Illinois Employer and Employee Resources for COVID-19 Assistance

The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is life-threatening as well as threatening the livelihoods of Chicago’s employers and employees, and we will be updating this list of resources as more information becomes available.


For Employers


Accion Nonprofit Community Lender – Line of Credit

For existing Accion clients and for any entrepreneur who needs access to capital right now, we are launching an expedited Accion line of credit application for up to $25,000. Any entrepreneur who has a clean credit report in 2019 is eligible for this expedited process. Rather than conduct a full underwrite of your business, we will set the maximum loan amount based on your monthly revenues in January and February. If you didn’t make on-time payments in 2019 or you need more capital than your recent revenues suggest, we are still here to help: an Accion Community Lender will work with you to evaluate your application in more detail. Click here to apply.


Illinois Restaurant Association Legal Network


James Beard Foundation Relief Fund


Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

Business owners are encouraged to fill in this form to assist in evaluating a request for an economic injury disaster declaration from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Additional information here.


U.S. Small Business Administration

Information for accessing the SBA’s Disaster Relief Lending program.


Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

The SBDC provides information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources to start-up and existing small businesses.


For Employees


Bartender Emergency Assistance Program


City of Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance

The Rental Assistance Program provides financial assistance to Chicago residents, directly related to the prevention of homelessness, to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction in order to stabilize individuals and families in their existing rental unit.


Illinois Department of Employment Services (IDES)

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. In general, Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides temporary income maintenance to individuals who have been separated from employment through no fault of their own and who meet all eligibility requirements, including the requirements that they be able and available for work, register with the state employment service, and actively seek work.


Illinois Medicaid

Medicaid is a jointly funded state and Federal government program that pays for medical assistance services. Medicaid pays for medical assistance for eligible children, parents and caretakers of children, pregnant women, persons who are disabled, blind or 65 years of age or older, those who were formerly in foster care services, and adults aged 19-64 who are not receiving Medicare coverage and who are not the parent or caretaker relative of a minor child.


Illinois WorkNet Center/American Job Center

Resources for laid-off workers with information on benefits, including Unemployment Insurance (UI), health insurance, housing assistance, local support services, student loans, etc.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is the largest federal nutrition assistance program. SNAP provides benefits to eligible low-income individuals and families via an Electronic Benefits Transfer card. This card can be used like a debit card to purchase eligible food in authorized retail food stores.


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children. TANF provides financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical.