In response to Governor Pritzker's Shelter in Place order, the Innovate Springfield staff are working a hybrid schedule. We hope you are all healthy and safe with all of the provisions and support that you need. The Springfield community has come together like never before to support small businesses and neighbors who are experiencing hardship. If you're like us, you're no doubt buried in COVID-19 response and resources. Our aim here is not to overwhelm you, but to continue to serve as a reliable resource hub.

Resources for your business //


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Save Small Business Grant Program

An initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking opportunity offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories who are struggling during the COVID-19 outbreak. To qualify for the $5,000 grant you must employ between 3 and 20 people, be located in an economically vulnerable community, and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and apply here:

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.


The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program 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 they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. To begin the application process, complete an eligible entity verification form here:



Paycheck Protection Program

Under the Paycheck Protection Program some businesses may be eligible to receive a loan of up to $10 million on favorable terms, including total forgiveness in the event businesses maintain or restore their payroll, essentially converting the loan into a government grant. The loans will be available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved lenders until June 30, 2020. Lean more about the Paycheck Protection Program here:




Illinois Department of Labor Back to Business Illinois

As the state reopens, getting employees back on the job safely and effectively is a top priority. To make that happen, the Illinois Department of Labor is launching Back to Business Illinois, a free, voluntary service that connects small businesses of 250 employees or less with consultants who will help them address workplace safety and health issues related to the coronavirus and create a plan to ensure a safe, healthy and productive environment for employees and visitors. These one-hour hour confidential consultations take place virtually, via teleconference. 


This is a non-punitive program, and no fines or citations are associated with it. It is designed entirely as a benefit to empower Illinois small businesses to get back to business safely. 


The Illinois Department of Labor also offers a free, voluntary “Back to Business” self-certification, which is designed to show employees and visitors that necessary measures have been addressed to keep them safe and healthy. Businesses can voluntarily complete a series of modules online and institute the necessary practices to ensure they are promoting a safe work environment and operating responsibly. For more information on the Back to Business Illinois program, visit the official website at:


Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

Under the leadership of Governor JB Pritzker, DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are establishing the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low-interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will pay nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below-market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term. Additional information can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website at:

To directly apply go here to begin the process of completing the expression of interest form:

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCEO is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes. Grant funds are available to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. The deadline to apply is APRIL 1, 2020. Learn more here:


Business Invest - Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program

This program is an impact investment loan program under which the State Treasurer would make up to $250 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero rates, to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The purpose of this funding is to provide vital economic support to small businesses and non-profits throughout Illinois to help overcome the loss of revenue they are experiencing. Learn more here:

Illinois Emergency Unemployment

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. ​Learn more here:

Workers at traditional businesses

Those who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits of up to 26 weeks are now eligible for an additional 13 weeks’ worth of 100% federally funded benefits called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC). IDES received guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor on April 10 and expects to have the program fully implemented the week of April 20.

Self-employed & gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors

Beginning May 11, the federal government will allow self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This program provides a total of 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals not typically eligible for unemployment benefits, including independent contractors and self-proprietors, who have become unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has advised that those seeking PUA benefits should file a regular unemployment benefits claim now. While they will not be eligible for regular unemployment benefits, their information will kept on file and processed when the PUA program goes into effect on May 11.

PUA claims will be backdated to the individual’s first week of unemployment, but no earlier than February 2, 2020. Benefits will continue for as long as the individual remains unemployed as a result of COVID-19, but no later than the week ending December 26, 2020. While a program of this magnitude might normally take up to a year to design and implement, IDES plans to get this program online by the week of May 11. S/O To Senator Andy Manar for providing this critical information



Illinois Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (ISBDC) at Lincoln Land Community College offers advising services and programs for individuals interested in starting or growing a business. Since the Center is a partnership of the US Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce, Lincoln Land Community College and Small Business Growth Corporation, nearly all of the services and programs provided by the ISBDC are offered at no cost. To learn more, visit

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Disaster Assistance

The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (GSCC) has created the Chamber Business Relief Fund to provide timely and meaningful financial resources to businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Springfield Zoom

This is an especially hard time for our service industry. If you are able, please consider purchasing a gift card from a local business right now to assist them with cash-flow. Springfield Zoom is your hub for learning about operational statuses in the greater Springfield Illinois area. Check Springfield Zoom for updates on businesses, schools, daycare centers, and more. The site is updated as new information becomes available and can be sorted using the search function. Visit Springfield Zoom:

Resources for our greater community //

Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund

In March 2020, the Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln and United Way of Central Illinois joined together to create the COVID-19 Response Fund to deploy resources to community-based organizations at the frontlines of a coronavirus spread in Illinois’ greater capital region.The Fund has been established in coordination with Sangamon County Office of Emergency Management and Sangamon County Department of Public Health. It is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible.

United Way of Central Illinois COVID-19 Updates + Community Resources

United Way’s primary concern is the safety and health of our community. They are watching the developments closely in our region, and have a webpage dedicated with up to date information about services available in our region. Click here to visit the United Way of Central Illinois COVID-19 resources page:


Sangamon County Department of Public Health COVID-19 Resources

View the latest information and helpful resources available via the Sangamon County Department of Public Health here:

City of Springfield COVID-19 Response

The City of Springfield has dedicated a webpage to their continued response:

Springfield Public Schools District 186

The Superintendent of District 186 provides a daily update to families, alongside strong resources including free internet access for students, breakfast and lunch information and more. Learn more here:


Kidzeum Online Learning

The Kidzeum plans to remain a resource for early childhood education, despite their temporary closure, and will continue to release online learning opportunities for children on their website:

InvolvED Online Platform to Support Parents 

Using innovative strategies and technology, InvolvED strives to educate and engage families by strengthening the relationships between home, school, and community with the overall goal of improving academic and personal outcomes for all students. InvolvED was founded by a school psychologist and social worker who have a combined experience of more than 30 years in the field of education. Through their long-standing direct service experience, InvolvED was realized out of the founder's desire to offer comprehensive support to students, educators, and families, and using proven behavior principles that foster family involvement in education. 


Aimed at supporting parents while they are home with their children for an extended period, the founders have created an "At Home Help Resources" page with educational content and topics including family routines, communication strategies, free resources, and at-home activities. InvolvED has also added a feature to their website,, to help support the COVID-19 response. By clicking on the red banner located on the homepage, individuals will be taken to a Q & A portal where they can submit questions regarding any social-emotional, behavioral, and/or coping issues families may be experiencing, particularly when services at school are not as accessible. Those who submit questions will receive a timely response from a school psychologist or social worker. 

Additional resources //

​Free Consulting + Professional Development Opportunities

What others are doing​


Resources for self-care //

  • If you suspect you may have contracted the COVID-19 virus, call the Memorial Medical Center respiratory clinic hotline 217-588-4019 for a pre-screening evaluation.  

  • Illinois Department of Public Health FAQ on COVID-19

  • Memorial Behavioral Health has instituted the Memorial Emotional Support Line for children, teens and adults that is staffed with licensed behavioral health providers. The line accepts calls 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM seven days a week and is  217-588-5509.

  • Memorial Behavioral Health Hotline: The hotline, 217-588-5509, operated by trained mental health professionals, will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, for the foreseeable future.

  • 24/7 Crisis Hotline: Crisis Text Line, which can be reached at 741741, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255 or 1-800-273-TALK