We are working together to support our communities during COVID-19 and beyond. If you are in need of assistance, call our Community Resource team at 833-204-1992 to get in touch!
The Community Resource team is committed to partnering with residents and communities to make smarter energy choices through grassroots education. We want to help you and your neighbors learn how to save on your energy costs and make your home more comfortable.
Contractors and Small Organizations
Elevate Energy and our partners established an emergency loan fund and are working with disadvantaged small contractors to bridge this period of work stoppage so that they can continue to pay their employees and stabilize their businesses. Our Contractor Accelerator program is continuing to operate virtually. If you have questions about the program please visit our webpage or contact Eya Louis at via email. More resources for contractors and small organizations are listed below.
- The Management Center published this page of resources to help your organization plan and react in response to COVID-19.
- The City of Chicago has established the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, which will provide small businesses and nonprofits with emergency cash flow during this health crisis. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans.
- To provide additional individualized support to our neighborhood businesses, Chicago's BACP has created Small Business Resource Navigators, professionals trained by the SBA to help business owners navigate the resources available to them.
- Chicago Community Loan Fund created a resource guide to help small businesses navigate the myriad of grants, loans and other resources available from public and private sources. Resources are updated and added regularly.
- Cook County is administering the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), a forgivable loan for businesses, nonprofits and 1099 workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program provides vital economic support to small businesses and nonprofits throughout Illinois to help overcome the loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- Federal small business loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) to businesses affected by COVID-19.
Tenants and Building Owners
Elevate Energy and our affordable housing partners are working to establish an emergency fund to help tenants and building owners during this pandemic. We are also assisting our senior population with deliveries of food, water, and essentials during this time. Our partners Preservation Compact and CIC have created a comprehensive guide of resources for Illinois building owners and tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, including bill payment options and housing assistance programs.
- City of Chicago Emergency Relief for Affordable Multifamily Properties (ERAMP) program provides short-term operating support to multifamily affordable housing providers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ERAMP program can serve both government assisted and unsubsidized properties by providing grants and no-interest, deferred payment loans of up to $75,000 per property for eligible operating shortfalls and added COVID-related expenses. Learn more about eligibility and the online application process here.
- HUD’s Office of Multifamily Housing opened a second application period for owners of multifamily assisted properties to apply for CARES Act funds to offset property expenses to safely serve residents during the pandemic. The notice allows owners to submit payment requests for expenses incurred through November 30, 2020. Requests are due to HUD or the Contract Administrator by December 11, 2020. Read eligibility and instructions and use this updated request form to apply.
- Chicago's Utility Billing Relief program offers reduced water rates, no late payment penalties, and debt forgiveness to low-income City of Chicago residents. Apply here.
- If you’ve been unable to pay your rent or mortgage due to COVID-19, you can apply for emergency assistance through the Illinois Housing Development Authority. Rental assistance application: https://era.ihda.org/ Mortgage assistance application (open August 24): https://ema.ihda.org/
Nonprofit organizations are providing invaluable support to their communities in response to COVID-19, and we are committed to supporting nonprofits now and into the future. You can learn more about energy efficiency opportunities for nonprofits on our webpage or by contacting Laura Schuetz at
Additional resources for nonprofits navigating the economic impacts of COVID-19 are listed below.
- Faith in Place was granted $100,000 to support houses of worship that are located in Illinois, approximately 200 miles or less from Chicago, and already run food crisis relief operations. To apply for funding to support your food crisis relief efforts, please complete the short application found here. Applications are due Friday, August 7, by 6:00 p.m. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Ramont Bell at if you have any questions regarding this opportunity.
- Nonprofits may be eligible for financial assistance on their electric bills through ComEd's Nonprofit Special Hardship Program. For applications, contact Elevate Energy at 773-269-4037, or apply online.
- Illinois Action for Children has developed guidelines and compiled resources for child care providers.
- Chicago Community Loan Fund has compiled a list of federal, state, city, and private financial resources available to nonprofits. The information is updated regularly here. For resources pertinent to the broader Midwest, visit IFF's COVID-19 Resources for Nonprofits page.
- Illinois Humanities is awarding more than $600,000 in special general operating and program grants to humanities and cultural nonprofits throughout the state through its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grants. Learn more and apply here.
- DuPage County, in conjunction with Choose DuPage, is providing grants of up to $15,000 to nonprofits and small businesses to use for employee retention payroll, utilities, and rent. Nonprofits must have fewer than 15 employees, less than $1.5 million in annual gross revenue, and not received other funds intended for this purpose to apply. Learn more and apply here.
We understand that everyone is being affected differently by COVID-19, and that everyone will respond differently as well. To care for all of our people, we are sharing these additional resources.
- Organization leaders can learn best crisis communications practices from these Insights and Ideas from the CDC’s Crisis Communications Handbook.
- Illinois Extension educators have cultivated a set of free materials to keep learning going while students are at home.
- Chicago Public Schools District is providing grab-and-go meals at schools throughout the city. Each school district has its own meal program; check your school district’s website or call your district office.
- Chicago Public Schools will be distributing 100,000 digital devices to students to support e-learning. To learn more visit CPS's website.
- Many internet providers are offering free/low-cost internet options to eligible homes that do not have internet access.
- Talk with children about COVID-19 with the guidance of this article, and engage with kids through this interactive activity.
- Emotional reactions to this emerging health crisis are expected. Remind yourself, your family, and your friends that feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed, or having other symptoms of distress such as trouble sleeping is normal. For support and help call 311 or NAMI Chicago Helpline 833-626-4244 for a mental health counselor. Bright Star Community Outreach also has a helpline at 833-TURN-123.
- Anyone in need of food assistance can turn to the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s network of agencies and programs. Locate a site near you. These sites are modifying their distributions to promote social distancing, including offering pre-packaged boxes of groceries.
Federal, State, and Local Government Communication Updates
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
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