Business Resources

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Launches BIG Grants Program

Business Interruption Grants Program – The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG). This first round will provide $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption due to COVID-19 related closures. This program is available for up to 3,500 businesses. Applications for the BIG program open on June 26 and submissions are due by July 7. The DCEO will begin distributing funds in early July. For more information, including eligibility, and to apply for the BIG program.

Village Board Launches COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Assistance Program  

Partnering to Keep the Lights On

At the March 25 meeting, Mayor Yukich and the Village Board of Trustees proactively approved COVID-19 financial assistance for small businesses to Keep the Lights On. The program provides financial assistance to eligible independently-owned businesses in Homer Glen. Up to a $10,000 line of credit is available with loans offered at zero percent (0%) interest. Click on the link below for the program details and application form. Eligible businesses can apply now.

COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Assistance Program Application


Get credible information to help your business by visiting the following resources:

US SBA Small Business Resources - COVID-19

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

COVID-19 Presentation from Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

Illinois on track to move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan on Friday, June 26.

The State’s new Phase 4 guidelines were released on June 22.

Here is a helpful Overview:

You can view the new Phase 4 Guidelines at

Illinois enters Phase 3 - changes for businesses!

On May 20, 2020, The Governor announced modifications to guidelines in Phase 3 (Recovery) of the “Restore Illinois” plan.  It is anticipated that regions will enter Phase 3 of the plan on May 29, 2020. In the coming days, the state and IDPH will be issuing formal industry-specific guidance for business owners and employees in these and other sectors.

Governor’s Press Release announcing these changes

Governor’s Restore Illinois Links

  • Bars and restaurants will have the option to resume operations for outdoor seating, but not for regular indoor food service. Tables must be six feet apart and away from sidewalks, face coverings and distancing measures for staff must continue to be followed. Bars and restaurants will be also required to follow additional precautions and guidance that will be issued at a later date. For those restaurants and bars interested in outdoor seating, please see the temporary outdoor dining permit application (available via this link) and email any questions to
  • All retail stores can open their doors to in-person shopping with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits in place.
  • Health clubs, gyms, and fitness studios can provide one-on-one personal training in indoor facilities and outdoor fitness classes of up to ten people.
  • Personal care services, like nail salons, spas and barbershops, can open with IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.
  • Golf will now be allowed in foursomes, and golf carts will be allowed with capacity limits of one person per cart. One additional member of the same household will be allowed to share a cart.
  • Indoor and outdoor tennis facilities will be allowed to open while following IDPH safety precautions and capacity limits.
  • All state parks will reopen on May 29. All parks concessions will reopen, as well, under guidance set for retail and food service businesses.
  • Boating or camping of up to 10 people will be allowed.

COVID-19 Re-Opening Best Practices (available via this link)

Governor Announces Modified Stay at Home Order 

The Governor signed Executive Order 2020-32  modifying and extending the original Stay at Home Order through May 29. The modified order strengthens the state’s social distancing requirements while allowing residents additional flexibility and providing measured relief to non-essential businesses in the safest way possible.

 Essential Business & Operations FAQ  includes important guidance on expanded businesses and operations that are considered essential. 

Under the Governor’s modified Order, essential retail stores shall to the greatest extent possible cap occupancy at 50 percent of store capacity, or use the Guidance regarding the alternative occupancy restrictions based on store square footage.

The new executive order will include the following modifications:

OUTDOOR RECREATION: State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and when ensuring that social distancing is followed.

View the DCEO Golf Operational Restrictions.

NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.

NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL: Retail stores designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.

FACE COVERINGS: Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask. For guidance regarding the application of the face-covering requirement for businesses and other places of public accommodation please visit the FAQ (available via this link).

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING: Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.

SCHOOLS: Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.

Illinois Taxpayer Relief

The Illinois Department of Revenue has established this COVID-19 page to provide information and resources to help Illinois taxpayers, businesses, and others affected by the coronavirus. See also:


Please review this information to assist your employees. The 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 has a helpful Unemployment Information page. All unemployment claims should be filed online through the IDES filing page.

Video Gaming License Fees

In recognition of the hardships caused by this unprecedented public health crisis, the Gaming Board has extended the March 31, 2020 renewal fee payment deadline. Renewal fees are now due ten business days after the Gaming Board resumes statewide video gaming operations.

Additionally, and to further alleviate the burdens caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Gaming Board also suspended billing through at least April 30, 2020. During the Suspension Period, the Gaming Board will not initiate any enforcement actions or assess any penalties for unpaid license fees that came due during this period.

The full document explaining the suspension period can be found by clicking Video Gaming Renewal Fees Guidance.

Additional Business Resources

  • NEW Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) to Assist Restaurants, Salons, Gyms, Fitness Centers, etc. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will launch 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 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 and are located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs). Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Specifically, the program includes support for:

  • Businesses in DIAs - $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
  • WHEN TO APPLY: DCEO will make the application for BIG available on Monday, June 22nd.
    Please check the DCEO - COVID-19 Community and Business Assistance Grant Programs webpage for updates and the application form.

For a summary of the Act, PLEASE CLICK HERE

  • Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act Passed March 27 -To help small business owners better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, refer to the comprehensive guide to many of the small business provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress. Several stimulus programs are created including loans for both large and small businesses, stimulus checks for individuals, expanded unemployment insurance for workers, paid family leave, paid sick leave and mortgage/renter relief.
  • Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor - Small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.
  • Door Dash - Eliminating commissions for new restaurant partners that enroll with them during the next 30 days and charging no commission to current partners.
  • Uber Eats - Sign up to offer delivery service to customers.