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Business Partner Letter, December 11, 2020


Gurnee Business Partners:


The application period for the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program will close at 5pm on Tuesday, December 15.  The State anticipates that it will award the remainder of the $270 million in funds through this program in the coming weeks.  Funding priorities include reaching heavily impacted industries, businesses located in a disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs) and downstate communities, and small businesses with annual revenues of $5 million or less and/or businesses that have not received other forms of emergency assistance like PPP.  BIG grants, leveraging federal CARES Act dollars, provide grants tailored to business losses, with amounts ranging between $5,000-$150,000. The average grant provided to date is $25,000. Grant funds may be used toward operational expenses, including PPE, rent and utilities, payroll, and more.

For more information on BIG eligibility, how to receive assistance with submitting your application, and to review the application, please visit DCEO’s program website.  Click here to check the status of an already filed application.


Tier 3 Resurgence Mitigations remain in effect.  The mitigation measures along with these Phase 4 FAQ's (updated regularly) provide business guidance. 


The Lake County Allvax Portal is now open; please register so that the Department can notify you when it’s time to make an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.   


To receive a COVID-19 test, contact your doctor about testing availability, or check the Lake County Testing Site Locator for options.


For current, pertinent business email updates, subscribe to the Lake County Health Department’s email lists for Lake County Businesses. 


The Department offers business briefings on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, at 1:00pm. Call-in information:


ComEd understands that COVID-19 continues to create economic hardship for many of their customers. To assist in this time of need, they created a Small Business Assistance Program to help small businesses. As of December 16, 2020, they are accepting applications for assistance that would be applied to a business’ bill in 2021 if they meet all qualifications. The Small Business Assistance Program provides eligible small business customers with a one-time grant up to $2,000 towards a past due balance. Eligible customers may also place a remaining balance into a payment plan of up to six months. To apply for the Small Business Assistance Program, please call 1-877-426-6331. More information can be found at


Please continue to emphasize the importance of compliance with mitigation measures and of practicing the 3 W’s – Wear a mask, Watch your distance, and Wash your hands.


Wishing you a happy, healthy Holiday season!




Ellen K. Dean

Economic Development Director





Region 9 continues to operate under Phase 4 mitigation measures. The State has recently updated its Phase 4 FAQ document to include information that’s currently applicable to our region. (updated 11/12/20)


Open Application for $220 Million in Business Interruption Grants (BIG) (updated 09/23/20)


Applications for a second round of BIG funding are now being accepted: Program information and Application instructions can be found here. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses, and funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs. The BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in 2019 annual revenue and losses due to COVID-19. Of the total funding, $70 million will be invested in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs) and $60 million in heavily impacted industries. Heavily impacted industries are defined as having annual revenues of $10 million or less; having been closed or operating at a very diminished capacity since mid-March; and likely to continue to do so until Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. These industries include the following:

  • Event spaces
  • Music venues
  • Performing arts venues
  • Indoor recreation
  • Amusement parks
  • Movie theaters
  • Museums
  • Charter/shuttle buses

A series of webinars is available to assist with understanding the application criteria and process:




Small Business Assistance Grant Available to Help Lake County Companies (updated 07/08/20)

Lake County has launched an important new small business assistance grant fund to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19 reopen and adjust to the new operating environment. The intent of the grant is to cover occupancy and some operating costs for up to four months.


The grants cover 4.5-times average monthly rent, capped at $30,000, and can be used for payroll, business rent/mortgage, utilities, inventory, and incremental COVID-19 related business expenses.


A business must be located in Lake County, have less than $2.5 million in annual revenue and be incorporated - LLC, LLP, S Corporation, Sole Proprietor, etc. Currently, independent contractors are not eligible.

The application window will be open through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 20, 2020. For more information go to



Small Business COVID-19 Assistance Information 

U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistance for Small Businesses

U.S. Senate Committee & Small Business Entrepreneurship Guide to the CARES Act

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources 



  • SBA Debt Relief: Under this program, the SBA will pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020, or cover principal and interest on current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loan: This pilot program (Guide here) allows small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with a fast turnaround.

Federal Government Response to COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Guidance for Businesses and Employers
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Illinois Small Business Administration


Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

For Manufacturers:

Illinois Department of Revenue

  • Details on short-term relief from late sales tax payments due to COVID-19 here.

Illinois Department of Public Health

Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center, College of Lake County

  • Contact business advisors for inquiries or assistance: 847-543-2033,


Lake County Health Department


 Lake County Partners Covid-19 Informational Resources
Job Center of Lake County

View the Center’s Job Opportunities page

  • Employers: Complete this form to submit your job opportunities to the Job Center Business Service team
  • Jobseekers: Complete this form to submit your resume for consideration for a work experience (internship) or employment referral.