Government and private sector programs offering financial assistance to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ameren Illinois is focused on helping you and the people who mean the most to your company or organization. The 2020 NonResidential Hardship Program provides a one-time assistance to Small Business and Non-Profit 501(c)(3) organizations that have an active Ameren Illinois electric account and a hardship. Small businesses and organizations that are struggling with effects of the
COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to apply for a grant.
Applications are reviewed for program eligibility and qualifying customers will receive assistance in the form of a one-time grant, up to
$500, applied to their Ameren Illinois electric account. Please review the enclosed materials for complete eligibility requirements.
Complete the enclosed application form and return both pages. We are now accepting applications on a first come first served
basis until June 30, 2020 or funding has been depleted. To avoid any delays in the review process, be sure to complete the
application in its entirety, and sign the application on page 2. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Application selection
will be on a first come first served basis until funds are depleted and at the company’s discretion.
You may mail, fax or email the completed application to Ameren Illinois, as shown below:
Mailing Address: Ameren Illinois
Attn: Energy Assistance A-10
PO Box 2543
Decatur IL 62525
Attn: Energy Assistance A-10
In addition to this grant, we offer many different savings options through our Energy Efficiency Programs in which you may also
qualify. Visit us now at http://www.AmerenIllinoisSavings.com!
If you have any questions, please call us Monday through Friday between 8a.m. and 5p.m. Thank you again for your interest in this
Ameren Illinois Business Center
Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers and is funded by the CARES Act.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Additional priority will be given to businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), or low-income areas that have had high rates of COVID-19 cases. Bars and restaurants, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that are not located in DIAs are also eligible. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by experiencing eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount since March.
Specifically, the program includes support for:
- Businesses located in DIAs Where There Was Recent Property Damage from Civil Unrest – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
- Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000*
- Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each*
- Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each*
Businesses must have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must meet specific annual revenue criteria outlined in document below.
WHEN AND WHERE TO APPLY: DCEO will accept applications from June 26th until 5:00pm on July 7th. The application submission portal will be posted on this webpage. Until the 26th, DCEO is posting the application questions and required documents for businesses and business support organizations to read, review and prepare. *While a portion of funds are reserved for businesses located in DIAs, the following business types in non-DIA locations are also eligible to apply for assistance: bars and restaurants; barbershops and salons; gyms and fitness centers.
- VIEW: Business Interruption Grant Application (English)
- VIEW: Business Interruption Grant Application (Spanish)
- VIEW: Full Eligibility Criteria
- VIEW: Business Certification Form and Eligible Cost List
Questions? Submit a question via the question submission form linked here in English or Spanish. Submitting businesses located in severe DIAS, which are a subset of DIAs where there has been recent property damage due to civil unrest will be eligible for specific grant funds.
DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED AREAS
The map below shows all disproportionately impacted areas for the Business Interruption Grant program. To determine whether or not you are located in a DIA, enter your address in the search box or look for your zip code in the list of DIAs here.
Note that for this first round of BIG funds, businesses located in a subset of DIAs where there has been recent property damage due to civil unrest will be eligible for specific grant funds. The zip codes eligible for this specific subset of funding are found here.
Note: See the website for the most up to date information.
Questions about existing EIDL applications/loans? – https://covid19relief1.sba.gov/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2f
Notice: New Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories were able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
On June 15, SBA began accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.
All eligible businesses may apply for the Loan Advance here. https://covid19relief.sba.gov/
The new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program provides benefits for many individuals who have been determined ineligible for state unemployment benefits, including self-employed workers and independent contractors.
Here’s the process
IDES is required to make sure you don’t qualify for regular unemployment before you can apply for expanded benefits under the federal CARES Act (pandemic unemployment assistance).
Who can file for PUA
- Individuals who had an Illinois regular unemployment insurance claim, but have run out of those benefits (i.e. exhausted 26 weeks of regular unemployment insurance and 13 weeks of PEUC)
- An employee of a nonprofit church or religious organization that does not pay unemployment. NOTE: If you work for religious organization that has voluntarily elected to pay unemployment, you must file a regular unemployment claim.
- Individuals who have been“self-employed” for only the last 18 months and you pay taxes on that income (i.e., you have not earned any wages as a W-2 employee). Self-employment includes:
- Sole proprietors who do not pay unemployment contributions
- Business owners
- Being issued (Form 1099) from a business to report income for tax purposes
- Filing a Schedule C (Form 1040) tax form to report profit or loss from business
Note: See the website link for the most recently updated information.
The SBA resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders on Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30am EDT.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan Information
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.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
For affiliation rules applicable to the Paycheck Protection Program, click here.
The Interim Final Rule for Applicable Affiliation Rules for the Paycheck Protection Program as posted in the Federal Register.
Loan Details and Forgiveness
The loan will be fully forgiven if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
This loan has a maturity of 2 years and an interest rate of 1%.
If you wish to begin preparing your application, you can download a copy of the PPP borrower application form (Spanish version) to see the information that will be requested from you when you apply with a lender.
Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. The loan forgiveness form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:
• Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles
• Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan
• Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness
• Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30
• Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined
As part of our coronavirus debt relief efforts, the SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020. This relief is not available for Paycheck Protection Program loans or Economic Injury Disaster loans. Borrowers do not need to apply for this assistance. It will be automatically provided as follows:
- For loans not on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
- For loans currently on deferment, SBA will begin making payments with the next payment due after the deferment period has ended, and will make six monthly payments.
- For loans made after March 27, 2020 and fully disbursed prior to September 27, 2020, SBA will begin making payments with the first payment due on the loan and will make six monthly payments.
SBA has notified 7(a), 504 and Microloan Lenders that it will pay these borrower loan payments. Lenders have been instructed to refrain from collecting loan payments from borrowers. If a borrower’s payment was collected after March 27, 2020, lenders were instructed to inform the borrower that they have the option of having the loan payment returned by the lender or applying the loan payment to further reduce the loan balance after SBA’s payment.
Borrowers should contact their lender if they have any questions regarding this payment relief.
Additional Debt Relief
For current SBA Serviced Disaster (Home and Business) Loans: If your disaster loan was in “regular servicing” status on March 1, 2020, the SBA is providing automatic deferments through December 31, 2020.
What does an “automatic deferral” mean to borrowers?
- Interest will continue to accrue on the loan.
- 1201 monthly payment notices will continue to be mailed out which will reflect the loan is deferred and no payment is due.
- The deferment will NOT cancel any established Preauthorized Debit (PAD) or recurring payments on your loan. Borrowers that have established a PAD through Pay.Gov or an OnLine Bill Pay Service are responsible for canceling these recurring payments. Borrowers that had SBA establish a PAD through Pay.gov will have to contact their SBA servicing office to cancel the PAD.
- Borrowers preferring to continue making regular payments during the deferment period may continue remitting payments during the deferment period. SBA will apply those payments normally as if there was no deferment.
- After this automatic deferment period, borrowers will be required to resume making regular principal and interest payments. Borrowers that cancelled recurring payments will need to reestablish the recurring payment.