Small businesses could loan up to $2 million in “disaster assistance” if policy passes


Jeffrey Hsu

The interior of local business Beads N Botanicals on Nov. 28, 2019. Small businesses like Beads N Botanicals could benefit from federal loans admist the Coronavirus outbreak if Governor JB Prtizker’s policy passes.

By Samantha Boyle, Managing Editor for Reporting

In order to assist small businesses who are facing financial hardships during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration has planned to file for statewide eligibility in a federal loan program, a press release stated.

The loans would offer up to $2 million per eligible small business or nonprofit organization that applies for the loan.

Loans can be used to “pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Interest rates for these loans are 3.75% for businesses without credit available elsewhere and 2.75% for nonprofits. These loans will also have a longterm repayment rate with a maximum of 30 years.

On Sunday, Pritzker ordered the closure of all bars and restaurants in Illinois. Since then, people have been advised to also avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.

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Some restaurants have also still been offering carry-out options.

“I have directed my administration to do everything in our power to support our working families, and we are also working expeditiously to mitigate the challenges small businesses are facing,” Pritzker said in the press release.

He said the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has established “necessary documentation to declare a statewide Economic Injury Declaration with the U.S. Small Business Association,” which is offering coronavirus disaster assistance loans.

Pritzker said this will ensure all counties in the state will qualify for assistance.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has contacted and received responses from more than 1,000 businesses to file with the SBA, according to the press release.

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