Chamber Members:

Happy April 1st to everyone! We have a few new documents and information to share today regarding the CARES Act funding which we’ll refer to as PPP (the Paycheck Protection Program) going forward and a new fund. The US Treasury Department has even shared a sample document that will be used in the lending process.

Paycheck Protection Program Quick Review

  • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by eight weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
  • Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
  • SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
  • Business owners can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
  • Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3. The program will be available through June 30.

Click here: Information Sheet for Borrowers – this is a very helpful document that you can use to answer questions you may still have. A PDF is attached to this message as well for your use.

Click Here: Sample Borrower Application Form – this is another helpful document to become familiar with. Ultimately, you’ll still need to go through a local lending institution. A PDF is attached to this message as well for your use.

You can visit the US Treasury Department web site for all of their information during the coronavirus impact.

A note from the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

During this challenging time, we want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information regarding all of our resources available to you. Due to the recently passed federal stimulus package, your business may be eligible for aid from the federal government. Learn more about the current available options below.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will provide $349 billion in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to small businesses and non-profits. Portions of these loans will be forgiven to the extent that recipients maintain their existing workforce or rehire. Loans can be up to $10 million and interest rates are maxed at 4% for portions of the loan that do not qualify for loan forgiveness. Learn more here.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan – The program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Borrowers can request an emergency advance of $10,000 within 3 days of submitting the application and do not have to repay the advance if they are denied a loan. Learn more here.

Training and Advising for Existing Businesses – Additional funds are provided to SBDCs, Women’s Business Centers, and Minority Business Centers for education, training and advising to small businesses. Small Businesses can take advantage of this now.

Aid to Midsize Businesses and Nonprofits – $454 billion will be available from the U.S. Treasury to provide financial assistance through loan programs established by the Federal Reserve. As part of that, a special fund is dedicated to midsize businesses and nonprofits with 500-10,000 employees to provide financing to banks and other lenders to make direct loans to these entities. The interest rate on those loans would be capped at 2%, with no payments due for the first six months. These loans cannot be forgiven.

As previously announced, there are additional small business grants and loans available including the Hospitality Emergency Grant (applications due April 1), Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund and Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. Learn more here.

We will continue to update you on any additional information we receive from the federal government, which is forthcoming on a daily basis. If your company or industry is adding jobs during this time, please let us know so we can partner with you to find workers.

Thank you,

Erin Guthrie


Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

P.S. We are still looking for organizations to donate, make or sell personal protective equipment (PPE). If you are interested, please contact the following:

Donate: Contact

Make: Go to

Sell: Contact

More information available here.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business is conducting a survey among small business owners to understand how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted small businesses. This survey is completely optional. Your responses will be anonymous and will not impact your eligibility to receive any financial assistance. However, your responses will help us communicate your needs to policymakers and provide better recommendations for what they can do to help business owners in this time of crisis. Please fill out the survey here.

A reminder that locally the United Way of Will County has enacted our Disaster/Crisis Protocol which includes a 3-prong approach:
• Identify resources for those in need
• Identify opportunities to help those in need
• Enact local response donation fund.

Resources Available
To seek assistance we encourage one to call our 24/7 Helpline operated by Crisis Line of Will County; P: 815-722-3344; W:
We also have a Community Resource document that is a compilation of services available and refers to common questions received by our office. This document and information will soon be on our website We contract with a Joliet, small business owner to maintain our website and are working with him to expedite the needed updates.

Opportunities to Help
In order to assess the opportunities to help, we are actively working with community-based partners on identifying their needs. Currently, we have a survey gathering the in-kind needs, unforeseen hardships, and changes to hours of operations or programs for local organizations. Initial findings are consistent:
• 65% report financial needs to assist with operations and programs due to increased cleaning/sanitizing costs and/or cancellation of fundraising events.
• 69% report a critical lack of cleaning, sanitizing and proper PPE including masks and gloves.
• Organizations that rely on volunteer support are experiencing volunteer shortages.
As we continue our outreach efforts, these opportunities will continue to unfold. Our Online Volunteer Center:, is currently equipped with an on-going list of in-kind donations needed, as well as a link for volunteers to give their time.

Local Donation Fund
With the surge in unforeseen needs, It’s critical that these organizations have the resources they need to continue to operate at the highest capacity. A donation to the Will County COVID-19 Response Fund will support the agencies that are ensuring our neighbors can access basic needs in this time of crisis.
• Will County COVID-19 Response Fund Link:

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund

    • The Office of Minority of Economic Empowerment was recently informed of the Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund which is in partnership between Verizon and Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). They are offering grants up to $10,000 to support small businesses. For full information regarding the grant, please visit: Below is a snapshot of information regarding the grant.
      • Eligibility:
        • “LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of COVID-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital” All businesses that meet the eligibility can apply. However, they are prioritizing the following businesses:
          • Businesses in LISC-supported census tracts* In Illinois, this is the areas of Chicago and Peoria. For more information, please reach out to LISC.
          • MBE/WBE/VBE certified businesses
          • Businesses in operation for at least one year
          • SMALL businesses – especially those with 10 or fewer full time employees.

*For those not in a current LISC-supported census tract, your businesses may still apply; there are a number of factors that LISC will weigh to determine where grants will go and location is just one.

        • Funds Uses
          • The funds can be used for paying rent, utilities, meeting payroll, paying outstanding debt to vendors, and other immediate operational costs.
        • Apply:
        • Deadline:
          • 10:59 p.m. central time on Saturday, April 4th
        • Questions:
          • Please be sure to reach out to for questions and troubleshooting as this is a grant from them and not the State of Illinois.

Phase 4 funding latest news

House Democrats are racing ahead with plans to craft another round of massive coronavirus relief, promoting a huge job-creation package. This action would aim to fill voids in the first three massive coronavirus bills, providing new funding for hard-hit states; ensuring that medical providers have ample supplies; and expanding paid leave for home-bound workers.

Yet the central thrust of the emerging legislation will be an enormous boost in infrastructure funding, designed both to create jobs amid the economic downturn and bolster the nation’s health, transportation, broadband and education.

Finally, a little different topic to end the update for today. Governor Pritzker has suggested that the state may have to move toward a heavily or totally vote-by-mail system for the November election. Pritzker’s comment came at the end of his press conference yesterday. The governor said, given the uncertain future track of the COVID-19 pandemic and real fears among voters and poll workers about contagion, “we’re going to have to look at the idea for the general election that will move all or substantially all voting” from in-person polling places to mailboxes.

Stay well,

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Staff and Board of Directors



Mike Paone

Vice President

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry

815.727.5371 main

815.727.5373 direct