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. In the meantime, please remember to order from that family owned restaurant, buy supplies from local retailers, and stay safe.
Latest News & Updates
Ongoing COVID Information
For current updates related to COVID-19 in our area, please visit the Grundy County Health Department webpage.
Illinois will enter Phase 5 on June 11
Governor Pritzker announced the State of Illinois will move to Phase 5 of the Restore Ilinois plan on June 11. Phase 5 lets fully vaccinated people resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, stale, or local laws. Illinois still recommends those not vaccinated wear a face covering. Also, conventions, festivals, and large events can take place. and all sectors of the economy can resume at regular capacity. For more information click here.
Illinois will enter Bridge Phase on May 14
Governor Pritzker announced Illinois will move to the bridge phase on May 14 with hopes of a full reopening on June 11. Click here to see what changes are in the bridge phase.
Governor Pritzker Announces Bridge Plan to get Illinois to Phase 5
The governor announced a bridge plan that is meant to move Illinois from the current Phase 4 to Phase 5. Once the state's senior population reaches 70% with is first COVID-19 vaccination, maintains a 20% or lower ICU bed availability rate, and holds steady on COVID rates over a 28-day monitoring period, many businesses will be able to increase allowed capacities. This will not indicate a Phase 5 move, but a bridge phase to get there. To read more, click here.
Grundy County Health Department COVID-19 Vaccination Program is underway.
You may get vaccine updates by tuning in to WCSJ each Monday at 8:40am, through the Grundy County Health Department’s Facebook page, or by visiting grundyhealth.com.
SBA is no longer accepting PPP Applications
The SBA has stopped accepting new PPP applications as the funds have been exhausted before the May 31 deadline.
Congress Passes $900 Billion Coronavirus Relief Package
President Trump signed on December 27, a $900 billion pandemic relief bill into law that includes enhanced unemployment benefits and direct cash payments to individuals. Also included is $284 billion for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Click here for more information on the PPP.
ComEd Provides Bill Assistance to Small Businesses
ComEd announced a new bill-assistance program to help eligible small businesses facing financial difficulties. The program provides eligible small-business customers that are past due on their energy bills with a one-time grant equal to 30 percent of their total ComEd balance (up to $1,000) for a limited time. Customers whose electric service has not been disconnected can then set up their remaining balance due on a payment plan of up to six months. Small-business customers can visit ComEd.com/SmallBizAssistance or call 1-877-4-COMED-1 (1-877-426-6331) to learn more or apply for the Small Business Assistance Program.
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 https://covid-sb.org. 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.
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 (Region 2). 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. 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.
The State Announces $250 Milion in additional Relief to Assist Communities With COVID-19 Emergency Response
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.
Equity-Driven Community and Business Grant Programs
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.
Important Guidance to Navigate Reopening
IL. Manufacturers’ Association – Safety & Reopening Guide
National Restaurant Association – Reopening Guidance
US Chamber – Reopening Business
CDC – Reopening Guidance
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act gives more detailed information on each of the below programs.
- 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). The SBA is no longer accepting PPP applications as funds have been exhausted.
- 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
Click here for more information.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Business & Government Resources
- CDC Guidance for Businesses
- Illinois Department of Commerce
- Illinois Manufacturers Association
- Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center
- Illinois Restaurant Association
- Illinois Retail Merchants Association updates
- Small Business Administration
- IDES – FAQ’s for Unemployment Benefits
- OSHA – Guidance on Preparing Workplaces
- US Chamber of Commerce
- USDA – FAQ’s
- U.S. Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division
- U.S. Department of the Treasury
Taxes and Related Issues
The IRS and Illinois have extended the income tax deadline until May 17.
How You Can Help Fellow Grundy County Businesses
Please support locally owned Grundy County restaurants and small businesses.