The Small Business Assistance Center provides information for:

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program.

This Fund will offer small 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.

These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.

Who is eligible?

Local governments can apply on behalf of businesses with 50 employees or less. Only units of local government recognized by the Illinois Constitution and able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale are eligible to apply for Economic Development grant funding.

This includes cities, villages, and counties.  Municipalities must not be a HUD direct Entitlement community or be located in an urban county that receives “entitlement” funds.  A map of eligible areas of the state can be accessed here, see “Staff Contact Information.”

INELIGIBLE COMMUNITIES         

Communities receiving an annual allocation directly from HUD on an entitlement (formula) basis are not eligible to apply for the State’s CDBG funding.  In 2019, Illinois had 33 metropolitan cities and eight urban counties named as Entitlements.  They are:

Urban Counties

  • Cook County
  • DuPage County
  • Kane County
  • Lake County
  • Madison County
  • McHenry County
  • St. Clair County
  • Will County

Metropolitan Cities

  • ​Arlington Heights
  • Aurora
  • Berwyn
  • Bloomington
  • Champaign
  • Chicago
  • Cicero
  • Danville
  • Decatur
  • DeKalb
  • Des Plaines
  • Elgin
  • Evanston
  • Hoffman Estates
  • Joliet
  • Kankakee
  • Moline
  • Mount Prospect
  • Naperville
  • Normal
  • Oak Lawn
  • Oak Park
  • Palatine
  • Pekin
  • Peoria
  • Rantoul
  • Rock Island
  • Rockford
  • Schaumburg       ​

What can grants be used for?

Grants can be used to support working capital.

How do businesses apply?

Businesses in the eligible areas should work with their local governments to submit applications.  Application materials will be posted to the DCEO website on Friday, March 27, 2020.

How much money is available?

Grants of up to $25,000 per business will be available.

How soon will businesses receive funds?

DCEO’s goal is to execute grants within 30 days of application receipt, after which funds will be accessible.