high-end coffeehouse intended to leverage a niche market through the offering of a combination of specialty coffee, a wine bar, soups and healthy convenient meals on the go.

The coffeehouse offers hot and cold beverages, including specialty coffees, U.S. regional wines, teas, pastries, breads, snacks, energy-dense food options, soups and desserts. Visit them in Wheeling for a warm treat.

 

 

Da Book Joint – 430 E. 162nd St, Ste 747, South Holland, IL 60473

Da Book Joint is a #BlackWomanOwnedBusiness born on the #Southside of #Chicago committed to literary growth and the positive engagement of the youth.

Verlean Singletary, owner of Da Book Joint is dedicated to the development of our country’s youth – support her mission.