Small Business Grants Illinois | Top Grants & Loans for Small Business in Illinois


As a resident of Illinois battling with a lack of funds to grow your small business, it may be a massive surprise when I expose you to the fact that there are small business grants in Illinois that can aid in funding your business.

Yeah! You can get financial aid to fund your business. You know what? You don’t have to worry about repayment as this is a grant, not a loan. Excited already?

Relax! There are specific requirements needed of you before your grant application is approved.

Interested in knowing how to access these small business grants in Illinois. Sit tight; we’ve got all the info here. Read on.

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Are there Top Grants & Loans for Small Business in Illinois?

Of course, there are top grants and loans for small business in Illinois. In fact, if you are beginning or running a business in Illinois, there are various small business grants available to help you.

Also, state, local, and nonprofit governments and organizations in Illinois provide chances for everyone, from restaurant proprietors to startup entrepreneurs.

Let’s have a look at the top grants and loans for small business in Illinois:

Chicago Small Business Improvement Fund

If you run a business in Illinois and you need small business grants in Illinois, grants are available through the Small Business Improvement Fund for permanent building renovations and repairs.

Of course, this initiative is supported by Chicago’s Department of Planning & Development. Local firms can apply for subsidies that pay between 30% and 90% of their renovation or construction expenditures.

Also, commercial premises can get up to $150,000 in grants, while industrial sites can receive up to $250,000.

Interestingly, each month, the city announces grant possibilities, with each round concentrating on a new area or region.

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Chicago Recovery Plan

Another top small business grant in Illinois is the Chicago recovery plan. The Chicago Recovery Plan provides $1.2 million in funds to help the city’s economy recover.

Local enterprises use this grant funding for pre-development, refurbishment, or new building costs.

However, if you wish to apply, you must finance at least 25% of your overall project cost on your own.

Presently, the deadline for the first two rounds of financing under this initiative has passed. However, a third-round begins this summer.

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Neighborhood Opportunity Fund

The Neighborhood Opportunity Fund of Chicago assists small businesses in underprivileged areas of the city.

This program truly focuses on enterprises in the city’s west, south, and southwest, funding specific building or restoration expenditures.

However, small projects may be eligible for up to $250,000 in funding, while bigger projects may be eligible for more.

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Illinois Restaurant Association Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

The Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation grants money to small business and their workers.

So, if you are in need of small business grants in Illinois, you can apply for up to $1,500 in living costs.

However, this grant is not just restricted to business owners. If you had an accident, you fell ill, or you lost a close family member that prevents you from working, you can receive this grant.

Also, this continuous grant program is here to assist team members when restaurants are unable to give paid time off or other benefits.

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Feed the Seed Business Startup Grants

If you intend on starting a new business, then you should consider applying for grants from feed the seed business startup grants. This firm help new businesses kick start in Kane, DuPage, Kendall, and Will Counties.

The program’s goal is to assist firms or entrepreneurs who have unique ideas. Well, you may also apply if you already have a business established, but it must produce no more than $40,000 in annual sales.

However, one of the requirements here is that you must also commit to staying in the community for at least two years after obtaining investment.

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South Side Pitch

South Side Pitch is a business plan competition for new businesses on Chicago’s South Side.

The University of Chicago Law School’s Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship organizes this competition, and yes, it is available to businesses with fewer than 50 workers and less than $1 million in revenue.

The top three finalists get awards of $8,000, $7,000, and $5,000, respectively. The first application is usually due every August 22. Afterward, the finalists then present their ideas to a panel of judges.

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City of Urbana Business Grants

It might interest you to know that the city of Urbana provides grants ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 to new and small business in the region.

However, this is usually given to help people who currently own or lease commercial premises.

Also, opening funds are available for individuals who have yet to open a business. This initiative, however, focuses on certain commercial districts around the city.

Metro East Startup Challenge

The Metro East Startup Challenge is open to businesses in the St. Louis Metro East region, which includes sections of Illinois. So, if you run a small business in Illinois and you’re seeking grants, then check this out.

To kick start, you must first apply online with your business proposal. If you succeed, you will compete in a pitch competition, with the main prize winner earning $10,000.

There are also a few minor cash rewards available. The application period for the 2022 round began on June 12 and ended on August 14. You can be on the lookout for subsequent years.

Are There Different Small business Grants in Illinois?

Yes, the small business grants in Illinois are divided into two types. Here are they:

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Skip Small Business Grant Program

This Grant application is open all year; the grant amount is $1000. However, You must be a small company owner or an entrepreneur to be eligible for this grant.

Meanwhile, they have been donating their YouTube money to individuals and small businesses since March 2020.

Also, every third Wednesday of the month, they present many $1,000 awards to entrepreneurs to help them power their passion.

Here is their grant application page if you wish to apply straight now.

Small Business Improvement Fund

The application deadline for this grant is May 31, 2022. So, you might have to wait until the subsequent year to apply. Here, the grant amount is up to $250,000.

This program provides grant cash for long-term building renovations throughout the city of Chicago.

Here, the grant amounts vary from 30% to 90% of the cost of remodeling work; the maximum reward for commercial buildings is $150K, while the maximum award for industrial facilities is $250K.

To be qualified, your commercial company must have more than $9 million in gross sales, and your business must have more than 200 full-time employees.

Frequently Asked Questions About Small Business Grants Illinois

Does Illinois have grants?

Yes, Illinois has grants. In fact, you are immediately considered for three types of grants after submitting your FAFSA®.

Here they are: The State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) award (for Illinois residents), the Federal Pell Grant (Pell), and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG).

What is the name of the Illinois State grant?

The name of the Illinois state grant is the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) manages and funds the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

So, MAP pays for college tuition and required fees at Illinois universities that participate in the program.

What can you use business grants for?

You can use business grants for the following:

  • Recruiting new workers
  • covering day-to-day expenses
  • improving facilities
  • creation of a product
  • acquiring inventory
  • growing retail alliances
  • marketing investment

Do grants have to be paid back?

Grants are normally provided on the basis of need and are not required to be returned as long as all responsibilities are met.

Grants are awarded depending on your family’s financial situation, the cost of your education, and specific merit standards.

The most popular type of grant is Program/project grants. This is the most typical kind of grant.

Program/project awards stipulate that the funds may only be used to support the program or project mentioned in your request.

What is the likelihood of receiving a grant?

What are your possibilities of receiving a grant? According to reports, one out of every ten applications for funding is granted.


At this point, you’re aware that there are indeed small business grants in Illinois.

So, your next line of action should be to check your eligibility status before settling for a particular grant and applying.

Meanwhile, let’s meet in the comment section if you found this article helpful.


  • Helloskip – Ultimate guide to small business grant in Illinois


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