Women’s Business Development Center

Dear WBDC Network,

We are reaching out to assure our WBDC family that we are taking all possible proactive measures to support and assist our clients with the economic impact on their businesses from necessary COVID-19 containment measures.

The WBDC is actively advocating for grant and loan solutions to ensure the financial sustainability of our clients. Since this is an evolving situation, we do not have all the answers at this time, but we will continue to keep our network up to date.

Here are a few of the ongoing steps the WBDC has taken to support our clients:

New Information  

Immediate Steps to Support Borrowers across our Region:

To support our clients across our 9-state region, the WBDC is helping clients navigate the recent U. S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) authorization to provide small business assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This unprecedented program can provide low interest loans of up to $2 million to businesses and private non-profits. To ensure that our clients are knowledgeable and have access to the U. S. Treasury’s EIDL funds as soon as available, we are providing the following assistance:

  • Creating a Checklist for clients to simplify the loan application and documentation process on the SBA’s Disaster Loan Application Portal. See below for the link to the Checklist (Spanish translation to follow).
  • Supporting clients by creating a more detailed Guide for the SBA’s Disaster Loan Application Portal (Spanish translation to follow).
  • Directing clients to http://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19  after state approval is granted.
  • Informing businesses that funding comes directly from the U. S. Treasury and applicants should not go through a bank or CDFI to apply.
  • Requesting additional resources to expand the increasing financial technical assistance support needed by clients.

After your state has been declared a Coronavirus (COVID-19) disaster area, the U. S. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program will be available to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 outbreak.  In an effort to be proactive in addressing the needs of small businesses in our communities, for whom the economic impact of this disaster could be crippling in the short-term, the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) has created a checklist click here and a step-by-step comprehensive applicant guide will follow to help them apply for these low-interest, longer term disaster loans directly from the U. S. Treasury. The Guide, which will be uploaded soon, provides a roadmap for EIDL applicants, including:

  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Allowed Use of Proceeds
  • Collateral Requirements
  • Required Documents with Summary Descriptions with Download Links
  • Overview of Loan Terms
  • Approval Criteria
  • Introduction to Disaster Loan Application Portal (DLAP)
  • Screen-by-Screen Loan Application Guide
  • Processing Time

If you require additional guidance, call us to speak with a business advisor for assistance with the loan application.

Given the financial impact across the country on all businesses, particularly small businesses, it is most important that you apply as soon as possible given the limited pool of federal funds.  If you need additional funds after you have applied, additional supporting documents can be submitted with a request for an increase.  It is most important that submitted applications are ‘complete’ since missing information will cause delays in processing.

Immediate Steps to Support Borrowers under the WBDC Direct Lending Program:  (Restricted for State of Illinois Clients)

With funding and grants directed towards Illinois-based businesses, we are supporting borrowers through the WBDC Direct Lending Program by:

  • Deferring principal payments for the next three months and extending loan maturities for three months from original maturity dates.
  • Requesting additional resources to expand the increasing financial technical assistance support needed by clients.
  • Pursuing emergency funds to provide loans with longer principal grace periods, extended maturities, lower interest rates, collateral over advances, and faster underwriting standards.

Immediate Steps to Support Borrowers through the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund:

$100 million in seed funding from the City of Chicago and philanthropic institutions and corporations created the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund.  This Fund will provide neighborhood businesses impacted by this COVID-19 health crisis with emergency cash flow, low-interest loans with up to a 5-year maturity.  

Eligible businesses must have experienced more than a 25% revenue decrease due to the impact of COVID-19 and have fewer than 50 employees.  The City of Chicago will be partnering with its CDFI and microlending partners beginning on March 31st, 2020 to accept applications from local businesses. In the meantime, business owners are encouraged to fill out an interest form on https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19Chicago .  We are assisting our clients in the following ways:

  • Notifying clients to complete the interest form on https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19Chicago so their issues and voices are heard.
  • Informing business owners that more information will be available effective March 31st, 2020 when it becomes active and applications will go through CDFIs and microlenders.
  • Providing business owners with financial technical support to qualify and prepare for the loan application.
  • Requesting additional resources to expand the increasing financial technical assistance support needed by clients.
  • As more information and assistance becomes available, we will share it with you.  Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or for financial assistance.

Important Announcement Regarding 2019 Federal Tax Filing Due Date Extension:

Filing season extension: The federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. News releases in English & Spanish are attached and also on the special coronavirus page.

Payment extension: We have also updated the payment extension statement to July 15, 2020.

New business refundable credits: Small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to promptly and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees

As more information and assistance becomes available, we will share it with you.  Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or for financial assistance.

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