DuPage County launches forgivable loan program to help small businesses

Updated 5/12/2020 2:56 PM

Small businesses in DuPage that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic soon could seek help from a new county program.

The DuPage County Board on Tuesday agreed to set aside $7 million to establish Reinvest DuPage, a small business relief program in partnership with Choose DuPage. As part of the program, small businesses impacted by the crisis can apply for forgivable loans of up to $15,000.


"We believe we can make an immediate impact and get these much-needed funds into the hands of some local employers who desperately need help," county board Chairman Dan Cronin said before the vote.

The $7 million in initial funding for the program comes from money DuPage received under the federal CARES Act. County board members could allocate more money for the program later.

Choose DuPage will administer the program with support from the county and local banking and financial experts.

To qualify for a loan, a small business must be based in DuPage, have fewer than 15 full-time employees and generate less than $1.5 million in annual revenue.

Independent contractors in the county who earn less than $100,000 a year also can apply for a forgivable loan of up to $7,500.

Money received under the program may be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and other expenses necessary to maintain operations, officials said.

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Recipients may not have received assistance from the federal Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, any state hospitality grant, or any local loan or grant program.

Applicants will need to provide appropriate documentation.

Choose DuPage will hold a webinar at 11 a.m. May 15 to discuss the program with DuPage businesses. Registration for the webinar will be provided at choosedupage.com. Choose DuPage will promote the program on social media and through an email outreach campaign.

The online-only application portal is expected to launch at 9 a.m. Monday, May 18.

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