The DuPage Convention & Visitors Bureau has gathered information for businesses on COVID-19 including resources from DuPage County, the State of Illinois and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
See below for resources and direct links.
March 18, 2021
Governor Pritzker announced that Illinois is “cautiously moving towards normalcy” and will be relaxing some of the restrictions in the Restore Illinois plan, particularly those around meetings and events. Effective immediately, the guidelines for events within hotels are as follows:
- Social events (including weddings, retirement parties, baby showers, etc.)
- Indoors: Lesser of 50 people OR 50% room capacity
- Outdoors: Lesser of 100 people OR 50% space capacity
- Meetings, conventions, trade shows in hotel ballrooms
- If room capacity is 200 people or above: Lesser of 250 people OR 25% room capacity
- If room capacity is less than 200 people: Lesser of 50 people OR 50% room capacity
Mitigations for attractions, outdoor festivals, and spectator events have also been adjusted, please find a list of the various industry guidelines here.
The Governor also outlined a plan to further ease restrictions once Illinois achieves metrics to move us into a “Bridge Phase” between phase 4 and 5. This phase will start once 70% of Illinoisans over 65 receive at least one vaccine dose (as of today, that number is 58%). With the current vaccination rate, it is estimated that it will take approximately two weeks to reach this phase. Under the Bridge Phase, the following guidelines will apply to events within hotels:
- Social events
- Indoors: maximum of 250 people
- Outdoors: maximum of 500 people
- Meetings, conventions, trade shows
- Lesser of 1,000 people or 60% of room capacity (percentage capacity applied for event sizes above the capacity limits allowed for social events / 250 people)
Individuals with proof of full vaccination (14 days after receiving a final vaccine dose) or a negative COVID-19 PCR test 1-3 days prior to an event do not count against capacity limits.
Throughout both of these phases, hotels and other venues will continue to be required to follow the state’s operating guidelines for social events and meetings, conventions and trade shows. This includes the continuation of the closure of dance floors at social events/weddings. These guidelines will likely be updated in the coming days and weeks. It is crucial to continue to obey by these regulations to avoid violations from state or local officials and prevent liability related to negligence claims by employees or guests.
Governor Pritzker also outlined the metrics to progress the state into phase 5, when the state will fully reopen, and events will be restored to 100% capacity. That will take place when 50% of residents 16 and over have received at least one vaccine dose (as of today, that number is at 28%). Of course, that is also dependent on the state not seeing major upticks in hospitalizations or experiencing another surge in COVID-19 cases.
Cases by county can be found on the state’s coronavirus website.
To check on the status of a specific region, visit IDPH’s regional metrics site.
ComEd Bill Assistance Program
ComEd has just launched a new assistance program to help small businesses who are facing financial difficulties during the COVID-19 crisis. ComEd’s Small Business Assistance 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. In addition, 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. For details on this program, see below. As a reminder, ComEd’s Helping Hands Program was also launched earlier in the week to provide assistance to residential customers facing hardships. For more information, visit their website.
BARS & RESTAURANTS: COCKTAILS FOR PICKUP AND DELIVERY
Illinois legislators late Saturday night, May 23rd, overwhelmingly approved a measure aimed at helping bars and restaurants, allowing establishments to sell cocktails for pickup and delivery in sealed containers. Third-party services like Grubhub and DoorDash would be prohibited from making cocktail deliveries. The measure also extends liquor licenses for 120 days and delays license fees for six months after restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen to the public. To take effect immediately upon the governor’s signature and expire in one year.
PHASE 4 SPORTS POLICY
Updated guidelines were issued on January 15, 2021, outlining four different levels of play based on risk categories. This guidance pertains to all youth and adult recreational sports, including, but not limited to, school-based sports (IHSA & IESA), travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, recreational leagues and centers, and park district sports programs. This guidance does NOT pertain to professional sports leagues or college division level sports. Please click here for comprehensive information.
DUPAGE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
The DuPage County Health Department has put together information for businesses on COVID-19, including guidance, food facility guidelines, water sampling, CDC guidance, education, outreach and more. Click here for details.
- If potential exposure to COVID-19 in the community/workplace: Click here
- If potential exposure to confirmed case of COVID-19: Click here
- If diagnosed with COVID-19: Click here
The workNet DuPage Career Center has funds available to help cover the cost of training staff to meet new guidelines or so that their jobs can be repurposed and layoffs averted. For information on these grants, please contact Ron Schlager (630) 955-2037, email@example.com or visit their website.
If you have to layoff staff, there are resources available free of charge for those individuals (including up to $10,000/person of funding assistance for necessary job training.) Affected workers should visit www.worknetdupage.org to access services.
Shared with us by our partners at DCEO, Bringg offers a unified platform for delivery, curbside, click and collect, with their North American Headquarters in Evanston, IL. The company has released a new SME solution for FREE to help businesses manage delivery to customers. Using BringgNOW small business owners can quickly load incoming orders, dispatch deliveries to their own drivers or crowdsourced fleets and deliver items to customers with a fully-branded, real-time experience.
DUPAGE FOUNDATION COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND
RESOURCES AND RELIEF PROGRAMS
- U.S. Travel's CARES Act
- State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response
- Illinois Department of Revenue Taxpayer Resources (Employers)
- Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) Information for Employers
- Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program
- Emergency Small Business Grants and Loan Assistance
The U.S. Senate passed the House version of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) legislation:
- Under the language in the House bill, the payroll expenditure requirement drops to 60% from 75% but is now a cliff, meaning that borrowers must spend at least 60% on payroll or none of the loan will be forgiven.
- Borrowers can use the 24-week period to restore their workforce levels and wages to the pre-pandemic levels required for full forgiveness. This must be done by Dec. 31, a change from the previous deadline of June 30.
- The legislation includes two new exceptions allowing borrowers to achieve full PPP loan forgiveness even if they don’t fully restore their workforce.
- New borrowers now have five years to repay the loan instead of two. Existing PPP loans can be extended up to 5 years if the lender and borrower agree. The interest rate remains at 1%.
- The bill allows businesses that took a PPP loan to also delay payment of their payroll taxes, which was prohibited under the CARES Act.
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
Illinois Economic Injury Disaster Loan The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering Illinois businesses low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information, visit their website or review the resources below.
- Start you disaster loan application now: Click here
- Disaster loan assistance: Click here or click here
- Stay up-to-date: Click here
- For frequently asked questions: Click here
- Register for webinars on the Economic Injury Disaster Loans by clicking here. The trainings will cover program eligibility, use of proceeds, terms, filing requirements, and additional small business resources.
Contact Information for the U.S. Small Business Administration Local staff is on-hand and ready to assist. To reach the District or Branch Office, please contact: