Cook County has delayed a range of fines and fees for businesses. A list is here. Across Illinois, sales taxes for bars and restaurants that have a tax burden of less than $75,000 are able to defer February-April tax payments until May. Full details are available here. As of May 1, the Illinois Department of Revenue has not extended the tax deferral.
Licenses & Certifications
The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is extending licenses that would have expired in March, April, May, or June to July 31, 2020. Details can be found here. In Cook County, certified Minority/Women/Veteran/Service Disabled Veteran/Person with Disability owned businesses will have the option of having their 2020 renewal dates extended automatically by 6 months with recertification fees waived. More information here.
Bars & Restaurants
The Illinois Liquor Control Commission is authorizing the return of beer that was sold and delivered on or before March 23rd. Beer must be in the original package or untapped kegs. Beer must have been purchased with the intention of on-premise consumption. Beer may be returned for cash or credit. Details can be found here.
Cook County’s Bureau of Economic Development has launched The Community Recovery Fund as part of the Community Recovery Initiative. This loan fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses and $10,000 for independent contractors in suburban Cook County. Loans will be administered by the Chicago Community Loan Fund and provided by a network of community lenders. Applications open in mid-April on a first-come, first-serve basis.
To apply, businesses and independent contractors in suburban Cook County must meet these requirements:
Fewer than 25 employees
Less than $3 million in revenue
At least half of income from 1099 contract work
Less than $100,000 in gross annual income
Please sign up for more information here. We will also update this page as new information is available.
The Cook County Bureau of Economic Development is trying to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on businesses across the county, please take a minute to complete their survey.
Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply for low interest loans of up to $50,000. Starting today, interested businesses will be able to express interest via the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.
Under the CARES Act, there are two new resources for businesses or nonprofits with less than 500 employees. First, Paycheck Protection Loans: This program provides cash-flow assistance through federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll. If an employer maintains their payroll, the loans will be forgiven. Loans are available to businesses (including nonprofits) with fewer than 500 employees who have been impacted by COVID-19 between 2/15 and 6/30. Loans are available for up to 250% of your payroll costs. Additional information is here. At the end of April, an additional round of funding was approved for the PPP.
Second, Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants: Grants for an emergency advance of $10,000 for small business and nonprofits (with fewer than 500 employees) who have also applied for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. First apply for the EIDL and then request the Economic Injury Grant. The grant does not need to be repaid and can be used for payroll costs, production costs, debts, rent, or mortgage payments. More information on the loans and additional grants are here.
The CARES Act also created an Employee Retention Tax Credit, which helps employers retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The Tax Credit is fully refundable for 50 percent of qualified wages (including qualified health plan expenses) paid between March 12, 2020 and January 1, 2021, up to $5,000 per employee. This credit is not available to employers receiving assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program. Information from the IRS on how to apply is available here.
Finally, the CARES Act created the Employer Payroll Tax Deferral that allows employers to defer portions of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020. These deferred amounts will be due in two installments: one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022. Qualified deferrable taxes include the employer portion of FICA taxes and half of SECA taxes. Deferral is not available to employers receiving assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program. Information from the IRS is available here.
In addition to the grants and loans available to small businesses and nonprofits above, the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund is distributing funds to nonprofits that are providing services to Illinoisans impacted by COVID-19. The fund is not currently taking applications, but they are asking organizations to indicate interest here for future funding.