Please take a moment to review the resources available to businesses at a local, state and federal level.  The GEDC board and staff are here to assist you in anyway needed.  Please do not hesitate to contact us directly if there is anything we can do to support you or your business. Nancy Norton, President & CEO – Cell 815.325.5636 or or Nikki Wills, Business Director – Cell 815.342.4067 or In the meantime, please remember to order from that family owned restaurant, buy supplies from local retailers, and stay safe.  

Latest News & Updates

NEW Site for COVID-19 Information & CARES Act update
The SBA has a new site to help small businesses with their questions related to COVID-19. Federal Resources for US Small Business can be found at The site includes tabs for PPP-loan forgiveness application, SBA funding options, SBA contracting options, SBA loan and lending options, Department of Labor resources as well as information on OSHA and Cybersecurity.

Second Round of BIG Grants – On September 15, Governor Pritzker announced the opening of the second round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program. To learn more about the BIG program and view the application click here. They will begin to accept applications on September 17. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted. The BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and experienced losses due to COVID-19.  To view a presentation on grant requirements, click here.

New Face Mask Rules – Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Health issued new guidelines that start on Wednesday, August 26. If you are in a bar or restaurant in Illinois, you must wear a face mask or face covering while interacting with wait staff, food service workers or other employees while either indoors or outdoors.  Face coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth when patrons are approached and served by staff, including but not limited to when employees take patrons orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables.  This guidance will also apply to other facilities with food services areas that are currently subject to the Restore Illinois guidance, such as indoor recreational facilities, museums, and entertainment venues.

JCAR Ruling – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Governor Pritzker have implemented warnings and fines for businesses who do not follow mask and social distancing requirements.  The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted on August 11 to uphold new enforcement rules proposed by Illinois Governor Pritzker.  The decision will allow law enforcement gencies and health departments to issue warnings, rather than citations, for violations of state mandates regarding the coronavirus, and also empowers those enforcement agencies to issue fines of up to $2,500 for businesses that repeatedly violate state rules.  Click here for further information..

New Regions – Governor Pritzker announced on July 15 that the state will be further divided from four into 11 separate regions to allow health officials to apply a more focused approach to each area’s coronavirus response as the pandemic continues.  Grundy County now falls into the North-Central Region which includes: Bureau, Fulton, Henderson, Henry, Kendall, Knox, La Salle, Livingston, Marshall, McDonough, McLean, Mercer, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island, Stark, Tazewell, Warren, Woodford.  Any restrictions imposed or mitigation efforts applied to slow the spread of the coronavirus will be done so in each of these specific regions individually moving forward. The new plan outlines three tiers of general and industry-specific mitigations that can be put in place to prevent a resurgence in cases. The metrics used to determine when an area needs additional mitigations will include:

  • Sustained increase in 7-day rolling average (7 out of 10 days) in the positivity rate and one of the following severity indicators:
    – Sustained 7-day increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-19 like illness
    – Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities (ICU capacity or
    medical/surgical beds < 20%)
  • OR three consecutive days averaging ≥ 8% positivity rate

Some of those mitigation strategies will include restrictions to higher risk settings like indoor bars and restaurants, which could be applied automatically if certain criteria are met, as well as changes in retail, fitness, personal care settings and more. Continue to wash your ands, wear a mask and social distant

The governor and DCEO announced that the State will expediate a portion of the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) dollars designated for local governments. Through the Local Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (Local CURE) Support Program, the State will take steps to deploy $250 million to local governments in the coming months. The additional state relief funds will help local governments secure reimbursement on eligible costs associated with the emergency response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.  Click here for the press release.

The State of Illinois has released Phase 4 Guidelines beginning Friday, June 26 for conducting business in various industries.  Click here for specific guidelines by business sectors.

On June 17, Governor Pritzker announced a $900 million package of Equity-Driven Community and Business Grant Programs to find specific information on each program click here.
The programs include:
1.  Emergency Rental Assistance – Assistance will be available on a first-come, first-approved basis until funds are exhausted
2.  Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program – Assistance will be available on a first-come, first-approved basis until funds are exhausted
3.  New Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) – Information will be available on June 23 with applications being accepted beginning June 26.
4.  Distressed Capital Program – DCEO will invite applications for the program with a NOFO made available on June 23
5.  Poverty Alleviation Strategies– The actions will begin in June and extend through the summer

Important Guidance to Navigate Reopening
IL. Manufacturers’ Association – Safety & Reopening Guide
National Restaurant Association – Reopening Guidance
US Chamber – Reopening Business
CDC – Reopening Guidance

On May 5, the governor announced Restore Illinois, a five-phased plan to reopen the state. To read about what each phase looks like and what can reopen click here.

On 4/23/2020 President Trump signed off on an additional $484 billion in coronavirus relief efforts which Congress passed. Which includes $321 billion in additional funding for a small-business loan program. This includes $60 billion to be set aside for small lenders.  It also included $60 billion for small-business disaster loans and grants and $75 billion for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing.

ComEd press release on potential scams

Grundy County Health Department has information for all business owners.




Small Business Administration 

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering many loans and grants for small business.

For assistance, please contact:
Joliet Junior College – SBDC
Phone: 815.281.1418  Email:

Starved Rock Alliance – SBDC
Phone: 844.369.8898  Email:

Federal Programs

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act gives more detailed information on each of the below programs.

1.Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – The program will help small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency and loans are available (may be partially forgiven). Click here for more information and visit the U.S. Department of the Treasury for the application and additional information.  The PPP program closed on August 8, 2020. As such, SBA is no longer accepting PPP applications from participating lenders.

2. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
The maximum EIDL is a $2 million working capital loan at a rate of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits with up to a 30-year term
– Payments on Coronavirus EIDL loans are deferred for one year
– Up to $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee
– Approval can be based on a credit score and no first-year tax returns are required
– Borrowers do not have to prove they could not get credit elsewhere
– No collateral is required for loans of $25,000 or less. For loans of more than $25,000, general security interest in business assets will be used for collateral instead of real estate
– Eligible applicants for an EIDL can receive a $10,000 emergency grant within three days of application (through Dec. 31, 2020). Click here for more information.

3. Employee Retention Credit – This program is designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll.  The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.  Click here for more information.

4. Small Business Debt Relief Program – This program will provide immediate relief to small business with non-disaster SBA loans—7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loans on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees for six months. Click here for more information.


State Programs

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund – Temporarily not accepting new applicants at this time.  Low interest loans of up to $50,000.  Click here for more information.

Low-Interest Bridge Loans for Businesses Available – Through this program, the Treasurer’s Office partners with approved financial institutions to provide loans — either lower rate loans, or loans to a business or non-profit that would not otherwise qualify — to Illinois small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Click here for more information.


Community Assistance

City of Morris – Commercial Lease Payment Grant Program         – Click here for application.
Grundy County
We Care of Grundy County
United Way of Grundy County 





Now Hiring

The Department of Employment Services and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity have joined forces to launch a new and updated one-stop-shop dedicated to connecting residents with jobs called Get Hired Illinois.  To see job openings, visit the website at


Below are just a few of the local businesses we know are hiring right now. This is not a comprehensive list, but some that are in urgent need. For more information on local job opportunities visit Grundy Workforce Services’ Job Board at

Walmart in Morris.  Click here to apply.
Aldi in Morris & Aldi Distribution in Dwight.  Click here to apply.
United States Cold Storage in Minooka.  Click here to apply,
Costco Warehouse in Morris.  Click here to apply.
Costco Meat Processing Facility in Morris.  Click here to apply.
Grainger in Minooka.  Click here to apply.

If your company has any immediate employments needs during this pandemic, please let the GEDC know and we will add to the list.


How You Can Help Fellow Grundy County Businesses

Restaurants – Please support locally owned Grundy County restaurants.

Supplies – Might you have additional food on site that you could donate to We Care of Grundy County?  Perhaps your company has extra medical or sanitation supplies for the local healthcare facilities.  Whatever it may be, if you have some thing that you’d like to donate, please send the GEDC an email and we will reach out to those in need.