Financial Assistance During the COVID-19 Crisis: for small businesses, for Illinois artists
State of Illinois:
- Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund — IDCEO, IDFPR
- Downstate Small Business Stabilization Grant Program — not available for Champaign-Urbana because of a HUD funding that already exists
- Arts Alliance Ilinois — Information, Webinars, and FAQ about grant and loan opportunities
- “Arts for Illinois Relief Fund” — www.artsforillinois.org
- The Arts Work Fund Emergency Relief Fund — https://artsworkfund.org/\
Federal: U.S. SBA
- PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) — U.S. Small Business Association: www.sba.gov
- ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN-ADVANCE PROGRAM (EIDL) — U.S. Small Business Association (SBA): covid19relief.sba.gov
Other national, but not governmental:
- Artist Relief: https://www.artistrelief.org
The State of Illinois is offering two small-business loan programs of interest to the creative sector: (1) Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund and (2) Downstate Small Business Stabilization Grant Program.
For Whom: small businesses
From Whom: The State of Illinois.
What: loans. ILLINOIS SMALL BUSINESS EMERGENCY LOAN FUND: low interest loans for working capital
Qualifications: WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Illinois small businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 can apply.
To be eligible, business must have experienced at least a 25 percent decrease in revenues as a result of the COVID crisis.
More information: State of Illinois. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
Applying: Businesses will apply through local lenders and can complete the expression of interest form. Businesses are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
More information about where the funds are coming from: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR)
For Whom: small businesses
From Whom: The State of Illinois
What: grants. (Illinois) DOWNSTATE SMALL BUSINESS STABILIZATION GRANT PROGRAM — businesses in Champaign-Urbana are not eligible for the Downstate Small Business Stabilization program because of HUD funding that already exists in the area
Qualifications: a specialized program that focuses on downstate and rural counties. It is more technical and restricted than the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Program and will likely take a longer time to materialize than other opportunities. / The program provides grants, not loans. // This program provides grants for working capital to small businesses impacted by the COVID crisis. Businesses partner with their local government to apply for these grants.
Qualifications: WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Businesses of 50 people or less may apply. The funds may be used to assist private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential and without the ability for employees to work remotely.
More information and applying: If you are interested, contact your local government. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis, and DCEO’s goal is to execute grants within 30 days of receiving the application, after which funds will be accessible.
More information about where the funds are coming from: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO)
For Whom: creative-sector (arts) small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis
From Whom: the Arts Alliance Ilinois: http://www.artsalliance.org
* a webinar: a discussion of resources available to Illinois creative-sector small businesses
- FAQ focused on small business loans, including information on opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels, for both creative sector organizations and individuals.
- This is the first in a series of webinars the Alliance will be publishing to support you during this crisis.
For Whom: Illinois artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
From Whom: Arts for Illinois Relief Fund (aief): https://artsforillinois.org/donate-and-apply
What: Grants “providing financial assistance”
* providing financial assistance to Illinois artists, artisans and cultural organizations impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
* Grant applications
- Grants will be awarded through a lottery system and will be disseminated quickly.
More information and applying: through www.artsforillinois.org.
More information about where the funds are coming from: The fund is a partnership between the City of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the broader philanthropic community. Arts for Illinois Relief Fund is administered by Arts Alliance Illinois in partnership with 3Arts and Arts Work Fund.
Update: In the first week, Arts for Illinois’s website generated an overwhelming number of applications (7,000) from individual artists who have lost job, income, and the ability to meet basic human needs like housing, food, and healthcare. // Arts for Illinois are in serious need of additional donations. So spread the word.
As of April 11, 2020: The application portal will close temporarily on Wednesday, April 8 at 5:00pm CST for processing and fundraising. The application portal will reopen on May 4th. This temporary closure will allow us to do more fundraising for this important initiative and more outreach to underrepresented and minority artists. We are working hard to create equity in the process, so that grants are not just issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. // If you missed this first application window, please add your name to the waiting list and we will contact you when the application reopens.
For Whom: Individual artists and artisans—including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers—experiencing an urgent need will be able to apply for one-time grants of $1,500 distributed by 3Arts. https://3arts.org/artist-relief/
Update: This application is temporarily closed to allow time for processing, communication to more artists, and additional fundraising. The application will reopen on Monday, May 4 at 9:00am CST. // To receive an email notification when the application reopens, they have a form to fill out online.
For Whom: arts + cultural organizations struggling with immediate lost revenue and non-recoverable expenses due to COVID-19.
What: funding and support / Grant / The Arts Work Fund Emergency Relief Fund, Round 2 / Illinois
From Whom: Arts Work Fund (AWF): for organizational development; https://artsworkfund.org/
Qualifications: This grant opportunity is for all arts organizations in Illinois—regardless of budget size. / Organizations by, for, and about people of color will be more strongly considered for funding at this time. / The majority of funds available will be for organizations located in and serving Chicago and Cook County
More info: The Arts Work Fund Emergency Relief Fund will be put on pause on April 15, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. to allow time for processing Round 1 applications and for additional fundraising for Round 2. The application for Round 2 will open on Monday, May 4 at 9:00am CDT. // To receive an email notification when the application reopens, join their newsletter mailing list. [Note that in Round 1, they received over 400 applications and raised $2 million to distribute.]
Note: The Arts Work Fund is temporarily shifting its grantmaking to unrestricted general operating support to arts and cultural organizations that are struggling with immediate lost revenue and non-recoverable expenses due to COVID-19. All other grantmaking is on hold.
Two main loan programs are overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and include the:
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan-Advance (EIDL).
General information: SBA: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
For Whom: Funding for small nonprofits and for-profit organizations: direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll
From Whom: (Federal) U.S. Small Business Administration
From Whom: Through the new federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
What: PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) — a loan program
Qualifications: Nonprofits and for-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees will be eligible for Paycheck Protection Program low-interest loans to meet payroll and associated costs.
Criteria: keeping staff on payroll between March 1 through June 30, 2020.
More information and Applying:
Applying: To apply for a PPP loan, you must apply through a bank, specifically, any existing
SBA lender, any federally insured depository institution, or any federally insured credit union. // Other lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. // Consult your local lender as to whether it is participating.
More information: Visit www.sba.gov for a list of SBA (Small Business Administration) lenders.
For Whom: Small businesses (and non-profits)
What: ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN-ADVANCE PROGRAM (EIDL)
This SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) program provides working-capital loans to small businesses impacted by disasters such as the COVID crisis. The loans provide working capital to meet costs such as payroll, increased costs due to disrupted supply chain, and debt service. The covered period is January 31, 2020 through December 31, 2020.
Where do the funds come from: the funds come directly from the United State Treasury.
- Applying: There is no cost to apply. Get started with your application at sba.gov
Important information to know in advance about the SBA’s EIDL program:
- Businesses located in Illinois, who have suffered substantial economic injury due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak may now apply for these funds.
- To process this loan, you must have a credit history acceptable to SBA *and* be able to determine that you have the ability to repay the loan.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
- Businesses do not go through a lender to apply. All applications must be submitted through the SBA website at https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19 or via paper forms, which can be found at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms.
- There is no cost to apply. There is no obligation to take the loan if offered.
HELP applying: The local Illinois Small Business Development Center is offering to help you understand and prepare the necessary documents to apply, and assist you in the application process. Contact them to schedule an appointment: email@example.com or 217-378-8535. / Assistance is also available in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. / Illinois Small Business Development Center at Champaign County EDC / www.cusbdc.org
Other: Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/sba-express-bridge-loans
For Whom: Practicing artists. They must be able to demonstrate a sustained commitment to their work, careers, and a public audience.
From Whom: Artist Relief: https://www.artistrelief.org
What: Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers, designed by Americans for the Arts, to better identify and address the needs of artists.
Where is the money coming from: Artist Relief launched with a generous $5 million seed gift from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to match an initial $5 million in funding generously provided a bunch of other small to medium art foundations.
// Due to a high volume of submissions, the application may come down temporarily. / They strongly recommend that you draft your responses in a separate word processing program and paste it into the application to have a saved copy in the event that you need to reapply.
For Whom: assistance to small businesses (including nonprofits) and temporarily extends federal unemployment benefits to part-time, self-employed and “gig economy” workers, all of which will be helpful to the arts industry
MORE INFORMATION will be coming.
From Whom: The Illinois Arts Council Agency (IACA) continues to work on federal and state levels and with new partnerships such as the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund. The passage of the new COVID-19 economic rescue bill secured $75 million in relief funding to be distributed through the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). It also expands assistance to small businesses (including nonprofits) and temporarily extends federal unemployment benefits to part-time, self-employed and “gig economy” workers, all of which will be helpful to the arts industry. As additional details emerge, including information related to the Endowment funds, IACA will be sure to share them with you.
For Whom: Nonprofits
From Whom: The Junior League of Champaign-Urbana (JLCU)
What: Nonprofits Assistance and Collaboration Team (NPACT)
The Nonprofit Assistance Collaboration Team is an exciting opportunity for community organizations to work with the Junior League of Champaign Urbana for a one-year term. JLCU will provide volunteer hours, financial assistance, expertise, and support to fulfill needs and complete projects for the partner organization. In return, the partner organization will provide JLCU members with education or training in their area(s) of expertise. Partners may apply for a renewal of the partnership each year.
Deadline: All applications must be returned by midnight on April 24, 2020.
For more information, you might look online at these agencies:
- Small Business Administration
- National Council of Nonprofits
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
- Arts Alliance Illinois
Temporarily not accepting applications: llinois Humanities COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants. “Due to the large volume of applications, we are no longer accepting applications at this time. We hope to be able to offer additional relief for COVID-19 very soon.”
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has received $75 million in supplemental funding to assist cultural institutions affected by the coronavirus as part of the CARES Act. As the state affiliate for the NEH, we will be helping to make awards. We hope to have clarity on the process, timing, and availability of the funds shortly. If you would like for us to follow up with you about this opportunity, please submit your contact information through this link.
Share your art!
Arts for Illinois also launched an online platform that features talented artists – performers, singers, poets, painters, writers and other creatives from across Illinois – who have generously made their works available for the public’s enjoyment while at home during these challenging times. Visit www.artsforillinois.org to explore a wide-range of art experiences, as well as learn more about the Arts for Illinois Relief Fund. Share your art using #ArtsforIllinois.
“We are inspired by the work that you are doing to sustain the arts in your communities. Thank you for the inspiration, solace and resiliency you provide!”
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