NEW! Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has established the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program (DSBSP) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program offers small businesses in downstate and rural counties in Illinois the opportunity to partner with local governments to obtain grants equal to 60 days of verifiable working capital up to a maximum of $25,000Businesses within the city limits of Peoria or Pekin are not eligible.

Deadlines for businesses to apply:
Peoria, Woodford, and Mason County: April 10, 5 PM
Tazewell County: April 13, 5 PM
Logan County: April 17 ,  5 PM

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

This program will offer low-interest loans up to $2 million to small businesses impacted by the crisis. The loans are made directly by SBA, not banks. High level information can be found here. More details will be forthcoming.  Bradley University’s Small Business Development Center will be a key local point of information once the program begins.

Has your business been impacted by COVID-19?

Illinois DCEO is seeking information from businesses on how they have been impacted by this crisis so that it can develop resources and response.  They have created a short survey here. Thank you!

Statewide Illinois Manufacturing Assistance

There are over 20 critical supplies needed to respond to COVID-19. If your company currently does or can quickly begin production, please fill out IMEC’s survey. This information will be shared with critical stakeholders such as US Department of Commerce, DCEO, and IMA.

UPDATES

A note from the GPEDC

The Greater Peoria Economic Development Council (GPEDC) has been asked to coordinate the flow of information between local public health officials and the business community regarding COVID-19.  This is certainly a trying time in our region, state and nation. We know that the situation can be scary and frustrating for the ordinary citizen. Those of you who own or manage business have the added worry of less customers, a smaller workforce, disruption in deliveries, and a host of other issues.  We cannot solve all of those issues, but we do hope to provide you with the most timely information possible and also ask you to share your situation with us.

GPEDC cannot do this work alone and will be working with area chambers of commerce, local economic development groups and other similar groups to deliver you this information. Consequently, you may get these emails more than once.  Our apologies in advance for clogging your inbox, but over-communicating is preferable to under-communicating.

This first message will be a bit longer than normal because there is a lot of information to share: 

  1. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has put together a great and comprehensive guide to COVID-19 geared directly at businesses and employers.  You can find the guide here.  The CDC gives some excellent guidance on how to treat your employees in this difficult time. Like you, they are victims of this circumstance too.  We will all need to demonstrate compassion, flexibility and creativity to pull through this. The US Chamber of Commerce also has a great resource website (open to all) that can be found here.
  2. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has received authorization to provide small business assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This program can provide low interest loans of up to $2M to businesses and private non-profits. More information can be found here. It’s important to recognize that the state has not yet received a disaster declaration, so the EIDL program is not yet available to Illinois businesses and non-profits.
  3. The State of Illinois is working to submit its disaster declaration to the federal government.  This will unlock programs like the SBA loan program above and others. But they need your help to document the impact of COVID-19 on business operations.  The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) have created a web portal that will allow you to share information they can compile into their request.  You can complete the form by going here.
  4. Late Friday night the US House of Representatives passed a relief bill in response to COVID-19.  It is expected to pass the Senate this week and be signed by the President. Details on programs will be emerging in the coming days and weeks — and we will share them with you — but in the meantime the US Chamber of Commerce has a nice summary here.
  5. Governor Pritzker ordered all bars and restaurants to close as of 9 p.m. tonight.  The Illinois Restaurant Association has been compiling resources and information here. Their resources include a good presentation on preparing for and dealing with COVID-19 which can be found here.  The state will be publishing more guidelines on this matter today.

Finally, if you have a question, want to share information about your company’s situation, or are in need of resources, we have set up a special email address: bizinfo@greaterpeoriaedc.org.  We will do our best to address your issues as they arise.

Thank you for all you do for your community and our region.  Together, we will get through this.

COVID-19 Update: April 9, 5PM

SBA Clarification for Faith Based Organizations
The SBA has clarified that faith-based organizations are eligible to receive loans – both Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan – regardless of whether they provide secular social services. Read the FAQ here.

More SBA Illinois Webinars
If your small business has been impacted by coronavirus, join this free online training to learn more about several federal funding programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak. The next webinar will be Friday, April 10 at 10:30 am. Register here.

Reminder: Downstate Stabilization Program Deadlines
Small businesses (of 50 or less employees) are encouraged to apply for the Downstate Business Stabilization Program.  More details and application at www.gpcovid.com.  Deadlines for businesses to apply:

Peoria, Mason and Woodford Counties: April 10 at 5 p.m.
Tazewell County: April 13 at 5 p.m.
NEW: Logan County: April 17 at 5 p.m.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Results
DCEO received over 12,000 completed applications for the Hospitality Emergency Grant.  DCEO and Accion determined awardees via lottery. Those selected and not selected were notified on April 8, 2020. About 11,000 applications were from bars and restaurants while the remainder were small hotels. The program is awarding over 700 grant awards, totaling over $14 million. 71 counties in Illinois are represented with an average award of $20,000.  No information is yet available regarding selectees in Greater Peoria.

Updated CDC Guidance for Critical Workers Exposed to COVID-19
To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. More information here.

COVID-19 Update: April 8, 6PM

Illinois Manufacturing Association Human Resources Webinar
The Illinois Manufacturing Association (IMA) hosted a webinar to help their members navigate the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  They have graciously given us permission to share with our businesses, regardless of IMA membership. The webinar covers a variety of topics applicable to all businesses, not just manufacturers.  Watch the webinar recording here and access the slides here.

Washington Prime Group “Open for Small Business” Program
Washington Prime Group (WPG), owner of Northwoods Mall, has partnered with the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship and the University of Chicago to launch the Open for Small Business Initiative. This initiative provides an easy to use lease modification template allowing for the deferral of payments until local entrepreneurs can get back on their feet.  Open for Small Business is also hosting educational webcast seminars with government agency officials and private sector experts to discuss how to access SBA guaranteed loans and more. These resources are being made available to all small businesses whether or not they are a WPG tenant. More information on the program can be found here.

Illinois Unemployment Fact Sheet
Illinois Department of Employment Security has published a summary of expanded unemployment benefits here.

DCEO Summary of State and Federal Programs
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has put together a 26 page guide to state and federal programs aimed at helping businesses and individuals dealing with the pandemic. You can find the guide here.

REMINDER: Downstate Business Stabilization Program Application Portal Open
Small businesses in Greater Peoria who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $25,000 through Illinois’ Downstate Business Stabilization Program.  The program is aimed at businesses with 50 or less employees that have been in operation, with the current ownership, since at least January 1, 2017. Due to the nature of the funding behind this program, businesses in the cities of Peoria and Pekin are ineligible.  Businesses located in Peoria, Woodford and Mason counties have until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10 to submit their completed applications. Tazewell county businesses have until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13.

COVID-19 Update: April 7, 5PM

Paycheck Protection Program
A number of tools were released to help businesses navigate the popular Paycheck Protection Program:

  • A mapping tool to help businesses find an approved SBA lender can be found here. This tool is greatly improved and much more comprehensive than the original tool that was available last week.  Potential borrowers should call banks before showing up, particularly if they are not current clients.

  • An updated FAQ (April 7) can be found here.

  • The final application for borrowers can be found here.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL)
Jim Foley of Bradley’s Small Business Development Center reports some positive changes to the EIDL program.  The biggest change is that personal guarantees are no longer required for loans of $200,000 or less. Further, loans under $500,000 do not require any collateral.  SBA are processing loans directly and according to them, those that applied last week should be seeing confirmation “within days.” Clients are reporting good success in reaching the SBA hotline (800-659-2955) and confirming their place in the decision queue. For more information on EIDL click here.

REMINDER: Downstate Business Stabilization Program Application Portal Open
Small businesses in Greater Peoria who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $25,000 through Illinois’ Downstate Business Stabilization Program.  The program is aimed at businesses with 50 or less employees that have been in operation, with the current ownership, since at least January 1, 2017. Due to the nature of the funding behind this program, businesses in the cities of Peoria and Pekin are ineligible.  Businesses located in Peoria, Woodford and Mason counties have until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10 to submit their completed applications. Tazewell county businesses have until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13.

Ameren Business Assistance
Click here for information on Ameren utility assistance for businesses and individuals during this pandemic.

How to Conserve Business Cash Flow During the Coronavirus Pandemic
A good article in Small Business Trends about conserving cash flow can be found here.

RESOURCE REQUESTS

NEW: UICOMP Accepting Handmade Masks – The University of Illinois College of Medicine is accepting donations of handmade masks. Details can be found here: https://peoria.medicine.uic.edu/handmade-masks/

COVID-19 Update: April 6, 5PM

Downstate Business Stabilization Program Application Portal Open
Small businesses in Greater Peoria who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis may be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $25,000 through Illinois’ Downstate Business Stabilization Program.  The program is aimed at businesses with 50 or less employees that have been in operation, with the current ownership, since at least January 1, 2017. Due to the nature of the funding behind this program, businesses in the cities of Peoria and Pekin are ineligible.  Businesses located in Peoria, Woodford and Mason counties have until 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10 to submit their completed applications. Tazewell county businesses have until 5 p.m. on Monday, April 13. More information, including a link to the application portal, can be found at www.gpcovid.com.

SBA Webinars on Federal Assistance
SBA Illinois is hosting a series of webinars that outline federal programs targeted at helping small businesses.  Topics include the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan, among others. Click on the date and time that meets your needs to register:

Update on Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The United States Department of Labor has now issued its fourth set of Questions & Answers to help employers navigate the complexities of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Click here to read through the list of most commonly asked questions because there are some significant interpretations.

US Chamber of Commerce Guide for Coronavirus Paid Leave
The US Chamber of Commerce has put together a comprehensive guide for employers to better understand the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  Access it here.

IRS Information on Refundable Tax Credits
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) provides small and midsize employers refundable tax credits that reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave wages to their employees for leave related to COVID-19. Read more here.

Illinois Department of Public Health Guidance on Wearing Masks
IDPH issued guidance on where and when citizens should wear masks during this crisis. Read the guidance here.

COVID-19 Update: April 3, 4PM

Become an Approved SBA 7a Lender
The popular Paycheck Protection Program is only available at approved SBA 7a lenders. While most banks in the Greater Peoria area are approved lenders, some smaller banks — often in more rural communities — are not.  SBA has created a fast track process for banks and credit unions to become approved for this program. More information here.

ShelfLove Helps Small Businesses Reduce Inventory
Pekin native and Eureka College graduate Anna Palmer and her team have created an on-line platform for small businesses to get their products into the hands of consumers across the country.  Shop owners looking for quick ways to sell their products online and/or to reach a bigger audience, should investigate ShelfLove. It’s a new marketplace launching for shoppers to purchase products sitting in closed up shops. Businesses can create listings instantly right from a smartphone or computer, get a link to share with audiences without having to build an online store, and push listings to thousands of shoppers across the country looking to support small businesses. When orders come in, businesses reach out to the customer and ship right directly. More information at www.shelflove.org/retailers.

Free Resources for Small Businesses
A growing number of companies are offering their online tools, classes, and resources at no cost in response to the impact on small-business owners from the coronavirus. Inc. magazine is curating and continuously updating a list here.

Blood Donors Needed
Nationally, and here in our region, the blood supply is being adversely impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. In some places, elective surgery is already being cancelled for blood availability. Businesses are urging employees to work from home, while most other activities have been cancelled. The pandemic is having a significant impact on participation in blood drives.  COVID-19 presents no known risk to the safety of the nation’s blood supply, only the adequacy of the supply at this time. Individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 from donating blood. For more information on donating click  here.  If you are healthy… please consider donating!

COVID-19 Update: April 2, 4:30PM

Changes to Illinois Estimated Tax Payment Requirements
Due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic and the subsequent Emergency Declaration of Disaster by Governor JB Pritzker, the filing and payment deadline for income tax returns due April 15, 2020, was extended to July 15, 2020. As a result, a significant number of taxpayers will not be able to accurately calculate and pay their 2020 Illinois estimated income tax. Since taxpayers may not know their prior year’s tax liability if they do not file by the original due date, the Department is providing for an additional option upon which taxpayers can base their 2020 estimated tax payments. Read their guidance here.

Paycheck Protection Plan vs. Economic Injury Disaster Loan
If you are confused by the differences between the PPP and EIDL programs for small business, take a look at this helpful comparison chart here.

More SBA Illinois Webinars on EIDL
SBA’s Illinois office is continuing to offer webinars for businesses interested in learning more about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.  Topics include eligibility, uses, terms and application process. Upcoming webinars are free but do require registration. Click the date/time below that interests you.

   ·   Friday, April 3, 11 a.m.

   ·   Friday, April 3, 3 p.m.

   ·   Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. 

Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
The United States Bartenders’ Guild National Charity Foundation has launched a program to assist bartenders, bar-backs, cocktail servers and other similar workers who are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID crisis (i.e. unpaid medical bills, eviction notice, etc.).  Assistance is not available for businesses, just individuals. More information here.

COVID-19 Update: April 1, 12:30PM

It is April
Really, it is April.  March is over, finally. (When will May be here?)

Sample Paycheck Protection Program Application Available
Late Tuesday the Treasury Department and SBA released a sample application for businesses to better understand the process for receiving a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.  You can download the sample application here and get more detailed information here. According to the information page, businesses can begin applying on Friday, April 3. Self-employed individuals and independent contractors can begin applying starting on Friday, April 10.  Check with your lender to see if they are an SBA approved 7a lender and if they are prepared to take applications on opening day.

Employee Retention Credit
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.  The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. More information from the Treasury Department here and information from the US Senate Committee of Finance here.

Verizon LISC Small Business Recovery Fund
Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon, LISC is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Approved businesses will receive a $10,000 grant to cover operational expenses (rent, utilities, vendor payments, liability holders, payroll, etc.).  Program website is here and the application page can be found here.  It’s a relatively straightforward application, with the only document needed for submission being a copy of your business’ Federal ID/Tax Identification Number.  Please be sure to note that you were referred by LISC in question 14 and enter “Karen Davis – Peoria” in the “Other” line.

REMINDER: Illinois Hospitality Emergency Grant Application Due TODAY at 5 PM
The State of Illinois is offering grants of up to $50,000 for hotels and up to $25,000 for bars and restaurants.  Applicants will be chosen via a lottery, not based on merit. The application is very simple, but only those who have completed an application by April 1 at 5 p.m. will be entered.  Decisions announced on April 4. An FAQ on the program, including a description of the information you will need, can be found here.  More information and the application portal can be found here.

Summary of Government Actions to Support Business
PNC has put together a comprehensive summary of all federal programs impacting business (of any size) here.

April 1 is Census Day; April 3 is Corporate Census Day
In the midst of this pandemic and economic crisis, the federal government is also conducting the decennial Census.  Full participation in the Census is incredibly important — made more apparent in this crisis. The CARES Act (federal coronavirus relief bill) included a distribution of federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to the state of Illinois and major cities.  The State received about $18 million, the City of Peoria received about $1 million and the City of Pekin received $250,000. These disbursements are based on population! Without an accurate count, our communities will receive less money in the future. The census form contains only nine questions and can be filled out online or over the phone.  Please encourage your friends, family and employees to take 10—15 minutes out of their workday to complete the census. For more information on Corporate Census Day, click here.

Help for the Creative Community
Through the newly launched Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, individual artists and artisans – including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers – experiencing an urgent need are able to apply for one-time grants of $1,500 distributed by 3Arts. Grants will be awarded through a lottery system and will be disseminated quickly. Additionally, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations of any size will be able to apply for relief through the Arts Work Fund. Based on their demonstrated financial need, organizations will be awarded grants from $6,000 – $30,000. More information about application guidelines and eligibility can be found online.

Additional Guidance on Families First Act
The Department of Labor issued new guidance addressing exemptions under the paid leave laws this past weekend (March 28). Joshua Herman of Miller, Hall & Triggs provides an excellent summary of exemptions now available for businesses under 50 employees and others here.

COVID-19 Update: March 31, 4:30PM

Gov. Pritzker Extends Stay At Home Order Until April 30
At today’s press conference, Gov. Pritzker announced that his stay-at-home order would now be in effect through April 30. More information from the Peoria Journal Star here.

REMINDER: Illinois Hospitality Emergency Grant Application Due TOMORROW at 5 PM
The State of Illinois is offering grants of up to $50,000 for hotels and up to $25,000 for bars and restaurants.  Applicants will be chosen via a lottery, not based on merit. The application is very simple, but only those who have completed an application by April 1 at 5 p.m. will be entered.  Decisions announced on April 4. An FAQ on the program, including a description of the information you will need, can be found here.  More information and the application portal can be found here.

New: Details released on Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
The state released details of its Emergency Loan Fund which will offer businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in gross annual revenue a 5-year, 3% loan of up to $50,000.  Principal and interest payments are deferred for the first six months. Loan funds must be used for working capital, and at least 50% of loan proceeds must be applied toward payroll or other eligible compensation, with a commitment to hire or retain at least 50% of a business workforce for six months. More information here.

Help for Consumers and Guidance for the Financial Sector
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced a series of actions to ensure the protection of Illinoisans in many areas of consumer borrowing, servicing, and collections. The Department also provided Guidance to its regulated entities, state banks, credit unions, installment lenders, payday lenders, title loan lenders, sales finance lenders including auto loans, currency exchanges, student loan servicers, mortgage servicers, and collection agencies concerning their lending, servicing, and collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Read more here.

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
The National Restaurant Association, thanks in part to a donation from Guy Fieri, has created the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.  Laid off restaurant employees who have worked at least 90 days part- or full-time in a restaurant in the past year can apply for a one time $500 payment.  Applications open starting April 2. More information here.

RESOURCE REQUESTS
NEW – Heartland Health Services: Seeking personal protective equipment, medical supplies, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes unopened.  More information here.

COVID-19 Update: March 30, 4:30PM

REMINDER: Illinois Hospitality Emergency Grant Application Due April 1
The State of Illinois is offering grants of up to $50,000 for hotels and up to $25,000 for bars and restaurants.  Applicants will be chosen via a lottery, not based on merit. The application is very simple, but only those who have completed an application by April 1 will be entered.  Decisions announced on April 4. An FAQ on the program, including a description of the information you will need, can be found here.  More information and the application portal can be found here.

Paycheck Protection Plan Update
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is the cornerstone of the federal relief package for small businesses.  While it is important to start the conversation with your local financial institution, the SBA has not yet finalized the application process.  The hope is for that to be completed by the end of this week or early next week. In the meantime, small businesses in need of immediate relief should consider financing under SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  This program is available now directly through SBA. Any borrowing done under EIDL can then be refinanced under PPP. For more information on EIDL, contact Bradley University’s Small Business Development Center here.

From a recent SBA message: “Additional information will be coming soon on the CARES Act. The federal agencies involved are working diligently to get program rules and processes in place so help can get out to small businesses as soon as possible. However, it is premature to discuss program implementation specifics of the CARES Act because that work is still being done and program details may change. Our focus is providing our small businesses, lenders, and other small business stakeholders with information that reflects the actual program implementation of the legislation with associated rules and requirements.”

Greater Peoria EDC Live-Streamed Events
GPEDC’s Startup Greater Peoria has put together a lineup of free, live-streamed events this week:

   ·   3/31, 12pm CT, Business Continuity Planning
   ·   4/1, 8am CT, Remmert Method: Startup Stories & 2 Minute Crisis Workshop
   ·   4/2, 8am CT, How to Live Safely Together in This Pandemic.

These webinars and archives of past webinars and workshops can be found at https://www.facebook.com/StartupGreaterPeoria/events/.  Additionally, for businesses that are interested in exploring new opportunities or problem-solving during the pandemic, please reach out to Andrew Ngui, GPEDC’s Director of Innovation and Startups at angui@greaterpeoriaedc.org.

What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do
The Chambers of Commerce in the region are jointly hosting a webinar to give businesses some tools to deal with these uncertain times. Join the free webinar on Thursday, April 2 at 1pm to learn from Dean Heffta: “In times of great uncertainty, we can feel unsure of our priorities and what action needs to be taken. What we really want is clarity on how to best think through our new situation so we can lead with confidence.” Register here.

COVID-19 Update: March 29, 4:30PM

REMINDER: Illinois Hospitality Emergency Grant Application Due April 1
The State of Illinois is offering grants of up to $50,000 for hotels and up to $25,000 for bars and restaurants.  Applicants will be chosen via a lottery, not based on merit. The application is very simple, but only those who have completed an application by April 1 will be entered.  Decisions announced on April 4. An FAQ on the program, including a description of the information you will need, can be found here.  More information and the application portal can be found here.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Checklist
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has developed a very helpful checklist and guide for the Paycheck Protection Program here.  All business owners should review the information in this guide and other information at www.gpcovid.com and contact their bank to start the application process.

Childcare Resources
From Ready Nation: Like schools, most child care programs have been asked to close. But many emergency and essential workers continue to need reliable care for their kids. Thus, the state is in the process of establishing a series of “emergency child care” options – settings that could operate under more flexible-than-usual rules, while still offering kids and families crucial assistance.  Existing, interested providers could apply to re-open in this process; other, new providers could explore options for starting-up. See below for more information:

   ·   How to find emergency child care – Call 888-228-1146 or visit here.

   ·   General guidance on establishing emergency-care options, including rules, a license application, list of essential workers, and background-check authorization – click here.

   ·   Related FAQ, including info on the closure of normal child care operations – click here.

Reminder: Families First Act Goes Into Effect April 1
The Families First Act grant emergency paid sick leave to employees of businesses with fewer than 500 employees and expands family and medical leave. It takes effect on April 1, 2020.  The US Department of Labor has an FAQ here.

COVID-19 Update: March 28, 4:30PM

IMPORTANT: Summary of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
For small businesses, the most attractive program built into the CARES Act (the federal coronavirus relief package) is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).  PPP is funded to the tune of $349 billion through the Small Business Administration (SBA). However, the program differs in significant ways from the currently available Economic Injury Disaster Program.  First, businesses will apply through individual banks, not the SBA itself. Second, while technically a loan program, a portion — and potentially all — of the loan can be forgiven, making it act more like a grant.  Below is a high level summary of PPP:

Eligibility: For profit businesses with less than 500 employees (including hotels and food service businesses that have less than 500 employees per location); 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations; veterans organizations; eligible self-employed individuals; independent contractors; sole proprietorships

Loan amount: The maximum loan size is equivalent to 250% of the employer’s average monthly payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million. Payroll costs are defined broadly to include wages, salaries, retirement contributions, healthcare benefits, covered leave, and other expenses. Put another way, the size of the loan is equal to the cost of payroll for about 10 weeks.

Loan terms: Up to 10 years at 4% with the ability to defer principal and interest payment for between 6 and 12 months. There are no fees, no requirement to secure the debt with collateral, no requirement of a personal guarantee, and no penalty for early payoff.

Loan forgiveness: This is the important part! A portion of the loan (up to 100%) will be forgiven in an amount equal to how much the business actually paid for payroll costs, salaries, benefits, rent, utilities and mortgage interest during the eight weeks following the loan’s disbursement. If employees are laid off or their salaries are reduced there could be a reduction in the amount forgiven.  Borrowers will need to apply through their lender for this forgiveness and provide documentation for all costs. Banks will have 60 days to make the determination.

There is a great deal of information available on the internet regarding PPP including articles published by the Economic Innovation Group, National Law Review, Bench and Forbes.

Business owners interested in PPP should call their banker as soon as possible, ask if they are an approved Small Business Administration 7a lender (most locally are) and request a meeting to discuss this program.  Businesses can also get advice from the Small Business Development Center at Bradley University.  We will provide more information on this program and other CARES Act provisions as details come available.

DCEO Creates COVID Web Resource Page
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has created a helpful webpage that outlines state assistance for businesses, workers and residents.  Access it here.

Free Food Composting by Better Earth Logistics
Better Earth Logistics, a custom food recycling service in the area, is offering their services for free to ANY central IL restaurant, cafe, business or supermarket who have an excess of perishable food (that cannot be donated). Their goal is to divert such food waste from a landfill and turn it into compost.  For more information or to schedule a service, email them at info@betterearthlogistics.com.

Reminder: More SBA Webinars Next Week
Click one of the dates below to be taken to the registration page for a webinar hosted by Illinois SBA on the Economic Injury Disaster Program:

   ·   Monday, March 30, 11 a.m.
   ·   
Monday, March 30, 1 p.m. (Chinese/Mandarin)
   ·   
Monday, March 30, 3 p.m.
   ·   
Tuesday, March 31, 11 a.m.
   ·   
Tuesday, March 31, 3 p.m.

COVID-19 Update: March 27, 4:30PM

US House of Representatives Approves COVID Relief Bill
This afternoon the US House of Representatives approved the relief bill previously approved by the US Senate.  We will start digging into the details and distribute information as soon as possible.

More SBA Webinars Next Week
Illinois SBA has scheduled more webinars for next week to help businesses understand the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.  The webinars are free but “sell out” fast due to limited capacity for an on-line meeting. Click one of the dates below to be taken to the registration page for that session.

   ·   Monday, March 30, 11 a.m.
   ·  
Monday, March 30, 1 p.m. (Chinese/Mandarin)
   ·  
Monday, March 30, 3 p.m.
   ·  
Tuesday, March 31, 11 a.m.
   ·  
Tuesday, March 31, 3 p.m.

IDES Improving Unemployment Filing System
The Illinois unemployment filing system has been inundated with claims over the past few weeks.  To address this, IDES is making a variety of improvements. In addition, IDES has staggered days and times for people to file on-line or via the help desk line:

Online Filing Schedule:

   ·   Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.|
   ·   Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
   ·   Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule:

   ·   Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
   ·   Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
   ·   Fridays (7:30am – 6pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Full information here.

City of Peoria COVID Resources
The City of Peoria Economic Development Department has created a web resource for COVID related information and programs here.

Curbside/Carryout Alcohol Sales
The City of Peoria has published guidance for liquor license holders here.

AAIM Morning Briefing on HR and COVID
AAIM Employers’ Association has been hosting a 30-minute conference call each weekday morning to share information regarding human resources concerns amidst the COVID pandemic.  They also take questions from listeners. The call is free and happens 7:30 – 8:00 am each weekday morning. To register or listen to previous recordings, go here.

RESOURCE REQUESTS

UnityPoint Health: UnityPoint is seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. They are als in search of medical personnel to help them prepare in the event that there is an influx of sick patients.  Information here.

COVID-19 Update: March 26, 4:30PM

Downstate Business Stabilization Program
Yesterday, the State released details of three programs that are aimed at helping small businesses (generally those with less than 500 employees).  Today (a day early) details of the Downstate Stabilization Program were released and can be found here. According to DCEO: “The program component makes funds available for 60 days of verifiable working capital up to a grant ceiling of $25,000 and is available for businesses that employ 50 people or less.  Number of employees includes the business owner(s). These funds may be used to assist private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely.” Of note: counties, cities or villages must apply on behalf of businesses interested in this program.  We will have more details once we digest this newly posted information.

Summary of Senate Relief Package
Yesterday the US Senate passed a $2 trillion relief package aimed at helping individuals, businesses, hospitals and communities impacted by coronavirus.  The bill will be taken up by the House in the next few days and is expected to be immediately signed by the President. The International Economic Development Council has an excellent summary of the basic elements of the relief bill here. Greater Peoria EDC will be monitoring this bill and cataloging information about programs and funds available.

Mandatory Employer Posting
The US Department of Labor mandates that employers post “in a conspicuous place” information regarding the elements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The mandatory poster can be found here.  USDOL as has published a Q&A about the poster here. Of note regarding companies who have a considerable number of teleworkers at the moment, USDOL advises that the requirement may be satisfied by emailing, direct mailing, and/or posting on external or internal websites.

USDA Assistance to Rural Communities and Businesses
USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. Read more here.

IRS Tax Guidance on Tax Credits for Coronavirus Paid Leave
Information from the Wyman Group regarding recent IRS guidance on tax credits associated with the Families First Act here.

Recommended Guidance for Large Businesses
The Illinois Department of Public Health has published guidance for avoiding the spread of COVID-19 in large businesses here.

Reminder: I-74 Bridge Closure
In the midst of all the discussion about COVID-19, don’t forget that the Murray Baker bridge closes on Sunday, March 29 and will remain closed through October. (Since no one has anywhere to go right now, this is a great time to start this project and let us ease into new traffic patterns.)  More here.

COVID-19 Update: March 25, 5PM

Breaking News: State of Illinois Programs for Small Business
Gov. Pritzker today announced three new programs to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.  More details here but in brief:

   ·  Hospitality Emergency Grant: Bars, restaurants and hotels with a valid license can receive grants up to $50,000 to support working capital costs like payroll and rent.  Applications being accepted now.  Click here for more information.

   ·  Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund: low-interest, five-year loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses (less than 50 employees) outside of City of Chicago. Deferred payments for first six months.  Applications accepted starting April 1.

   ·  Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program: Grants up to $25,000 for businesses with less than 50 employees outside of the Chicago metropolitan area.  Funds applied for by units of government (counties, cities, villages) on behalf of their businesses. (We will do more research into this program in particular.) Application materials available March 27.

This information will be updated.

Breaking News: Illinois Tax Deadline Pushed Back to July 15
At his daily coronavirus press conference, Gov. Pritzker announced that the tax filing deadline will be pushed back to July 15 to match the change in the federal deadline.  More details here.

Update from Bradley SBDC on SBA Emergency Loans
Jim Foley of Bradley’s Turner Center for Entrepreneurship reports that they have already helped over 50 businesses better understand the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.  SBA has decided that all loan payments for the first 11 months will be deferred with only interest accruing. Businesses are reporting problems filing on the SBA portal during working hours and are encouraged to do so after hours.  More information from Bradley here.

US Department of Labor Guidance on Emergency Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA
The US Department of Labor today made available a set of resources regarding two important provisions of the Families First Act: the emergency sick leave provision and the expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act.  Both pieces of legislation impact businesses with 500 or fewer employees. Resources include a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers.

Reminder: I-74 Bridge Closure
In the midst of all the discussion about COVID-19, don’t forget that the Murray Baker bridge closes on Sunday, March 29 and will remain closed through October. (Since no one has anywhere to go right now, this is a great time to start this project and let us ease into new traffic patterns.)  More here

COVID-19 Update: March 24, 5PM

Great American Takeout
Tuesday, March 24 is The Great American Takeout where individuals pledge to order takeout food from a local restaurant for at least one meal.  People are asked to tag social media posts with #thegreatamericantakeout. More info here. Reading this email on Wednesday? That is a good day for takeout, too. Here is a list of open restaurants compiled by local organizations: Enjoy Peoria, Peoria Chamber, Pekin Chamber, East Peoria Chamber, Washington Chamber, Morton Chamber.

More Illinois SBA Webinars Scheduled
Illinois SBA has scheduled more webinars to help explain the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.  Topics include eligibility, use of funds, and application process. Bradley’s SBDC is also putting together its own webinar to be held later this week but is a resource for potential applicants now.  Their website is here. To register for the Illinois SBA webinars, click on the time that works for you (free, but registration required and “seats” fill fast):

   · Wednesday, March 25, 11 a.m. CT
   · Thursday, March 26, 11 a.m. CT
   · Thursday, March 26, 3 p.m. CT

Commerce Bank Information on Avoiding Fraud and Emergency Considerations
Commerce Bank has put together two informational bulletins:
   · Protecting Yourself from Coronavirus Fraud can be found here.
   · Financial considerations for the coronavirus and other emergencies can be found here.

Bridge’ loans for Illinois businesses available as soon as this week, treasurer’s office says
From KWQC: Illinois small businesses can tap into $250 million in low-interest bridge loans as soon as this week to help push through the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said Monday. The state treasurer’s office will make $250 million available to Illinois banks and credit unions that wish to participate. The financial institutions will determine who is eligible for the loans. More here.

RESOURCE REQUESTS

Community Foundation of Central Illinois: Requesting monetary donations for the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund. Information https://communityfoundationci.org/.

OSF Healthcare: OSF seeking personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other supplies. Information here.

Peoria Innovation Alliance: PIA is gathering the maker community to discuss ways individuals and small companies can make supplies like masks. Information here.

COVID-19 Update: March 23, 5PM

Essential Business Checklist
Illinois DCEO has put together a helpful FAQ for businesses to use to help with the “essential business” designation here

Bradley SBDC Ready to Work on SBA Loan Applications
The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Bradley University and the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship are ready to assist small businesses affected by COVID-19. Specifically, the staff has been trained on the SBA emergency loans available to area small businesses affected by the economic slowdown. More here.

Filing for Unemployment
With IDES phsyical offices being closed, unemployed workers have two options for filing for unemployment: call 1-800-244-5631 or visit https://www2.illinois.gov/ides.

Social Distancing Guidance
The Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford County Health Departments issued guidance on social distancing requirements for essential businesses and operations. Read it here.

Illinois Manufacturers Association FAQ
IMA has put together an FAQ on COVID related business issues that is being constantly updated.  You can find it here.  While geared towards manufacturing, it is relevant for all types of business operations.

COVID-19 Update: March 22, 5PM

IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline to July 15, 2020
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on March 21 that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. Read more here.  The IRS has also set up a website regarding Coronavirus and taxes here.

Essential Business Advice
Employees, companies or business owners who have questions on what qualifies as an “Essential Business or Operation” under Gov. Pritzker’s Stay at Home Executive Order (effective 3/21/20 at 5:00 p.m.) can call the IL Dept. of Commerce Hotline at 1-800-252-2923 or email CEO.support@illinois.gov.  Also, listed among the categories for “essential businesses” in our March 22 email was “educational institutions.” To be clear, the Executive Order does not supersede the order to close schools.  For purposes of the Stay At Home Order, educational institutions are limited to personnel necessary to delivering distance learning, performing critical research or performing essential functions (i.e. security, maintenance).

Workplace Safety
OSHA has compiled resources and guidance regarding COVID-19 and workplace safety here.

Information for Child Care Providers
Beginning Saturday, March 21st at 5pm, licensed childcare centers and all childcare homes serving more than six children will be closed. The administration is working to expand the availability of childcare in small group sizes for essential workers through a newly available Emergency Child Care Center license. More information here.

COVID-19 Update: March 21, 5PM

State Survey of Business Impact
Illinois DCEO is tracking the impact of this crisis on business and is asking businesses to complete a short survey here.  Answers to these questions will help inform state policy makers on shaping responses.

“Stay At Home” Essential Businesses
Yesterday Governor Pritzker issued an executive order that will prompt the temporary closure of businesses other than certain “essential businesses and operations.” The full executive order can be read here. Below is a summary of the broad categories defined as essential:

  • Grocery stores
  • Agriculture and food, beverage, and cannabis production
  • Charitable and social service providers
  • Media
  • Gas stations and transportation-related facilities
  • Financial institutions
  • Hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades (HVAC, plumbers, electrician, cleaning, etc)
  • Mail, postal, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Educational Institutions (essential staff only, no students)
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
  • Supplies to work from home (businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply products)
  • Supplies for essential businesses and operations
  • Transportation
  • Home-based care and services
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Day care centers for employees exempted by this order
  • Manufacturing
  • Critical labor union functions
  • Hotels and motels
  • Funeral Services

 

More SBA DIsaster Loan Information
Illinois SBA held a series of webinars on Friday and Saturday to provide information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.  The webinars were all sold out, but we’ve stored the PowerPoint slides here. The same webinar is being held twice on Monday, March 23.  Register for the 11 am session here and the 3 pm session here.  More information at Bradley’s SBDC website

United Way Volunteer Portal
The Heart of Illinois United Way has created a dedicated portal to organize volunteer opportunities in response to the COVID-19 health crisis.  The portal can be viewed here.  Please consider sharing this website with any employees who may be in a position to assist.

CDFA COVID-19 Resource Center
The Council for Development Finance Agencies (CFDA) has created a great website collecting information on financing programs and resources to address disaster relief and recovery. You can access the library here.

COVID-19 Update: March 20, 5PM

Text of Illinois “Stay-at-Home” Order
This afternoon Gov. Pritzker announced an order for Illinois citizens to stay at home other than to conduct essential activities.  The order further outlines the closing of businesses other than those listed in a variety of “Essential Businesses and Operations.”  The full text of the order, including definitions of essential activities and businesses, can be found here.  All State of Illinois resources regarding COVID-19, including all executive orders, can be found here.

Illinois Small Businesses Can Now Apply for SBA Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering small businesses in Illinois low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Locally, Bradley University’s Illinois Small Business Development Center is positioned to assist businesses understand this program and assist with applying.  They have assembled information here. Bradley assists businesses in nearly all the counties in the region.  Businesses in Logan County should contact the Small Business Development Center at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield.

Key information:

  • The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is a loan, not a grant.  However, it comes with a low interest rate of 3.75% for businesses, and 2.75% for private non-profits. And the payback period can be as long as 30 years. There is also a four-month grace period after the loan is approved before the first payment is due.  Businesses should also consult their accountant, banker, or lawyer for additional guidance as to the suitability of this loan program for your circumstances.
  • Loan requests are made directly by individuals (sole proprietors) and businesses. Banks do not accept EIDL applications. Loan proceeds are paid directly to the applicant’s bank account.
  • The loan amount may be up to $2,000,000. There is no fee to apply. Approved applications do not have to use all the approved loan amount and application approvals may be placed on hold for up to six months. 
  • Only small businesses are eligible as determined by your industry’s NAICS code and SBA guidelines. However, for most businesses, less than 500 employees would qualify. If needed, our advisors can confirm if your business qualifies.
  • Approvals are partly based on the demonstrated ability to repay the loan as evidenced through financial history and projections, along with credit scores. However, a low credit score does not preclude approval. Collateral will be required for loan amounts above $25,000 with real estate as the preferred collateral.
  • The goal of this loan program is to provide the working capital you need to get through depressed economic conditions. This includes expenses such as rent, payroll, and other operational expenses.

Information for Job Seekers and Companies Hiring
Job seekers can subscribe to receive job postings by registering their email at www.careerlink16.com.  Jobs also posted on IDES’ JobLink job board.  All unemployment benefit recipients must register and use Illinois JobLink as part of their job search.  Employers can also search resumes and post jobs on Illinois JobLink.  

Additional Guidance for the Oral Health Community and Dental Practices
This guidance is to provide continued information and recommendations for the Oral Health Community and Providers. This guidance is supplemental to the Clinical and Public Health Guidance for Managing COVID-19 Interim Guidance (subject to change); March 18, 2020, published by IDPH and can found here

COVID-19 Update: March 19, 5PM

We continue to assemble resources and information for the business community regarding COVID-19.  As you all recognize, we are in a very fluid situation with information changing daily, and sometimes twice daily.  We will do our best to provide you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible.

Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund
The Community Foundation of Central Illinois is serving as the home for monetary donations to help individuals, organizations and businesses recover from this economic crisis.  Learn more and donate here.

SBA Loans
This afternoon Illinois received its economic disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration (SBA) which will open participation in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Unlike prior designations, this covers businesses in any county in the state.  This program will offer low-interest loans up to $2 million to small businesses impacted by the crisis. The loans are made directly by SBA not banks. High level information can be found here. More details will be forthcoming. Bradley University’s Small Business Development Center will be a key local point of information once the program begins.

Sales Tax Deferral for Bars and Restaurants
Gov. Pritzker has directed the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) to defer sales tax payments for small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants.  Under the directive, eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May made late. The Department of Revenue estimates this will give relief to nearly 80% of bars and restaurants in Illinois.  Penalties and interest will be automatically waived; however, qualified taxpayers must still file their sales tax return even if they are unable to make a payment. Any taxpayers taking advantage of this relief will be required to pay their sales tax liabilities due in March, April and May in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20. For more information, please view IDOR’s informational bulletin available at tax.illinois.gov.

Families First Act
President Trump signed the Families First Act, a second bill aimed at aiding economic hardship for business and employees.  The main thrusts of the bill are to (1) expand the Family and Medical Leave Act and (2) create the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.  National HR consulting firm Greensfelder has a summary of the Act here.  The St. Louis law firm Ogletree Deakins has put together a matrix summary here.

Small Business Resources
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is compiling resources and information for small businesses here.  DCEO is still seeking information from businesses regarding the impact the crisis is having on operations and revenue.  Complete their survey here.

Illinois Manufacturing Helpline
The Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center, headquartered at Bradley University, has established a virtual helpline for manufacturing businesses here.

Guidance for Closed Food Service Operations
The Illinois Department of Public Health has provided guidance for re-opening bars and restaurants that have been closed during the state ban here.

COVID-19 Update: March 18, 5PM

IRS and Federal Taxes
CORRECTION from 3/17 bulletin: While the filing day for federal taxes remains April 15, 2020, the IRS has given individual filers an additional 90 days to pay income taxes due up to $1 million while corporations get the same delay for payments up to $10 million. Similar efforts are being made with the Illinois Department of Revenue regarding state taxes.    

Unemployment Insurance Rates
We have been fielding a number of inquiries from employers regarding the impact of mass unemployment filings on their unemployment insurance rates.  Unfortunately, there is not much information available. IDES has appended this information to its FAQ page:

  • Q: If an employee receives unemployment benefits as a result of COVID-19, will the employer’s unemployment contribution rate increase?
  • A: At this time, no further guidance has been issued. Until such time, normal procedures will be followed. In general, the contribution rate of an experience rated employer is based, in part, on the amount of unemployment benefits paid to the employer’s former employees. 

Business Interruption Insurance
We have also fielded inquiries regarding business interruption service which provides businesses with coverage during periods of lost income or increased expense.  In general these policies cover claims stemming from physical damage (i.e. fire, tornado, etc.) and may not cover communicable disease outbreak. Tim Neuhauser of Envision Insurance provides a general explanation here.

Facebook Grants for Small Business
Facebook is awarding $100 million in grants and ad credits to 30,000 small businesses in over 30 countries. Learn more here.

Fair Labor Standards Act and COVID
The US Department of Labor has guidance posted here.

Guidance for Restaurants
Tazewell County Health Department has published guidance for restaurants and bars here. Tazewell Co. restaurants with questions are asked to email food@tchd.net. Peoria County’s guidance is also summarized on their Facebook page. Their email for questions is EH@peoriacounty.org.

Business Continuity Seminar
Gartner, a business consulting firm, is hosting a free webinar on business continuity planning on Thursday, March 19 at 8 am. Register here

Guidance for Hotels
The Illinois Department of Public Health issued guidance to hotel operators here.

Guidance for Plumbing Professionals
Guidance here for plumbing professionals.

COVID-19 Update: March 17, 5PM

We continue to assemble resources and information for the business community regarding COVID-19. 

  • Illinois has filed its paperwork with the federal government to be declared a disaster area.  With your help, the state was able to log over 2,000 individual businesses impacted and believes that the entire state will get the declaration (vs. individual counties).  FEMA has had a very quick turnaround on these applications. A declaration will make communities and companies eligible for federal assistance, including SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The Small Business Development Center at Bradley University is preparing itself to provide technical assistance and will be providing more information soon.
  • On Sunday Governor Pritzker issued a ban on in-facility dining at bars and restaurants in Illinois, effective at 9 p.m. on Monday, March 16.  You can read a copy of the Executive Order hereEach county health department is issuing its own guidance to establishments.  Peoria City/County Health Department has advised that patrons can enter an establishment to pick up food provided that there is proper space for social distancing.
  • OSHA’s newly released guidance on COVID-19 in the workplace can be found here.
  • This morning, Governor JB Pritzker and Secretary of Transportation Omer Osman ordered the Illinois Department of Transportation to increase truck weights on Illinois roads to 88,000 pounds (currently 80,000 pounds) for a 5-axle vehicle or 10 percent above the legal load for vehicles with fewer axles.  Additionally, the Governor waived all overweight fees for the transportation of emergency relief and supplies. The increased weight limits and fee waivers expire on April 12, 2020. Executive order here and IDOT information here.
  • Attention non-profit organizations: Forefront, an association of Illinois grantmakers and nonprofits, has developed a survey in an effort to collect responses from the nonprofit sector regarding the impact of COVID-19. Please take the survey here. Forefront also has a webpage dedicated to keeping the nonprofit sector apprised of COVID-19 developments, available here.
  • Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) offices have closed to the public but individuals are encouraged to file for unemployment online here. IDES has filed emergency rules that waive the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office has closed through March 31 and all statutorily-required filings are extended by 30 days.
  • AAIM Employers’ Association is hosting a free morning audio briefing on helping employers navigate this health crisis. More information here.
COVID-19 Update: March 16, 4 PM

We continue to assemble resources and information for the business community regarding COVID-19.  

  • The Community Foundation of Central Illinois (CFCI), announced today the organization will begin accepting donations in response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) to address emerging community needs in central Illinois. The Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund will accept tax-deductible donations that will be used to provide grant support to nonprofit organizations engaged in meeting emerging community needs related to the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). An advisory committee will make recommendations to the CFCI Board of Directors about where unmet needs and funding gaps exist. Grants will then be made from the fund to help address those needs. More information here.
  • We have received a number of questions regarding unemployment insurance and filing for employees impacted by COVID-related shutdowns.  There is still not a lot of specific information available but we will keep looking. You can access some information from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) here. (Warning: high traffic has caused their website to crash. You may have to try multiple times.)  National Law Review does have a good summary of the House bill that was passed early Saturday morning here. Note that the bill still needs to be passed by the Senate and signed by the President, both of which are expected this week.
  • The Illinois Gaming Board has ordered the suspension of all video gaming operations at licensed operations as of 9 pm tonight (Monday, March 16).  More here.
  • Manufacturing Excellence Partnership programs across the country have put information together.  You can find the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC, headquartered at Bradley) here. Some great information has also been put together by Impact Washington which you can access here. Of particular note is information on creating a Business Continuity Plan which can be found here.

RESOURCES

EVENTS

RESOURCE REQUESTS

Community Foundation of Central Illinois: Requesting monetary donations for the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund

OSF Healthcare: OSF seeking personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other supplies. Information here.

Peoria Innovation Alliance: PIA is gathering the maker community to discuss ways individuals and small companies can make supplies like masks. Information here.

UnityPoint Health: UnityPoint is seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. They are als in search of medical personnel to help them prepare in the event that there is an influx of sick patients.  Information here.

Heartland Health Services: Heartland Health Services is seeking personal protective equipment, medical supplies, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes unopened. Information here.

IMEC – Supply Chain Support – If your company currently does or can quickly begin production on COVID-19, please fill out IMEC’s form.

UICOMP Accepting Handmade Masks – The University of Illinois College of Medicine is accepting donations of handmade masks. Details can be found here: https://peoria.medicine.uic.edu/handmade-masks/

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