The St. Louis Regional Chamber is always advocating for the region's businesses, and the coronavirus pandemic was no different. We worked to help navigate regulations, revenue decline, and workforce changes and more to maintain business operations.

The Regional Chamber’s leadership worked with public officials, hospital and healthcare executives, economic development organizations, and leading business recovery experts to ensure the region recovers effectively and safely.

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Plan, repair, and respond to COVID-19

With the U.S. reporting an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, it’s important that businesses of all sizes and sectors continue to monitor the situation and are as prepared as possible to protect the health and well-being of their workers and that of their business.


Important Tax Updates

Families First Coronavirus Response Act to Provide Employer Tax Credits

On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, H.R. 6201 (Act) into law. The Act provides paid sick leave and free COVID-19 testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits and requiring employers to provide additional protections for healthcare workers. Learn more about tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act here

Federal Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extended

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The filing deadline for tax returns has been extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020. Learn more here.

Illinois Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extended

Gov. Pritzker announced the state is extending the income tax filing and payment deadline by three months, from April 15 to July 15. The Department of Revenue (IDOR) will continue to process tax refunds for those filing ahead of the new deadline. Learn more here.

Missouri Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extended

The deadline to file income tax returns has been extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Income tax payment deadlines for individual and corporate income returns with a due date of April 15, 2020, are also extended until July 15, 2020. This payment relief applies to all individual income tax returns, income tax returns filed by C Corporations, and income tax returns filed by trusts or estates. Learn more here.

St. Louis City Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extended

The city earnings tax filing deadline will shift to July 15 from April 15 to line up with coronavirus-related extensions of the federal and state income tax due dates. Learn more here.

Business Financial Assistance

SBA Small Businesses Disaster Assistance Loans and Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. To apply, click the link below, click “apply online,” register/login, and follow the step-by-step guide on the SBA’s website.

Note: when applying for COVID-19 disaster declarations, select “Economic Injury” when inquiring about your business losses.

Learn more and apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

Learn more about SBA Disaster Loan Assistance.

Apply for SBA Disaster Loan Assistance.

Small Business Resource Fund

The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership and the St. Louis Development Corporation are offering a zero percent interest loan program for small businesses in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County that have sustained economic damage due to the COVID-19 crisis. Loan details can be found here.

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries.

Visit the Facebook Boost page for more information.

Illinois Emergency Small Business Grants and Loans Assistance

The state of Illinois has launched several emergency assistance programs for small businesses.

View categories and qualifications. 

Coronavirus Emergency Loans For Small Business/Non-Profits Guide and Checklist

A resource from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help small business owners navigate the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

View the guide.

St. Louis County Small Business Relief Program

The St. Louis County Small Business Relief ("SBR") Program will provide financial relief to small businesses that were closed during the Stay at Home Order.  The grant can be used to pay for the costs of business interruption as a result of the business closing during the Stay at Home Order and to cover costs associated with reopening safely. 

View program requirements.

Ameren Illinois Hardship Grants for Small Businesses and Non-profit organizations

Ameren Illinois announced that funding is available for small businesses and non-profits that have fallen behind on their electric bills. Under the company's COVID-19 Economic Hardship Recovery Program, one-time grants of up to $500 will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis until June 30, or until the funds are exhausted. 

Find out more or apply. 

For Employers

All employers should be implementing strategies to protect their workforce from the coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations.

Planning Guidance for Employers

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (CDC)

For Employees

Similar to any major natural disaster, the coronavirus will have a significant impact on workers, businesses, and the economy. No family should face financial ruin because of a loss of income and no business should go bankrupt because of a temporary loss in revenue as a result of the coronavirus.

Workplace Tips for Employees

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Missouri SBDC Business Consulting

Missouri SBDC is offering one-on-one confidential consulting for businesses. They're available to assist you by email, phone, or videoconferencing. Their consulting services include but are not limited to the following:

  • Up-to-date COVID-19 SBA disaster information for small businesses

  • Cash flow analysis
  • Local, state, and federal resource information
  • Long-term strategic planning
  • Executive coaching from certified coaches to help during these stressful times

To request services, please see the information below:

  1. Go to the Missouri Business Development Network sign up page.    
  2. Enter your first and last name as well as an email address.
  3. Complete the questions and check the boxes as best you can.
  4. Put your full name in the signature box at the bottom.
  5. Hit “Submit” to send your request to the database registry.


Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

The United States Bartenders Guild’s National Charity Foundation has launched a program for bartenders in need of assistance during the coronavirus outbreak. The Bartender Emergency Assistance Program is meant to aid service industry personnel experiencing financial difficulties as a direct result of the outbreak. Eligible applicants can receive a grant, in undisclosed sums, to help pay their bills. Applicants must be either a bartender or a spouse/child of a bartender and must provide proof of their immediate need. 

Please visit the USBG website for more information and to apply.  

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation is an advocacy and action nonprofit created by and for restaurant workers. They have curated a list of resources for restaurants and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. These resources include grants, loans and other forms of aid. Visit the RWCF resource page for more information.