Small Business Economic Recovery

Helping Small Businesses Survive and Thrive

The American Business Immigration Coalition (ABIC) believes that the economic development and recovery of small businesses is essential to our shared economic prosperity. Small business owners — especially African American, immigrant, rural, and other underserved communities — are the economic engines of their local communities. 

To assist them during the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have created a technical assistance program, leveraging a “community navigator” model, to improve their access to critical resources, including but not limited to small business loans and grants, business licenses, and federal, state, and local business assistance programs. 

The Challenge

The COVID-19-induced small business crisis has been troubling but simple. Starting in March 2020, millions of small businesses stopped generating revenue, but still had payroll and other fixed costs (utilities, rent, debt payments, etc.). These businesses needed new sources of immediate liquidity, and Congress designed recovery programs like the Payment Protection Program (PPP) to cover their costs. 

Nearly 1 year later, America’s “K Shaped” recovery showed that America’s biggest companies have flourished during the pandemic while 60% businesses of color and rural businesses have laid off workers or permanently closed. Most recent data from the SBA showed that nearly 80% of businesses of color continue to be left out of the PPP despite being most impacted by the Pandemic. 

Businesses that tend to benefit from government programs are often sophisticated, well resourced firms with accountants and attorneys. Poor, less capitalized, un-banked or under-banked, isolated geographically or linguistically are often left out.

ABIC’s Response

In partnership with Self Help Federal Credit Union, Cook County Economic Recovery Initiative and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, ABIC helps vulnerable small businesses including minority-owned businesses and agricultural growers access critical government programs such as PPP and other recovery initiatives.

To connect with a PPP Technical Assistance partner, fill out this intake form provided by the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Small Business Assistance Program.

“Community Navigator” Model

ABIC’s “Community Navigator” approach was recently highlighted by the White House to ensure fair access for businesses that need it the most.

  • Offers targeted outreach and technical assistance to businesses in underserved communities in partnerships with trusted messengers 
  • “Hub and spoke” approach has proven highly effective 
  • Hub: Lead Non-profit provides updates, resources, capacity building; connects Spokes’ work with CDFI’s, Banks, CPAs and other resources 
  • Spoke: Conduct intensive grassroots outreach to 1) build awareness and trust 2) provide TA to businesses to help through the documentation and application completion process

ABIC Webinars

What The Stimulus Package Means for Small Businesses and Nonprofits featuring remarks from Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Representative Nydia Velásquez.
Small Business Economic Recovery panel at “Reigniting the Economic Engine: Immigration Solutions 2021” featuring Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
PPP Application Walk-through With Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia
How to Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program with special guests: House Black Caucus Chair Kam Buckner and Senate Black Caucus Chair Robert Peters along with Secretary of ILDCEO Erin Guthrie.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joins community advocates and lending experts to host a webcast for Cook County small businesses and nonprofits titled, “What Cook County Businesses & Nonprofits Need to Know about PPP Loan Forgiveness.”

U.S. Sens. Rubio, Cardin, Durbin, and U.S. Rep. Velázquez shared remarks with thousands of small business owners, nonprofit leaders, and workers on a webinar on the coronavirus aid, relief, and economic security act’s “paycheck protection program.” For more information click here.

We are committed to working with you to identify barriers to program access for small, minority, and rural small businesses and developing solutions.

For more information, ideas or questions please email James O’Neill at joneill@americanbic.biz; and Emily Wurth at ewurth@americanbic.biz 

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1805 South Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60608