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Programs and Links for Small Business

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and its detrimental impact on small businesses, the State of Illinois is allocating $20 million in Community Development Block Grant funds to create The Downstate Small Business Stabilization program.


The program has been established to provide working capital funds to businesses that have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The program component makes funds available for 60 days of verifiable working capital up to a grant ceiling of $25,000 and is available for businesses that employ 50 people or less. The number of employees includes the business owner(s). 


These funds may be used to assist private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely.


Not all businesses are eligible for such funds and an application for such funds MUST be made by the City in which the business is located on behalf of that business. Businesses in Gillespie are urged to call the city at 217-839-2919 during regular weekday business hours (8-5 M-F) and leave their name, phone number and someone will call you back to discuss the program and the application process.


A key requirement is that the business MUST have been in operation and owned by the applicant at least since 1 January 2017. The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will review the applications and make awards. There is no deadline to apply but funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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