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Not Sure Where To Turn? Here Are Resources For Unemployed Workers And Small Business Owners During COVID-19

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Coronavirus crisis has led to unprecedented levels of unemployment as businesses across Illinois have been forced to close.

We're collecting resources for unemployed workers and small business owners looking for ways to cope during the pandemic.

Unemployed Workers

Illinois Unemployment Benefits

File for Unemployment:  Although the process has been plagued by delays as tens of thousands file for unemployment, you can still file for unemployment in Illinois.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment CompensationUnemployed workers can get $600 per week in addition to regular unemployment payments. Money started going out during the last week of march, and current unemployment recipients will start receiving money automatically.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation: Unemployment recipients can get 13 additional weeks of unemployment benefits during the crisis.

Pandemic Unemployment AssistancePeople who wouldn't typically get unemployment benefits — gig workers, independent contractors and tip workers — are eligible for unemployment under new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor. Officials say this program is still being rolled out, but workers will get their funds retroactively once payments are sent.

Federal Stimulus Checks

Individuals are eligible for payments of at least $1,200 from the U.S. Treasury Department as part of the CARES Act. People who filed a tax return in 2018 or 2019 will receive their checks as soon as April 15, but people who don't normally file tax returns can apply here.

New Job Openings

Some companies are still hiring — we're tracking new openings as we hear about them here.

Patient Support

Drug maker Bristol Myers Squibb is expanding their Patient Support Program, which gives all of their medications to recipients for free. If you've lost health coverage due to COVID-19 and need vital medicine, call 1-800-721-8909 or apply online

Small Business Owners

Paycheck Protection Program loansCongress set aside $349 billion for small businesses to help keep employees on their payroll. The loans will be fully forgiven if 75 percent of the amount is used for payroll.

Click here for a list of participating lenders.

SBA Disaster LoansThe Small Business Administration (SBA) is still accepting applications for low-interest loans of up to $2 million. You can apply here.

SBA Express Bridge Loans: The SBA is also offering Express Bridge Loans to businesses that have already applied for disaster loans. The program offers up to $25,000 for short-term funding until businesses receive their disaster loans. A full list of SBA Express lenders is here.

Employee Retention Tax CreditsFully refundable tax credits for employers equal to 50 percent of wages that they pay their employees. Wages paid between March 12 and January 1, 2021 are covered, and the maximum credit for any employee is $5,000.

Know of a resource not listed here? Contact us

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