Chamber Members:

We hope you’re enjoying another sunny day. It seems as if the information flow has slowed down considerably which is good so those in need can prepare documents for loan and grant applications. As a reminder, we have started a resource page on our website which can be found here: . This page has an archive of all update messages that have been sent out as well as useful documents that review all information shared.

Unfortunately, there is not sunny news to report in terms of unemployment numbers. A record number of over six million people filed unemployment claims in the last week of March. This now means ten million people have now filed for jobless claims since the coronavirus pandemic started. A total of 6,648,000 people filed initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 28, more than double the roughly 3.3 million seasonally adjusted initial claims the previous week. Until now, the highest level on record was 695,000 in October of 1982. To put the figures in some perspective, it took six months to add 10 million people to the unemployment rolls during the Great Recession following the financial crisis in 2008-2009. That has now happened in two weeks with coronavirus. We know that all of you are faced with tough decisions and hope that the information we have been providing is helping to guide you through in any way possible. We also have a great number of Chamber Members that are professionals in these areas that can help you through these decisions. Please do not hesitate to look them up in our directory ( ) and reach out with questions.

We promised a list of local financial institutions that have responded back to our ask whether or not they planned to be offering the PPP grant/loan through the SBA. We thank those that have responded and know at least a few more are still working through the process. Here is what we can share as of right now. We anticipate an update(s) in the near future as more pans out with this lending program.

Chamber Members Participating in the

Paycheck Protection Program / CARES Act grant/loan

Heartland Bank & Trust

Thomas Kentner

(815) 744-0863

First American Bank

Edward J Pizzo

(815) 927-5273

First Secure Community Bank

Steve Jamnik

(815) 230-8013

Woodforest National Bank

David Chipurnoi

(815) 729-1660

Hometown National Bank

Marc Gorsch

Rick Waggoner

(815) 207-4664

*First Midwest Bank will be participating in a number of COVID-19 Client relief programs. Please visit our website at for the latest information or call your First Midwest Bank relationship manager.

More Online training available for small businesses impacted by coronavirus

As we know, all Illinois small businesses can now apply for low-interest disaster loans (SBA EIDL) to help offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Illinois District Office will host free webinars as long as there is demand covering:

  • Eligibility
  • Use of proceeds
  • Terms
  • Filing requirements
  • Additional small business resources

Choose the date and time most convenient for you. All events listed in Central Time. Click the link to register now.

Friday, April 3, 11 a.m.

Friday, April 3, 3 p.m.

Saturday, April 4, 10 a.m. 

All events:

More webinars will be announced soon! Watch your email for future events.

Finally, we have some updated links below that feature new and updated resources that the U.S. Chamber has developed to assist businesses access resources created under the CARES Act (Phase III bill).  Take a look over the Paycheck Protection Program guide that has been updated since we last sent out. Also, a new guide to the original EIDL loans and new information on the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

–          UPDATED – Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist (Paycheck Protection Program)

–          NEW – Guide to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

–          NEW – Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit  

Stay well,

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


Mike Paone

Vice President – Government Affairs

Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry

815.727.5371 main

815.727.5373 direct