Update – March 27, 2020

Chamber members and friends,

As we work to bring solutions to our members and our community in the coming days, we encourage you to fill out this simple two-part survey. This survey will allow us to align our efforts more strategically in the development of solutions for your individual situation. We will collect input through Monday, March 30th at 5pm. Please take 2 minutes to share your direct needs. We appreciate your feedback.

We are constantly monitoring federal and state business resources, specifically legislative updates. A comprehensive list is available below. I encourage you to review this daily as updates are made frequently.

The Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce is eager to see movement on the federal and state level to help stabilize the economy.

In the coming days, we aim to maintain our movement forward as a united community. In this mission, we hope to inspire you to share our free, no strings attached membership opportunity to a neighboring business who needs connected to vital resources. Please send my contact details to your business friend and let them know your chamber is rooting for them! We are all in this together.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me anytime. We are working for our community and we are here for you.




U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA has a broad range of programs that can help small businesses through these challenging times including business advisory and lending services.  Call or email the Illinois District Office (312-353-4528, or go to for more information.

In addition, SBA has created a webpage for COVID-19 related resources, including:

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
  • Guidance for Business and Employers
  • SBA Products & Resources
  • Government Contracting
  • Local Assistance

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Response Toolkit

The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus. Resources include:

  • Workplace Safety (OSHA Guidance)
  • Wages, Hours, and Leave (Fair Labor Standards Act, Family and Medical Leave Act)
  • Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities
  • Injured Federal Workers Compensation Act and more


The U.S. Small Business Administration has authorized emergency disaster loans for small businesses and nonprofits in the Greater Galesburg area. Borrowers can borrow up to $25,000 unsecured at a 3.75% interest rate. Businesses with adequate collateral can borrow up to $2 million. Repayment terms will be worked out on a case-by-case basis. These loans come straight from the SBA rather than go through a bank. 

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at Noah Postin of the Knox County Area Partnership of Economic Development is available to help businesses through the application process. Please contact him at Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance.


Governor JB Pritzker announced $90 million in financial relief to small businesses across the state of Illlinois

Governor Pritzker announced a new package of emergency assistance programs for small businesses in need of additional capital, totaling more than $90 million. Illinois businesses will be able to apply to these programs on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website.

“Our department is leveraging every resource we have available to support small businesses in these challenging times,” said Erin Guthrie, Director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. “These funds will provide small businesses on the brink with much needed working capital to continue making payroll and paying other bills while our administration continues to advocate for additional resources from the federal government.”

The three areas of relief are explained below.

Illinois Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million available in grant funds to support working capital, like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Noah Postin of the Knox County Area Partnership of Economic Development is available to help businesses through the application process. Please contact him at

  • Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in annual revenue last year will be eligible for up to $10,000.
  • Bars and restaurants that generated between $500,000 and $1M in annual revenue last year will be eligible for up to $25,000.
  • Hotels that generated less than $8 million in annual revenue last year will be eligible for up to $50,000.

Applications are now being accepted here through 5:00pm on April 1, 2020.

llinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are establishing the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000. Noah Postin of the Knox County Area Partnership of Economic Development is available to help businesses through the application process. Please contact him at

  • 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.
  • Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term.
  • This program will start taking interest forms from businesses on Friday, March 27.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

This new $20 million program supports small businesses in suburban and rural counties across Illinois, providing grants of up to $25,000 to small businesses in communities served by DCEO’s Office of Community Development.

These grants will offer businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. The program redeploys Community Development Block Grant funds to support local small businesses. The grants will be offered on a rolling basis.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On Wednesday, March 25, the U.S. Senate reached an agreement to pass a $2 trillion stimulus package to help combat the effects of COVID-19.

While the language of the bill has not yet been released, the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce is eager to see movement on the federal level to help stabilize the nation’s health system and economy.

The FFCRA contains provisions around unemployment benefits, paid family leave, paid sick leave and a host of other resources.

The U.S. Department of Labor published guidance explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which takes effect April 1.  

CARES Act: $2.2 trillion economic relief package

On March 27, 2020, Congress and the administration secured these funds that could make the difference between keeping a business up and running over the coming weeks or being forced to reduce salaries, lay off employees, or shutter businesses entirely. No family and no business should go bankrupt because of the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus.

“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and our network of state and local chambers of commerce are now turning our focus to helping businesses of all sizes keep workers on their payrolls by securing available funds as quickly as possible. Specifically, we are focused on helping small businesses take the necessary steps to receive aid once lending facilities have been designated” states U.S. Chamber of Commerce CEO Thomas J. Donohue. More information will be forthcoming. For a preview of the small business guide and checklist, visit here.


Facebook Grants for Small Business

Facebook is awarding $100 million in grants and ad credits to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries. Learn more by clicking here.


Forefront, an association of Illinois grantmakers and nonprofits,has a webpage dedicated to keeping the nonprofit sector apprised of COVID-19 developments, available by clicking here.

Rapid Response Fund for Local Nonprofits

Galesburg Community Foundation, in partnership with The Twomey Foundation, the G.L. Vitale Family Foundation, the McClean Family Endowment Fund, the Warren County United Way and the United Way of Knox County have committed $145,000 to establish the Rapid Response Fund to support local nonprofits directly responding to emergencies or disasters impacting the communities and people of Knox and Warren Counties. Specifically, at this time, the fund can be used to directly support local nonprofit organizations on the front lines dealing with COVID-19. Grants from the fund will be made in collaboration with public health and safety response efforts, in the event they are needed. More information is available here.


Illinois Department of Employment Security Resources

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributed to COVID-19. Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible.

IDES offices have closed to the public but individuals are encouraged to file for unemployment online by clicking here. IDES has filed emergency rules that waive the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.


IRS and Federal Taxes

The deadline to file federal taxes has been extended to July 15, 2020.
All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.

Illinois Taxes

The State of Illinois has extended the income tax filing and payment deadline by three months, from April 15 to July 15, 2020. The Department of Revenue (IDOR) will continue to process tax refunds for those filing ahead of the new deadline. The fastest, most secure way to receive a refund is to file tax returns electronically and request a direct deposit into a checking or savings account. Taxpayers who have already filed a return can check the status of their return by using the Where’s My Refund? link located at www.MyTax.Illinois.Gov. C


President Trump announced on March 23, 2020 that the federal REAL ID deadline is being extended beyond Oct. 1, 2020. A new deadline has not yet been established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. When a new deadline is set, it will be posted here. Current Illinois driver’s licenses or ID cards (DL/ID) will continue to be accepted at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities until a new deadline is set by the federal government. View the media release.


Looking for local volunteer opportunities? Click here!


Child care for Essential Workers during COVID-19 Crisis

Like schools, most child care programs have been asked to close. But many emergency and essential workers continue to need reliable care for their children. Thus, the state is in the process of establishing a series of “emergency child care” options – settings that could operate under more flexible-than-usual rules, while still offering kids and families crucial assistance.  Existing, interested providers could apply to re-open in this process; other, new providers could explore options for starting-up.

Here’s where to turn for more information on emergency child care homes and centers:

  • How to find emergency child care – Call 888-228-1146 or visit
  • General guidance on establishing emergency-care options, including rules, a license application, list of essential workers, and background-check authorization – click here.
  • Related FAQ, including info on the closure of normal child care operations – click here