Chicago, Illinois inundated with applications for small business relief money

WGN Investigates

CHICAGO — The pandemic has been devastating for small businesses in Chicago and statewide. But help is on the way.

This week, the city and the state opened applications for relief money. There are low cost loans to tide over business owners.

Within days, they were inundated with more than 250 million dollars’ worth in applications.

Brad McConnell is the CEO of a nonprofit called Accion. Acciaon was hired by the city and state to sort through the applications. 

McConnell said employees are working 16-hour days to try to get the money to entrepreneurs as quickly as possible.

There are some requirements according to McConnell.

“For the city program, you need to be in business for a year,” he said. “You need to obviously have a business address within the city of Chicago. We’re going to be looking at your business bank statements in order to evaluate for October, November, and December for 2019 in order to evaluate what your business revenues are in a normal time. And that is the way we’ll be sizing your loan.”

McConnell said they hope to get the money out in a few days, but admits he is still unsure due to the volume of applications.

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