AURORA, Ill. – As small business owners face hardships from lack of revenue and mandated closures during the COVID-19 crisis, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is encouraging local business owners to explore available state resources. 

“I have been directly contacting small business owners in my district to make sure they are made aware of the resources available to them during this unprecedented time,” said Hernandez. “I encourage owners facing financial distress to take full advantage of disaster relief assistance and to contact my office if they need help with the application process.” 

Hernandez is urging local businesses facing financial hardship to apply for emergency assistance programs recently announced by Gov. J.B. Pritzker through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). Under these new emergency funds, businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and under $3 million in 2019 revenue, are eligible for low-interest, five-year loans of up to $50,000. Suburban businesses may be eligible for a $20 million small business stabilization program, which will provide emergency grants of up to $25,000. In addition, a new hospitality emergency grant program will offer $14 million to help hotels, bars and restaurants meet their payroll and rent, as well as job training and technology for operations like pickup and delivery. For more information on these loans, Hernandez encourages residents to visit or to contact her office at

“Illinois’ small businesses are the heart of our economy, and while the measures being taken by the state in response to this pandemic are crucial in protecting the health of our residents, we also must make sure business owners can survive the disruption,” said Hernandez. “I am committed to working diligently alongside the governor’s office and other state and local officials in protecting these businesses and organizations during this trying time”. 

Residents with concerns about COVID-19 are encouraged to visit for more information. If you think you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or have questions regarding the virus, contact the Illinois Department of Public Health by calling their 24-hour hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or emailing

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

83rd District

Springfield Office:
233-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002
District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848