COVID-19 Relief Measures in Illinois

Practice Areas

By Asha Inamdar

To help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Illinois has introduced a number of initiatives such as:

Financial Assistance Programs

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund: Low-interest loans of up to $50,000 could be granted, with an overall fund of $60 million. A partnership with ACCION, the Illinois Bankers Association and the Community Bankers Association of Illinois is being created by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). A $30 million loss reserve fund has been created with $20 million consisting of funds from the SCEO and the balance $10 million coming in from the banking partnership. Eligibility criteria include having less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 and having less than 50 employees. Repayment is waived until 6 months and payments could be made with a 3% interest thereafter up to a total loan tenure of 5 years.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program: Initiated with $20 million to help businesses setup in rural areas in Illinois. Businesses with less than 50 employees can get cash flow assistance of up to $25,000

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program: A total of $14 million have been allocated to assist small businesses in the hospitality industry survive, by providing up to $25,000 for eligible bars and restaurants which could go up to $50,000 for eligible hotels. The   funds could be used for payroll or to pay utility bills and rent; or even to train new employees or to help support additional shifts in operations to meet growing consumer demand.

Banks, Credit Unions and Financial Institutions requested to provide relaxed repayment requirements: The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), Division of Banking and Division of Financial Institutions has requested these institutions to help consumers in this global crisis by allowing payment deferrals on credit cards or loans, waiver of interests and penalties on debts or other bank charges, providing additional loan, increasing credit limits for deserving borrowers, increasing ATM withdrawal limits etc.

Emergency Child Care License: In order to provide child care to the children of essential workers, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD), in partnership with the Illinois Departments of Human Services (IDHS) and Children and Family Services (IDCFS) have allowed such emergency license applications.

Other Initiatives

Free or Low-Cost Internet and Relief from Utility Payments: A host of telephone carriers and broadband service providers are providing free or low-cost internet services. The Illinois Commerce Commission has been instructed to issue a moratorium on shut offs for all the utility service providers until further intimation.

Unemployment Insurance: There is no 7-day wait to obtain unemployment benefits to those workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Tax  Matters

  • The Illinois income tax returns which were earlier due on April 15, 2020 can now be filed by July 15, 2020. This is an automatic extension. Penalties and interest will trigger only after July 16, 2020 on unpaid balances.
  • Delayed sales tax payments due to this pandemic for payments due in March, April and May will not be subject to penalties or late filing fees. Also, restaurants and bars with less than $75,000 sales tax dues in 2019 can defer the sales tax payments.

Expiration dates of certain Illinois Sales Tax Exemption (“E”) numbers have been granted a 90 days extension for those business which were impacted due to the Stay- at -Home Order.

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