COVID-19: Guidance for Small Businesses

Join SBA, SCORE, and Better Business Bureau of Chicago & Northern Illinois for a free webinar addressing:

  • SBA’s low-interest disaster loans for small businesses that have suffered economic injury due to the coronavirus pandemic;
  • Free phone and virtual counseling with SCORE mentors to address management questions and other recovery strategies;
  • Scams targeting small business owners and how to protect yourself.

Tuesday, March 31, 1 p.m. CT

Register now

More online training

All Illinois small businesses can now apply for low-interest disaster loans to help offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Illinois District Office will host free webinars as long as there is demand covering:

  • Eligibility
  • Use of proceeds
  • Terms
  • Filing requirements
  • Additional small business resources

Choose the date and time most convenient for you. All events listed in Central Time. Click the link to register now.

Monday, March 30, 1 p.m. (Chinese/Mandarin)

Monday, March 30, 3 p.m.

Tuesday, March 31, 11 a.m.

Tuesday, March 31, 3 p.m.

More webinars will be announced soon! Watch your email for future events.

SBA disaster loans: Frequently-asked questions

  • My business just started recently. Am I eligible?

There is no minimum time that a business must have been open, but you must demonstrate that the disaster caused economic injury.

  • What’s the minimum credit score?

Credit score is considered, but our underwriters use a number of factors in evaluating applications. Check your credit report to make sure it’s accurate.

  • Where do I ask for how much money I want?

There is a blank narrative section on the loan application where you can indicate how much you would like, but SBA will make a determination based on your past sales and future projections. If you’re approved, there will be an opportunity to request more funds later if needed.

  • What if I own more than one business? What if my business has locations in more than one state?

Apply in the state where your headquarters or primary location is. Additionally, if you have two similar businesses, apply together. If you have two different businesses – say, a restaurant and a staffing company — apply separately.

  • What collateral/personal guarantee is required?

Personal guarantees are required. If collateral is available, it must be offered for loans over $25,000, but a lack of collateral isn’t a reason for a loan to be denied. Real estate is the preferred form of collateral, but machinery, equipment, and inventory will also be accepted.

Apply now

Do you have other questions? Email or call (312) 353-4528 to speak to an Illinois District Office team member.

Stay updated

Visit for updates on the loan program, guidance for businesses and employers, and other SBA resources.

Follow @SBA_Illinois on Twitter.

Need to talk to a small business coach or SBA team member? Visit to find a resource near you, or e-mail questions to


I have functioned as a Business and Media Consultant over the past sixteen years and spent many years developing my capacity to function in our ever evolving use of technology, communication, education and training.