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.
The Polsky COVID-19: Small Business Resources guide is made possible by a community of Booth students (Naila Dharani, Faisal Akkawi, Jennifer Linker, Balthazar Bergkamp, Kate 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
- SomerCor: City of Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund | SBIF | City of Chicago Grants, from the City of Chicago, the SBIF promotes economic development by providing small businesses with reimbursable grants for permanent building improvement costs.
- The Mansa Fund, Lee Moulton founded The Mansa Fund to help bridge the funding gaps that are putting promising Black and LatinX businesses at a disadvantage.
- UChicago: Community Support
- Small Business Administration: Shuttered Venue Operators Grant
- Small Business Administration: Second Draw PPP Loans
- Small Business Administration: SBA Express Bridge Loans
- Allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork
- Small Business Administration: Local Assistance
- SBA works with local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses (e.g., help SBs craft a plan to navigate any rapid changes in demand due to covid)
- Small Business Administration: Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- Provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue. If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/ as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.
- Small Business Administration: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application
- U.S. Dept of Treasury: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Info Sheet
- GoFundMe, Yelp & Intuit: The Small Business Relief Initiative
- Added functionality on Yelp for small businesses to collect donations
- 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
- Score: Score: List of Startup Resources
- Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Reopening Guide for Small Businesses
- Website Planet: Support Black-Owned Businesses: 181 Places to Start Online
- Intuit: Business growth in 2020: A guide for small businesses
- Security: COVID-19 Cybercrime and Scams
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Reopening Business
- Naila Dharani: Reopening checklist
- Accion: Crisis Management and Cash Flow Management Webinar
- Polsky Center: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Access to Capital Resources Webinar
- Business Affairs Consumer Protection: Business Education Workshop Calendar
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Emergency Loans Small Business Checklist
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 Small Business Guide
- Facebook: How to Help Minimize Business Disruptions during Emergencies
- Facebook: Introducing Facebook Shops: Helping Small Businesses Sell Online
- OSHA: Resources for Workers and Employers on COVID-19
- Small Business Administration: Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Resources for Businesses
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Businesses and Workplaces | COVID-19
- Silver Lining: COVID-19 Small Business Response Workbook
- Lifehack: How To Start and Run a Mastermind Group, encourages small business owners to team up with local entrepreneurs—free brainstorming, building off of each other
- Hubspot: Website Grader, allows you to look at the strengths and weaknesses of your website, looks through data people would often miss
- Alison: https://alison.com/, free online courses in IT, marketing and sales techniques.
- Free Course: Crisis Recovery Center, courses in sales, strategy, leadership, and accessing CARES act.
- The Strategist: 180 Black-Owned Businesses to Support 2020 | The Strategist, mostly NY Black- Owned Businesses
- The Grio: 100 Black businesses to support this holiday season during the pandemic, combination of local + domestic businesses
- Comparitech: Avoid coronavirus scams: What you need to know
- Finimpact: How to Write a Business Plan (Like a Pro) 2020
- Fiscal Tiger: What Is Business Continuity Management?
- Fiscal Tiger: The Ultimate Guide to Financial Assistance for Minority-Owned Businesses
- OnPay Solutions: A/P Automation Resources/Webinars
- Nextiva: 32 Working from Home Tips You Can Do Right Now
- Evinex: Public Relations: How to do PR for Your Business
- Evinex: Social Media Marketing: Definitive Guide & Free Templates
- Evinex: Promotion Strategy: How to Promote Your Business 
- Bench: PPP Loan Forgiveness Checklist
- CDC: Returning to Work
- Drexel University: Saving Small Businesses: Emergency Fund Typologies
- Annuity: Investing in a Business After Selling Payments
- Annuity: A Guide to COVID-19 and Your Finances: What You Need to Know
- University CoWork: Grants and Loans Workshops
- Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Small Business Issues and Solutions Guide
- Comcast RISE: Resources & Tools to Elevate Your Small Business
- Michael W. Frerichs: Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program
- Digital: How to Take Your Small Business Online
- Ballard Spahr: Entrepreneur Legal Relief Program Amid Coronavirus Crisis
- SixFifty (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati): Legal Tools
- Help businesses manage employment issues from automated policies developed by employment attorneys to questionnaires to gather employee information, manage tasks, and automate important communications
- Stansbury Weaver: How the CARES Act Works
- UC Berkeley School of Law: California Small Enterprise Task Force
- Baker Donelson: Executive Order “Deferring” Taxes: Notice 2020-65 Postures Guidance
- 2U Inc: Navigating the Legal Landscape During a Pandemic
- South Side Weekly: COVID-19 South Side Community Resource Guide
- Chicago Urban League: COVID-19 Help Center: Home
- Small Business Majority: Small Business Majority – COVID-19 Updates
- United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)
- SomerCor: COVID-19 Federal, State, and Local resources
- Accion: Resources for Minority-Owned Businesses | Accion
- Cook County: COVID-19 Community Recovery Initiative
- Chibizhub: COVID-19 Support
- Giving Compass and National Center for Family Philanthropy: Coronavirus and COVID-19 Funds
- Venturize: COVID-19 resources
- State of California: COVID-19 resources
- Michigan Economic Development Corporation: COVID-19 Resources
- Facebook Business Resource Hub: Build Resilience During Challenging Times
- Industrial Council of Northwest Chicago (ICNC): COVID-19 Updates, Guidance, and Resources
- The Hartford: Small Business Owner Guide: COVID-19 Resources and Relief Options
- SCORE: Coronavirus Small Business Resilience Hub
- DesignMantic: 50+ Startup Resources to Start Making Money After Covid-19 Pandemic
- Mastercard: Main Street Resource Center
- HelloAlice: COVID-19 Business Resource Center
Mental Health Support
- Gratitude Plus App: A community for gratitude
- Career Coaching: Job Search Starter [Navigating Your Next Career]
- Health Coaching: Healthy Headspace [Staying Sane During COVID-19]
- Mental Health: COVID-19
- CDC: Mental Health and Coping During COVID-19
- 2U: 50 Digital Resources to Help You Manage Your Mental Health During the Holidays
Workplace Safety Products
- Quality Logo Products: Custom Medical Supplies
- Deluxe: Custom Workplace Safety Products, Deluxe is offering personalized wholesale products such as face masks and face coverings, sanitizer, gloves, shields, signage, and more.
- Protective Health Gear: Protective Health Gear – Safe, American-made respirators
- U.S. Mask: United States Mask
- ALG Health: N95 Masks Made in USA, Healthcare N95 Mark
- DemeTech: DemeMask
- Harmony Scrub Hats: Scrub Caps for Women | Harmony Surgical Designs
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 email@example.com.