To the WBDC Community:

As we recognize National Day of Action against Anti-Asian Hate, the WBDC shares in the grief of so many families, communities, and individuals in the wake of the hateful murder of eight people, six of whom were Asian American women, on March 16th in Atlanta, Georgia. We also recognize and grieve the loss of 10 lives in Boulder, Colorado, who were victims of the continued violence in our country.

This latest act of violence against the Asian community, which has endured so much unnecessary prejudice and pain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, is emblematic of how hateful rhetoric inspires hate-filled actions. And while the connection between rhetoric and violence has risen to the level that merits Congressional investigation, the fact is that words matter, and we must raise our voice against hateful speech.

In the past year we have seen hate crimes against Asian Americans in major U.S. cities surge by nearly 150%. This fear for safety brought on by the rise in violence has also forced many business owners to reduce hours of operation so they can close early, making it harder to keep these already struggling businesses afloat.

The pandemic has hit Asian-Americans particularly hard, as racist rhetoric has led to decreased sales at Asian-owned businesses across the country, and the unemployment rate among Asian Americans shot up more than 450% in 2020. The added economic strain only compounds the emotional toll of the increased violence and pandemic.

The violent effects of racist rhetoric aimed at Asian Americans reminds us not only of the powerful impact of our actions, but of our words. To the Asian-American community, we stand with you. To others in the WBDC family, we urge you all to continue supporting Asian-owned businesses and to stand up and speak up against the hateful speech that contributes to racism and violence.

Emilia DiMenco
President & CEO




Visit to learn more about the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance program.

The Biden-Harris Administration Increases Lending to Small Businesses in Need, Announces Changes to PPP to Further Promote Equitable Access to Relief.
Here are the facts that you need to know:

  1. Priority Window for Business Owners with Less than 20 Employees
  • The Biden Administration will now open up a two-week period starting Wednesday Feb 24th where businesses with less 20 employees will have exclusive access to the application portal.
  • 98% of all small businesses have 20 or fewer employees and this open period is potentially a lifeline for businesses who remain vulnerable.
  1. Better Serve Self-Employed/Sole Proprietors
  • Going forward, self-employed individuals will use gross income to calculate the PPP loan amount.
  • Additionally, the Biden Administration has set aside $1 billion for self-employed/ sole proprietors located in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas. 
  1. Support for Second Chance Small Business Owners
  • The Biden Administration has taken the bipartisan step to allow some small business owners with prior criminal records to apply for PPP funding.
  • This will open funding to business owners who have turned their lives around, started a small business, created jobs, and contributed to their communities.
  1. Exempt Defaults on Student Loans
  • Business owners who are behind on their federal student loan payments will now be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness under President Biden’s changes.
  • Initially, business owners who were delinquent on federal student loans could access PPP funds, but could not receive the loan forgiveness, meaning they had to pay it all back.
  1. Clarification for Small Business Owners with Visas or Green Cards
  • The Biden Administration clarified that residents who do not yet have a Social Security Number or Employer Identification Number can apply for PPP funding using their Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs).
  • This new modification prohibits lenders from denying PPP funding to business owners who use ITINs to pay their taxes.

Click here to learn more.




Navigating COVID-19 Services and Resources


To the WBDC Community:

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is reaching out to assure our WBDC network that we are taking all possible proactive measures to support and assist our clients with the economic impact on their businesses from necessary COVID-19 containment measures.

The WBDC is actively advocating for grant and loan solutions to ensure the financial sustainability of our clients. Since this is an evolving situation, we do not have all the answers at this time, but we will continue to keep our network up to date.

To find more information about the programs available, please visit our refreshed COVID-19 resource page

Click here for  Clear & Concise Guidelines for PPP Loan Forgiveness

Para Español, haga clic  aquí.

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