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The Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance Program provides business advising, education and grants designed to help small businesses who have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will offer advising for small businesses in Cook County and grants for small businesses in suburban Cook County and the unincorporated areas.

The program is offering three types of relief:

  • Cook County Recovery Grants, $10,000 recovery grants for small businesses in suburban Cook County that have seen losses due to COVID-19 Applications open on September 16th and will close on October 6th (subject to change).
  • Group webinars serve as guided, interactive sessions that start to get you thinking about how your business has been impacted and how you may want to pivot your business.
  • Cook County / Chicago Business Advising Program, also known as technical assistance (TA), helps you address the unique needs of your business, including acquiring new capital and customers, understanding financial, change and risk management, adjusting business models, and operating under new safety regulations.

To understand if your business is eligible and to apply for relief, please visit:

Cook County Recovery Grant

  • Businesses located in municipalities within suburban Cook County and in the unincorporated areas
  • Businesses with 20 or fewer employees
  • Sales reduced (> 20%) by COVID-19 in any month from March-July vs. February 2020
  • Businesses who have not received federal funding in the past, or businesses that have received federal funding and intend to use the Cook County Recovery Grant for expenses different than what federal funding was used for
  • For-profit small businesses only are eligible (non-profit organizations are not eligible)
  • May not have an IRS tax lien or other judgment(s) against it and the business owners or partners may not be currently undergoing bankruptcy proceedings

For more information please email our team at

Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance Program is in partnership with Cook County, The Chicago Community Trust, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Polk Bros Foundation

Meet the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance Program team at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Leslie Dimas, Business Advisor

Leslie was born and raised in Belvidere, Illinois to an immigrant father from Mexico and a hard-working mother from San Antonio, Texas.  Leslie is the youngest of six siblings. Her parents instilled into the family the values of hard work, dedication and the importance of giving back to your community.

Leslie Dimas has worked as a finance and government relations consultant assisting various local organizations and communities to develop strategic plans surrounding civic engagement and financial stability.

Leslie has over 8 years’ experience in the banking industry and as a bilingual financial consultant, including for Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Her expertise includes advising in Consumer, Small Business and Commercial lines of business. At her time at JPMorgan she was also the Chicago Chapter Chair of Adelante and a Chase Ambassador.

Leslie was also an Outreach Coordinator at the Office of Congressman Mike Quigley. During her role as an Outreach Coordinator, she identified and implemented outreach events throughout the district. She also attended and/or spoke at events on the Congressman’s behalf, staffed the Congressman at various district events and acted as a liaison with community and government agencies. She also worked on constituent issues such as Immigration, Banking, Mortgage and Housing.

Prior to joining IHCC Leslie worked an s Political Consultant for several local campaigns. While there, she prepared and implemented campaign strategy, formulated a campaign budget and monitored compliance of campaign finance laws and Created and posted social media content.

Leslie graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies. She was very involved on campus and was a founding member of the 17th chapter of Alpha Psi Lambda, the nation’s largest Co-Ed Latino based Fraternity. Leslie is the first woman in her family to graduate from college.

When Leslie is not hard at work for the community she enjoys running, listening to podcasts, reading a good book and spending time with her family.

Janet Dominguez, Business Advisor

Janet’s career began when she arrived in the United States from Mexico in 1996 and began working on her major in business entrepreneurship at Columbia College. After graduation she eased into events production but switched to the business side of the entertainment industry when she realized the limited income potential of that field. “I always had a passion for working behind the scenes in advertising and public relations.” she recalls. It was Janet’s mother in Mexico who inspired her to move to the U.S. to pursue her career goals. “I had an associates degree in Mexico, but I wanted more,” she said. “It was make it or break it for me so I studied hard to get the required credits so I could enroll at Columbia.”

After working as Hispanic marketing manager for Staples in Boston, MA., Janet realized she missed Chicago and moved back to the city. “I realized I had to reconnect and focus on making it in Chicago. Chicago was that outlet for me. This process really strengthened my leadership skills and pointed the way ahead in my public life. It was a great lesson to get me where I am today.”
Janet cherishes her experiences as a Latina woman living in the US. “As a Latina business professional, I have learned how to pick myself up after a disappointment or a failure,” she says. “As Latinas, there’s nothing we can’t do. The power is inside us. ”One of the things she appreciates most about her accomplishments is that it enables her to be known and respected for what she brings to the community and the nation. “We aren’t tokens or a commodity,” she said. “We have a value in this country.”

Her aim to transfer her passion for advertising and public relations to Latinas seeking to enter the business world. “This is not an easy business,” she added. “It can be very cutthroat. We have to establish credibility for our clients and use common sense in everything we do.” She is now the CEO and founder of La Agency WHO? Some of the clients she has worked with are: Gift of Hope, Seccion Amarilla, Columbia College Chicago, Staples, Walmart, JewelOsco, St. Jude, Disney on Ice, Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey, Department Tourism of Mexico, and Rx Outreach to name a few.

Antonio Lizano, Business Advisor

Antonio Lizano serves as a Business & Marketing consultant for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce (IHCC).  In this advisory role, he supports businesses with strategies to stimulate growth during and after Covid-19 recovery. For 20 plus years, he leads programs for organizations in multiple fields, and he is an advocate of entrepreneurial spirit.

Antonio is a native of Costa Rica but grew up in Hillside, IL; he attended Triton College, University of Saint Thomas & Capella University. He holds dual MBAs in Marketing and Project Management, and he is an avid speaker and writer.

His hobbies include reading, swimming, water polo, and traveling. Antonio has been married for 15 years to Isabel, a native of Ecuador.

Loretta Ivette Trevino, Director 

Loretta Ivette Treviño currently serves as the Director of the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance Program at the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the leading Hispanic business, networking, advocacy and development organization in Illinois. Ivette is passionate about economic development and advocates for small minority-owned businesses with access to capital, technology, contracting opportunity and creating community.

Ivette has had multifaceted roles during her tenure at IHCC. Ivette previously worked with partners, members and created strategic events where she provides unique opportunities for the community to come together to build and foster relationships.

Ivette has led the IHCC team in executing one of the largest gatherings of Hispanic business leaders in the Midwest, the Make the Connection!® IHCC Business Conference. Featured speakers have included former U.S. Senator Barack Obama, current Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and U.S. Senator Richard Durbin along with Nely Galan, Founder, the Adelante Movement and Jahmal Cole, Founder of My Block, My Hood, My City.

A recent highlight was the first ever IHCC Women’s CEO Roundtable. The IHCC Women’s CEO Roundtable convened 35 women CEO’s together and created a space to share challenges, opportunities and offer each other resources and support. She currently serves on the City of Chicago Advisory Council on Women.

Ivette received her Bachelor of Science in Business Management with a minor in Public Policy from National Louis University. She is a Fellow with the Chicago Latino Caucus Foundation, Leadership Academy and an alumna with Mujeres de HACE.

Ivette is a Chicago native and grew up in Brighton Park playing basketball. She currently resides on the Southwest side with her husband and children where they remain very active in sports like baseball, basketball and rugby


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