Local Business Information

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Information updates on local business information will be updated as it is received. This is does not serve as a complete list of information. If you are a local business and have information to add or a question that you need answered please contact Sasha Althoff at

Emergency Small Business Grants and Loan Assistance

Small Business Administration Programs

  • Paycheck Protection Program - The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance - In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's Essential Business Checklist 

Unsure of whether your business or your workplace has been deemed 'essential' under the State Illinois Executive Order to 'stay at home'? Call DCEO (Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity) at 1-800-252-2923 or email You may also consult your legal department or attorney for advice.

Essential Business Flowchart


The Effingham County Chamber of Commerce also has great resources available here.


The State of Illinois has received its statewide Economic Injury Declaration which means small businesses in all 102 Illinois counties may be eligible for low-interest, economic injury disaster loans up to $2M per business. Businesses can access additional information and apply for the loan online here. Eligibility requirements are determined by SBA and can be found here.


Executive Order 2020-7: Unemployment Benefits/Business Insurance FAQ

Q: The IDES Phone line is ringing busy and the website is failing to load for many people. Is there an additional line of communication that people can use to file claims?

A: IDES is working on the website and recently hired new employees to address this issue.

Q: Are immunocompromised individuals who are unpaid leave covered financially in any way?

A: The answer depends on the circumstances of their separation and each case will be very fact dependent, but in general, if the employer discharged the person, the employee could be eligible unless the employee was discharged for misconduct as defined by the Unemployment Insurance Act; whereas if the employee quits, they likely would not be eligible because their resignation would have been voluntary and not attributable to the employer. Of course, the situation might change depending on the facts. For example, if the individual was told by a doctor they were required to stay home, the individual’s resignation in that case might not have been voluntary, so they might be eligible.

 Q: When doing Unemployment benefits can it be structured with the least impact to the employer?

A: IDES is working with the Governor’s Office on state legislation to address this issue.

Q: Will unemployment benefits cover the 1st week of unemployment? Will an applicant have to wait 7 days to apply?

A: Per Executive Order 2020-7 issued by the Governor, the mandatory 7-day waiting period has been waived and will be covered under the State's unemployment insurance program.

Q: Do part time workers qualify for Unemployment Benefits?

A: When someone files, their weekly benefit amount is determined using a formula taking into consideration their base period wages. If someone is still working when they file, we have to determine how much they earned in a week. If the individual earned more than their weekly benefit amount in a week, they are not unemployed, so they are not eligible. If the individual earned some wages for part-time work, but the wages were less than their weekly benefit amount, they are eligible for benefits but some of those wages will offset their weekly benefit amount.

Q: What is the estimated timeline for an individual to receive unemployment benefits?

A: Generally speaking, when a claimant files for benefits they get a certification day set approximately two weeks later. Once they certify on their assigned date, they receive payment via debit card or direct deposit 2-3 days later.

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