Chamber members:

A light update today, but some breaking news is sure to brighten your day especially if you have been waiting on PPP or EIDL funding.

The Senate has approved roughly $484 billion in new assistance for small businesses, hospitals, and more funding for testing. The agreement was passed by a voice vote after days of negotiations. A House vote is now expected to take place on Thursday morning. The deal includes an additional $310- $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including $60 billion specifically for community banks and smaller lenders, as well as $75 billion for hospitals, and $25 billion for testing. The plan also includes $60 billion in loans and grants for the separate SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)program.

Good information on Responsible Reopening & Rehiring, COVID-19 response, Workers’ Comp, Taxes, and a possible return of legislators in this video update from Todd Maisch, Illinois Chamber of Commerce President & CEO.

With that said about reopening, we did hear more from Gov. Pritzker today regarding his thoughts on what/when a reopen or modification from his stay at home order could look like. “The result of (state action so far) has been the pushing out what had been anticipated to be a peaking in the middle or near the end of April. So, it’s been pushed out now, according to the models, to maybe mid-May, at a lower level,” Pritzker told the Washington Post in an interview. “We will be making some changes to the stay-at-home order,” Pritzker said. “But it is true that it is working. . .. To remove it, as I see some other governors may want to do, to remove it entirely is to simply open everything back up to infection.” Pritzker said a near-total immediate reopening of retail, entertainment venues and other businesses, as recently was ordered in Georgia, is not happening here. “I’ve ruled that out for now.” He did mention that he could consider opening outdoor facilities like golf courses for limited use.

Attached to this email is a lengthy, but extremely helpful Frequently Asked Questions/Answers PDF from IDES. They are still struggling to keep up with the influx of applications, technological issues, among other inefficiencies so hang in there if you need to work with them.

Finally, yesterday saw the opening of the Save Small Business grant program through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and their partners. Unfortunately, the system was swamped immediately after 15,000 applications were received within minutes of the open. A vast majority of those who tried to apply were turned away. Our local U.S. Chamber Great Lakes Region office wants all to know that they are terribly sorry for the situation that occurred. (click here to read their Foundation letter explaining this in more detail).  They recognize that this crisis is placing a tremendous strain on our members and your families.  They remain committed to doing everything they can to help during this time and we echo that here at the Joliet Chamber.

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

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