Employ Illinois Small Business Owners

  • Office of the State Treasurer
  • 300 West Jefferson St., 2nd Floor,
  • Springfield, IL 67202
  • Phone: (312) 814-8953 or (217) 782-2072
  • Fax:
  • TDD:
  • Email: employillinois@treasurer.state.il.us
  • Website: treasurer.il.gov/

Purpose of the Program

Small businesses are critical to the economic strength of Illinois. They are the lifeblood of our communities and compete in the global marketplace.

The Treasurer’s Office helps Illinoisans start, build, sustain and grow their small businesses through the Employ Illinois program.

Who is Eligible

Program Eligibility:

To qualify as a small business, gross annual receipts must be $3 million or less, or $5 million or less for businesses in low-income census tracts.

The applicant must provide a brief explanation as to why conventional loan financing is not adequate and why an Employ Illinois loan is necessary.

Application Process

How to Apply:

  1. Contact the Treasurer’s Office for an overview of the program; 2. Apply for a loan at a participating financial institution and agree to use the Employ Illinois program; 3. Complete the Employ Illinois Business loan application and forward your application package, including all required documentation, to the Treasurer’s Office. Your financial institution will often provide the application and forward it on your behalf; 4. Your financial institution must submit a completed application for deposit. Please contact the Treasurer’s Office before completing this application. The contact information is listed on the application; 5. The Treasurer’s Loan Committee will review your application for approval. The committee meets twice monthly.

If you have questions or need more information, e-mail employillinois@treasurer.state.il.us or call (312) 814-8953.

Availability of Funds

Amounts and Terms:

Borrowers can receive loans for up to $1 million;  The below-market interest rate is available for two years with the possibility of a three-year extension; the Treasurer’s Office may require a site visit prior to approval.

How Funds are to be used

Employ Illinois loans are used to acquire land, purchase equipment, provide working capital, buy inventory or make capital improvements.

Types of Assistance


Year Program was established