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Business Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Illinois SBDC at Bradley University and the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship provides one-on-one assistance, education, and research to assist small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to start, grow, or accelerate a business. As such, our business advisors are on the front lines when businesses are impacted by any kind of disruption from tornadoes to pandemics. We are fully operational and ready to assist businesses during these challenging economic conditions.

In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), all of our advisers are prepared to assist businesses with questions on how to access SBA Disaster Assistance and programs through DCEO. There is no cost for our confidential assistance. These services are made possible through the support of the SBA, DCEO, and Bradley University.

What You Need to Know

Our staff are able to work remotely with businesses located in the following counties:

  • Fulton
  • Marshall
  • Mason
  • Peoria
  • Stark
  • Tazewell
  • Woodford

If your Illinois business is not located in one of the above counties, you may visit this website to find your local Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC). If you are located outside of Illinois, please visit this website to find your state’s SBDC network.

If you have not previously worked with the Illinois SBDC at Bradley University, your adviser will ask you to complete a short application for our assistance. You are welcome to complete the form at any time. Only required questions need to be answered. The form is required by the SBA and DCEO in order for us to provide our services at no cost.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers small business guidance and loan resources. Our advisers have been specifically trained in the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program which offers loan assistance of up to $2 million for affected businesses. Here are the key facts in understanding if this program may be valuable to assist your business through economic injury caused by the Coronavirus.

  1. As of March 19, 2020, the SBA approved Governor Pritzker’s request to declare all counties in Illinois as declared disasters and companies are now able to apply for the SBA disaster loans. 
  2. The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is a loan, not a grant.  However, it comes with a low interest rate of 3.75% for businesses, and 2.75% for private non-profits. And the payback period can be as long as 30 years. There is also a four-month grace period after the loan is approved before the first payment is due.  Businesses should also consult their accountant, banker, or lawyer for additional guidance as to the suitability of this loan program for your circumstances.
  3. Loan requests are made directly by individuals (sole proprietors) and businesses. Banks do not accept EIDL applications. Loan proceeds are paid directly to the applicant’s bank account.
  4. The loan amount may be up to $2,000,000. There is no fee to apply. Approved applications do not have to use all the approved loan amount and application approvals may be placed on hold for up to six months. 
  5. Only small businesses are eligible as determined by your industry’s NAICS code and SBA guidelines. However, for most businesses, less than 500 employees would qualify. If needed, our advisors can confirm if your business qualifies.
  6. Approvals are partly based on the demonstrated ability to repay the loan as evidenced through financial history and projections, along with credit scores. However, a low credit score does not preclude approval. Collateral will be required for loan amounts above $25,000 with real estate as the preferred collateral.
  7. The goal of this loan program is to provide the working capital you need to get through depressed economic conditions. This includes expenses such as rent, payroll, and other operational expenses.

Last Updated March 19, 2020

Next Step?

Contact the Illinois Small Business Development Center via email (illinoissbdc@bradley.edu) is fastest. You may leave a voice message at (309) 677-2992. Emails and phone messages are returned within 1 business day.

Want to Learn More Right Now?

Here are additional documents that will provide more in-depth information on the SBA Disaster Loan Programs.