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City of Rockford announces Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – Joined by members of the local banking industry Wednesday morning, Rockford Mayor McNamara announced the creation of the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Fund.

The fund, established by the Northern Illinois Community Development Corporation and managed by the Rockford Local Development Corporation, is funded by the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois Bank and Trust, Associated Bank, WinTrust, Midwest Community Bank, Blackhawk Bank, Northwest Bank, Stillman BancCorp and Sunil Puri.

To date, $2 million has been raised with other financial institutions committing to support the fund.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many small businesses have suffered a devastating economic impact. These loans, available from $5,000 to $50,000, can be used for working capital and to help make ends meet during this critical time.

The loan will be bridge financial while the small businesses seek funding from the Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Fund program.

“The government does wonderful things,” Illinois Bank & Trust CEO Jeff Hultman said. “But often times it’s flawed with slowness and bureaucracy and complications. To have something this fast that’s local with not a lot of strings, it’s not an overly complicated process to get this turned over quickly.”

To be qualify for financing, a business must be a for-profit entity, have fewer than 100 employees, be experiencing a business interruption or cash flow issue because of COVID-19, meet an average credit score and have a full year of operation or other financial information.

“I am proud of the collaborative efforts of the banks in our region who have stepped up to create a local resource to help small business manage through these turbulent times,” Hultman said. “We can be helping hundreds of  small businesses over the next several weeks.”

For more information on the COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Loan Fund those interested may contact John Phelps at or Andrew Jury at or call 815-987-8675.

NICDC is a multi-bank community development corporation owned by nine local financial institutions. Its mission is to provide gap financing for small businesses in the Rockford region to advance business formation and expansion, job creation and investment throughout the region.

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