COVID-19: Small Business Resources

Our hearts go out to you, your families, and all of our communities during this uncertain time. While this is a challenging, scary situation for everyone, we know that it is especially difficult for those, like so many of you, who are working to build a new business or keep a small, local business afloat. Now and always, you are our greatest inspiration. Below, please find a list of resources for small businesses during this difficult time.

For the latest COVID-19 health information and related campus announcements, please visit: https://goforward.uchicago.edu.

View the Small Business Bootcamp recorded sessions.

Acknowledgements:

The Polsky COVID-19: Small Business Resources guide is made possible by a community of Booth students (Naila DharaniFaisal AkkawiJennifer LinkerBalthazar BergkampKate Sercombe, and Graham Lombardi), Booth professors Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, SSA Professor Nicole Marwell, staff from the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the Office of Civic Engagement, the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, as well as Accion and LISC.

Financial & Logistical Support

  •  Lunchbox & Eniac Ventures: Help Main Street
    • Platform for discovering and buying gift cards from small businesses
  • Kiva: 0% interest loans
    • Platform that allows entrepreneurs to crowdsource a 0% interest loan of up to $15,000
  • UChicago Institute for Justice: Shop in Place Chicago
    • Site for consumers to discover small business in Chicago that are still operating
  • The SnapBar: Keep Your City Smiling
    • Sells gift boxes containing products of local, small businesses (Seattle)
  • Rally for Restaurants: Gift Cards
  • Honeycomb: Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loan 
    • Community sourced loans for small businesses affected by COVID-19. The loans are community funded via the Honeycomb crowdfunding platform. 
  • Honeycomb: Credit Loyalty Bond Platform, Crowdfunded gift card subscription product that vests to a higher value over a twenty-four month period. Get cash flow now, without having to redeem all your gift cards sold once you reopen. Businesses with at least 1 year of operating history, strong social media and/or email following, and a physical or online shop that accepts gift cards are encouraged to apply.
  • Square: Give and Get Local, local businesses need your support. You can give your favorite Square merchants a boost by buying digital gift cards.
  • Learn from a Chef: Online Cooking Classes
  • University CoWork: Pandemic Relief: Grants & Loans
  • AEO: Innovation Hub
  • Supplied Shop: 18 Small Business Grants for Minorities

Information Support

Legal Support

Resource Aggregators

Mental Health Support

Workplace Safety Products

Resource Guide Updates

We will continue to update this resource guide as we learn of additional opportunities and information. If you have information or resources to add to this resource guide, please contact Isra Omar at iomar@uchicago.edu.

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