COVID-19 Community & Business Support Resources


If you know of any resources for individuals or businesses affected by COVID-19 and related closures, social distancing measures, etc., please contact with a link.

Dear Neighbors,

As city, county, state, and federal government agencies continue to grapple with COVID-19 responses, we will do our best to keep neighbors and businesses informed of available resources to help with the crisis. Below is a first-round gathering of resources for business and workers affected by COVID-19. The City of Chicago also has a number of issue-specific guidelines and resources for affected populations, including parents, childcare and healthcare workers, etc. available at

Email Updates

First of all, please be aware that the situation (especially in terms of government actions) is changing rapidly! News updates and policy changes are arriving from federal and state agencies almost every day. If you haven’t already, we strongly recommend signing up for the City of Chicago’s COVID-19 update emails, and the State of Illinois’s E-News for Cook County:

And of course, if any of you aren’t already signed up, we have our own 40th Ward newsletter available hereat — you can sign up right on the front page sidebar.

Individual Resources

These are some of the city and state programs coming online or already in place that can help individuals affected by job/income loss due to COVID-19:

  • City of Chicago Emergency Rental Assistance – One-time grant of $900 towards rent, available from City of Chicago Community Service Centers or 311.
  • Illinois Unemployment Insurance – The state’s unemployment program has been opened for those temporarily out of work due to COVID-19. Website has been up and down due to heavy traffic, but they can also be reached by phone as 1-800-244-5631.
  • Bartender Emergency Assistance Program – Emergency relief fund specifically for bartenders and their families, run by the United States Bartenders’ Guild.
  • Chicago Artists’ Relief Fund – Grassroots, GoFundMe-based relief payments for Chicago-based artists. Application by webform.

Business Resources

We expect more forms of assistance to become available as state and federal disaster relief efforts shift into high gear, but these are government and grassroots resources for businesses and employees that we are already aware of:

  • Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) COVID-19 Page – City of Chicago’s main page for business-specific resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Small Business Association COVID-19 Resources – Federal resources and fact sheets for businesses affected by COVID-19. Includes links to Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications and other emergency funding options.
  • US Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Response Toolkit – Right now it’s mostly just graphics and information resources, but hopefully they’ll be adding resources as they’re able to bring them online.
  • Chicago Hospitality Employee Relief Guide – Grassroots spreadsheet listing Chicago businesses with employee relief fund charity links and/or links where supporters can purchase gift cards or otherwise contribute digital support to hospitality businesses. Started by a 40th Ward resident, so many of the businesses are North Side, but it’s expected to grow through word-of-mouth.
  • Freelance Artist Resources – Compilation by city/state of resources (including emergency grants) for freelance artists and nonprofit arts groups.
  • BACP Consumer Fraud Hotline – For any COVID-19 related consumer fraud, price gouging, etc. complaints.
  • IRS COVID-19 Info Page – Looks like this is just getting started and only has a couple updates related to high-deductible health plans so far, but hopefully they’ll be fleshing this out in the days to come with more tax-related COVID-19 information.
Please feel free to share any or all of these on social media, Chamber of Commerce and nonprofit websites, etc., and to keep us informed at the Ward office of any other resources that might be out there — we’ll do our best to continue putting updates out there for both individuals and for businesses affected by this pandemic.