Small Business and Startup Resources for COVID-19: Champaign-Urbana

Category : EnterpriseWorks
Posted on: March 26, 2020

Find our up-to-date COVID resources site HERE. 


As we navigate a landscape of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to let you know we are a resource and a place to find community. We want you to be aware of the FREE resources to support and help tech startups and small businesses across our community. Please see many of them below. 

Our programming has gone virtual. Find all of our events on the Research Park calendar.


  • Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) assistance is available to aid small businesses trying to navigate challenging times. Request assistance to meet virtually with one of our EIRs. Please consider asking experienced CEOs and investors for help. These are topics they are prepared to address, among others:
    • Managing cash flow when revenue slows, accounting and financial management strategies, including loans and other resources.
    • Human resources challenges staff working remotely, less available, declining revenue or employment policy changes.
    • Supply chain disruptions due to global logistics tightening
    • Communication strategies with customers and partners
  • We are ramping up our new Founders 2 Founders (F2F) program to help CEOs navigate difficult business decisions (launched in Fall 2019). This is facilitated by EIR Lori Patterson to match CEOs and build one-to-one relationships. It is especially important in a time of uncertainty to hear from others facing similar challenges. To be a part of this program, please contact Lori Patterson ([email protected]).
  • Hyde Park Angels assembled a host of free resources, including operational tools to help facilitate remote work:



  • Medical Device Regulatory Market Access in Times of a National Emergency Webinar: REGISTER HERE
    Join us for a webinar on March 31, hosted by the Research Park, led by leading experts from UL and EMERGO by UL. This will be an opportunity to connect with industry leaders on bringing technology to market that might help address needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will provide information on what is needed to get a modified or new product cleared for safety, including: Clinical and other QMS documentation, Human Factors concerns, Applicable standards, Applicable certifications, and Cybersecurity.
  • EnterpriseWorks SBIR Workshops
    SBIR online workshops hosted by EnterpriseWorks are upcoming on 3/27, 4/2, and 4/24.
    Roland Garton and Anna Lisa Somera are also available for individual SBIR assistance consulting appointments. You can request an appointment with either one of them here. 
  • EMERGENCY SBIR FUNDING: Check for information about all agencies.
    • National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical-care research that can be used immediately to explore how to model and understand the spread of COVID-19, to inform and educate about the science of virus transmission and prevention, and to encourage the development of processes and actions to address this global challenge:
    • The Division of Innovation and Industrial Partnerships (IIP) of the Engineering Directorate invites US-based small businesses to submit Phase I proposals focused on the development and deployment of new technologies, products, processes, and services with the potential to positively impact the nation’s and world’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Greenwood Consulting Group is offering free SBIR webinars for NSF, NIH, and DOD submissions.  You can find additional information and registration links here.


For up-to-date information specifically dedicated to Illinois small businesses, the Champaign County EDC’s Covid 19 website is comprehensive and updated daily.

On Thursday, Governor Pritzker announced three new programs for potential assistance from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each program has its own guidelines and application requirements. Please see this link for more information on the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund and the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. Some applications are open now, and others are set to open this Friday. Businesses are urged to apply as soon as possible. Please read carefully to determine eligibility.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories – Illinois included – low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses; 2.75% for non-profits.
  • The CUSDC is here to help you understand and prepare the necessary documents to apply, and assist you in the application process. Contact to schedule an appointment: [email protected] or 217-378-8535. Webinars about EIDL are being hosted and can be found on the CUSBC website. Assistance is also available in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese. It’s free and confidential.


  • Gies College of Business Masters in Technology Management student teams are able to work on the first phase of a project as early as March 27th that would wrap up around May 8th and resume mid-June and finish projects at the end of July. Projects are free of charge. To submit a project fill out the online form. Send any questions to Marissa Siero at [email protected]
  • EnterpriseWorks interns want to keep working! You can still request Shared Services projects from our team of talented interns. These are short-term projects that can advance your startup.
  •  EnterpriseWorks tenants and affiliates can submit via this link.
  •  Illinois startups outside the University community can submit via the IUIN website here.


  • The University has made this Coping with COVID-19 Toolkit available online.
  • Faculty/Staff Assistant Services remains available to EnterpriseWorks/Research Park companies virtually or by phone. Feel free to contact FSAS at at [email protected] or 217.244.5312. Allied agencies have access to FSAS.
  • CDC has resources for taking care of your emotional health, see more here: take care of your body, connect with others, take breaks, stay informed, avoid too much exposure to news, seek help when needed.
  • In our region, OSF HealthCare launched a free digital mental health service, SilverCloud, giving free access to adults in the OSF service region even if they are not OSF patients.