Combating COVID-19

Combating COVID-19 2020-05-15T16:40:42+00:00

The City and our partners are working to provide needed assistance for Businesses Combating COVID-19. Our regional partner, the GPEDC, has the most comprehensive information/resources for businesses so please check it daily at If you have a question, please send to, or call 309-494-8640.

City of Peoria COVID-19

For Peoria businesses we are providing subject specific information or highlighting key documents/links below.

Essential Business Operations

Executive Order 20-10 and Modifed Executive Order 20-32 provided guidance for businesses operating under the COVIC crisis including definitions (essential and non-essential) and operating parameters. As of May 1st and the following key changes will take affect:

  • ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES:  These businesses must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. Animal grooming services may also re-open.
  • NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL:  Retail stores not designated as “essential businesses and operations” may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through curb-side pick-up outside the store and/or delivery.
  • FACE COVERING REQUIRED:  Any individual in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance is required to wear face covering, unless under the age of two or medically intolerable. Guidance for business on face-coverings and accomodations for to customers and employees are detailed here.

A helpful FAQ and DCEO’s flow chart and guidance for a business to determine if they are “essential” is here and below. If after reading the EO’s you still are not sure, you can reach out to DCEO at 1-800-252-2923 or you :

Business Notices & Discussions


Restaurants! Update Your Listings!
If you want consumers to find your restaurant, please register or update your lists on all your on-line directories (Facebook, LinkedIn, yellow pages, etc.).  Make sure you provide updated information on hours, drive-up, delivery, and curb-side service.  Below are a few platforms to list your business and instructions:

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
Grants of $500 will be made, on a first-come-first-serve basis, to restaurant industry employees who have demonstrated being financially impacted by COVID-19, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Check your eligibility now and apply starting April 2nd here. This Fund is operated by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, whose mission is to attract, empower and advance today’s and tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice workers.


The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act and DCEO’s COVID-19 Resource List are two comprehensive guides on programs and initiatives available for Businesses Combating COVID-19. You can download the guides below:

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer loans up to $2 million, 3.75%, 30 year loan terms to small businesses to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. A grant advance, up to $10,000 can be requested and will not have to be paid back. To help businesses navigate the EIDL Program:

  • Begin by contacting Bradley’s SBDC here
  • You can apply for both the Loan and Grant here. 

Paycheck Protection Program – (Loan w/ Forgiveness)
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) starts as a loan and converts into a grant.  You can borrow 250% of your monthly payroll and have all or a good portion of the loan forgiven, amounting to 8 weeks of payroll, rent, and utility payments of post loan.  Whatever balance remains, if any, will be result in 2-year, 1% loan with deferred loan payments from 6 to 12 months. You can download a sample and get more detailed information here.

To help businesses navigate the Paycheck Protection Program:

  • Contact your existing bank, or Find an approved SBA lender here
  • Get more information on PPP here
  • Prepare an application here and submit through your bank. 

SBA Debt Relief Fund (6 mo. relief payments)
The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months, and also new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. More information on Debt relief and deferment can be found here.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
Small businesses with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 can apply for a low-interest, working capital loan up to $50,000 over 5 years, with no payments the first 6 months. Loan funds must be used for working capital, and at least 50% of loans proceeds must be applied toward payroll or other eligible compensation. Businesses will be able have a loan decision and disbursement of funds within 12 days of submitting bank information.  This program is being administered through Accion.

To help businesses navigate the SB Emergency Loan:

  • Get more details on the program here.
  • You can initiate an application with Accion here

LISC Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund
LISC has partnered with State Farm on a $10MM loan fund to provide low-cost loans to Central Illinois small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program allows LISC to make loans from $75,000 to $500,000 to small businesses, similar to banks, but with more flexible credit standards to reach businesses that might not qualify for conventional bank financing.  More information here.  To apply, please complete this questionnaire, a critical step in determining eligibility for the program: Applicants must have operated over 3 years and have generated at least $150,000 in sales, as presented in flyer below:

Local Sources for Debt Financing
The City and its partners have a variety of “gap financing” loans to compliment private bank financing. Please download the Financing Matrix below for more information:


Grants (free money) come in many shapes and sizes, and the goal is to apply for those grants that move your business forward. Below are documents to help research available grants, help prepare you to be “grant ready”, and also details on key grants.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grant
When applying for the EIDL and waiting for approval, you can request an “Advance Grant” up to $10,000, and the SBA within three days will make a determination on the “advance” based on number of employees and sales. Advanced Funds doe not have to be paid back, even if decide not to take the loan.  See a description of this program under loans.

Paycheck Protection Program – (w/ Forgiveness)
The program starts as a loan and converts into a grant.  After two months from loan disbursement, your banker will validate the forgivable amount equal to two months of payroll, rent, and utilities. See a description of this program under loans.

LISC Small Business Relief Grant (NEW Round – May 14)
The third round of applications are now being accepted (May 14) for LISC’s Small Business Grant program.  The program will award $5,000, $7,500 or $10,000 to businesses.  According to their website, “priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.” Get more information and application here.

Save Small Business Fund
The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation has spearheaded the “Save Small Business Fund” for employers between 3-20 employees! They’ll be supplying $5,000 grants (free money!) to any business owner who has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and falls into a certain zip code. Check here to see if your business is in an eligible zip code.

GoFundMe’s Small Business Relief Fund
Receive a $500 grant through GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to help small business owners keep their businesses thriving throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Through the Small Business Relief Fund, qualifying businesses that have raised at least $500 on GoFundMe can receive a matching $500 grant. To find out if you’re eligible and learn about the process, read the Small Business Initiative FAQs.

Emergency Grants for Hispanic Business Owners
Up to $10,000 of emergency grants are available for Hispanic business owners impacted by the coronavirus. All applicants will receive access to resources and ongoing support from the Hello Alice community. Application support is offered in Spanish. More information here.

Private grants for women business owners (11 resources) here.

Other Programs

A growing number of companies are offering their online tools, classes, and resources at no cost in response to the impact on small-business owners from the coronavirus.  Inc. is curating and continuously updating here.

Employee Retention Credit
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.  The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. More information from the Treasury Department here and information from the US Senate Committee of Finance here.

Nonprofit Resources

Landmarks Illinois Grant (NEW due May 15)
Landmarks Illinois has created a new, temporary grant fund to provide monetary assistance to non profit organizations that have been financially impacted by the pandemic.  Grants of $2,000 will be available to nonprofit organizations with an annual revenue of less than $1 million or fewer than 7 employees. More information here.

IL Humanities COVID-19 Grants

IL Humanities COVID-19 Grants (NEW due May 15)
Illinois Humanities are offering another opportunity for nonprofit humanities-oriented organizations throughout the IL state to apply for Covid-19 Emergency Relief Grants.  Applications are being accepted until Friday, May 15.  Information is available on here.

Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund (NEW due April 29)
Managed by the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund will provide flexible financial support to nonprofit partners within the CFCI service area.  Grants will then be made to community-based organizations directly supporting local residents and families. For the first cycle, applications are due Wednesday, April 29, 2020.  Organizations may apply for up to $5,000 here.  


Information for Job Seekers and Companies Hiring
Job seekers can subscribe to receive job postings by registering their email at  Jobs are also posted on IDES’ JobLink job board.  All unemployment benefit recipients must register and use Illinois JobLink as part of their job search.  Employers can also search resumes and post jobs on Illinois JobLink.  

Filing for Unemployment
With IDES physical offices being closed, unemployed workers have two options for filing for unemployment: call 1-800-244-5631 or visit

Illinois Unemployment Fact Sheet
IDES has published a summary of expanded unemployment benefits here

Business Resources, Guides, and FAQ’s

To find what you can do to turn Crisis into Opportunity go to our Strategies & Tactics Now! page. You can find great ideas to turnaround your business in areas of: Business Strategy, Marketing, Finance, Retail, and Restaurants here.

Businesses looking to adapt and advance their business can learn to build their presense, engage customers, and integrate new technologies by going to our GO DIGITAL NOW! page here.

CARES Act Summary
This is a good summary of the CARES Act for Self Employed, Small Businesses, and Everyone Else here.

Commercial Leases under COVID
Dealing with existing leases and renegotiating the terms under the COVID-19 crisis doesn’t have to be complex.  The Washington Prime Group, owners of Northwoods Mall, in partnership with the University of Chicago have provided a free, quick, and easy template here to relieve pressure on small businesses, and help landlords retain paying tenants. The template allows for rent deferral and/or abatement until the tenant gets back on their feet.  Workshops are also being provided through the “Open for Small Business Initiative” here.

State of IL – FAQ’s
There are a batch of FAQ’s specifically for Stay at Home Order, Education, Food Service, Health Care, and the Unemployed here.

Internal Revenue Service – FAQ’s
Tax Credits and other Tax reporting is available here.

City of Peoria – Liquor Licenses
The City has prepared a FAQ for existing and new liquor license holders here.

Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce
PACOC has assembled business resources here. Also included is an interactive map showing restuarants providing curb-side, delivery, and drive-up services.

Peoria Area Convention & Visitors Bureau
The PACVB provides the latest information on Hotel & Event Updates here.

Resources for Artist
Arts Partners of Central IL has curated over 25 grant and loan opportunities for artists here.

Child Care Assistance
Employees in “essential businesses” (i.e. health care, manufacturing, grocery, etc.) can find more information about emergency daycare services here

Guidance for Faith Based Organizations
Faith-based organizations are eligible to receive loans – both PPP and EIDL Read the FAQ here.

Guidance for Plumbing Professionals
Guidance here for plumbing professionals.

Illinois Manufacturers Association FAQ
IMA has put together an FAQ on COVID related business issues here.  While geared towards manufacturing, it is relevant for all types of business operations.

Donate/Volunteer Opportunities

Donate:  The Community Foundation of Central Illinois will channel monetary donations for the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund.  You can donate here.

Volunteer: The Heart of Illinois United Way has created a dedicated portal to organize volunteer opportunities in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.  The portal can be viewed here.  

Public Health Information

Local: Link to either the the City or County’s website and go to the COVID-19 banner link here This fact sheet and will be updated regularly.

211: The Heart of Illinois United Way 211 ( has information on COVID-19. In addition to the website, citizens can call 211 or 309.999.4029 for information.

STATE:  Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 website is

FEDERAL:  The CDC website is

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