Find how and where to get loans and/or free grants in Illinois for your business. There will funds allocated to disadvantaged businesses, which include minority companies (Black, Latino, Asian owned) as well as women owned or veteran businesses. Find the lenders, corporations and programs below that are near you in Illinois for funds. Everything from free grants to low cost loans, mentoring, and other small business or start up assistance is provided.
Small business funding may be provided by the federal government or state of Illinois. There are also non-profit grant programs, loans from banks or foundations, and more. Each loan or free grant program listed will allocate some of the money for women as well as minority owned (or run companies). Some of the agencies may also give startup funding to entrepreneurs or mid sized companies as well.
Funds are allocated across the state. There is financial assistance for minority and women owned businesses in Chicago, Joliet, Springfield and other cities. Free grants or loans can generally cover any business expense, ranging from rent to insurance, equipment, payroll, and other costs. The money can help save a business or provide the capital they need to grow.
Small business loans or free grants in Illinois
The list below is updated daily, as new free grants as well as loan programs are announced. Call or look online to apply for help. Black owned companies, LGBTQ, Latinos, Asians, and women owned businesses can get the help they need.
Over $200 million in grants will be issued to businesses struggling from the Pandemic and/or Civil Unrest. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is accepting applications and disbursing funds. Both of them, the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) as well as the Rebuild Distressed Communities (RDC), are free grants with a focus on disadvantaged businesses, including immigrants, Black, Latina, female, veterans and others in Illinois. There are funds for small businesses in low income communities, farmers, and others. The bottom line is Illinois is offering many startup and small to mid sized business grants to minorities, women, and struggling companies. More details are here. https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/default.aspx
The Chicago Urban League is offering free grants (of up to $5000), technical assistance, mentoring and other support to small businesses that are Black owned. Most of the aid is for very small businesses that are one, two, or small firms. the grants and resources are offered in partnership with the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. Applications are at the Urban League Chicago Help Center. https://www.culcovid19.com/
Over $270 million in free grants will be issued by the state of Illinois run Business Interruption Grant program. To date, about 50 percent of BIG grant recipients are women and/or minority owned. About one quarter are Asian owned companies and about 25% are Latinx-owned or Black business owners. https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/C19DisadvantagedBusGrants.aspx