Small Businesses Affected by the Novel Coronavirus

March 23, 2020

Dear Friend,

I wanted to make you aware of new economic assistance available to small businesses affected by the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. This assistance was made possible by a bill that Congress passed earlier this month called the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. It is important that we act quickly to get resources to our vital small businesses. As of March 19, 2020, Illinois small businesses may be eligible to receive emergency low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) of up to $2 million dollars.

What businesses are eligible to apply?

  • Businesses directly affected by the disaster including private, non-profit organizations to help alleviate economic injury caused by COVID-19.
  • Other businesses indirectly related to industries that are likely to be harmed by losses in their community.

What is the criteria for a loan approval?

  • Credit History-Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA.
  • Repayment –SBA must determine that the applicant business has the ability to repay the SBA loan.
  • Eligibility-The applicant business must be physically located in the state of Illinois and have suffered working capital losses due to COVID-19.

How much can businesses borrow? 

  • Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million.
  • The interest rates for these loans are 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for non-profit organizations with terms up to 30 years.
  • Eligibility for these working capital loans are based on the size (must be a small business) and type of business and its financial resources.

How to Apply?

  • Applying is free.
  • Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at
  • Applicants may also apply by mail. Paper loan applications can be downloaded from and mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road Fort Worth, TX 76155

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to

You can find a Disaster Business Loan Application as well as a step-by-step guide to the Electronic Loan Application Portal here and here. If you have any questions about submitting your application, please call or visit your nearest Small Business Development Center, which can be found here. The Illinois SBA is also hosting twice-daily online sessions to provide more information on the loans. You can sign up for these sessions by going to You can also call my District Office at (630) 520-9450. 

On March 4, I voted for the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, that provided $8.3 billion to address this growing public health emergency. Ten days later I voted for the bipartisan H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. H.R. 6201 that makes available free coronavirus testing for everyone who needs a test,  paid emergency leave with two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave, additional access to food assistance for those in need, and dedicated funding to bolster states' public health capacity. This bill passed the House and Senate and was signed into law on March 18, 2020. I am continuing work to stem the public health emergency as well as the growing economic impacts of this disaster. 

I hope this information is helpful. Small businesses employ almost half of the U.S.’s total workforce, making them integral to both our economy and community. Advocating for resources to support businesses like yours during this pandemic is of the utmost priority and I’ll continue to be in touch as additional information becomes available.