Chamber members:

Today at 9:30 AM was the reopening of the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. The fund was replenished with $310 billion after running dry in the initial phase of lending. Going forward, a few announcements were made regarding limits on lenders.

SBA limits on PPP

The SBA announced on Sunday it is limiting the maximum dollar amount of loans each bank can issue to $60 billion, or 10% of $600 billion allocated so far in both the initial and infusion rounds of lending. The cap is intended is to help all lenders have equal access for their small business clients as numerous complaints surfaced following the initial lending phase. Congress has set aside $60 billion of the $310 billion total specifically for small financial institutions with $50 billion or less in assets to ensure more access for true small businesses and organizations. Hopefully, this will erase the fear that additional funding could also be exhausted in a matter of days, will not be enough to meet demand, and might not reach the entities that need it the most.

Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis 

The changes SBA announced on Sunday also include allowing lenders to send at least 15,000 completed applications in one batch. The agency’s E-Tran system was overwhelmed by the volume during the initial round and was often inaccessible, delaying the processing of some loans. We are hearing that the system was already overwhelmed today as early as an hour to two hours after opening.

Additional SBA training

The SBA held two quick seminars on Saturday for further training on PPP applications and will continue to offer more sessions as demand necessitates. Here is the link to view all opportunities:

Announcement of Illinois Small Business Loan additional funding

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs’ office is making an additional $250 million available for small businesses hurting from the coronavirus outbreak This second installment is coming after the initial $250 million special bridge loan program has been nearly entirely distributed in a matter of weeks across the state. The money through local banks, credit unions and community lending institutions across the state that agreed to lend the money at below-market rates. Here is the link for more information:

Illinois DCEO is offering a few webinars through the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment to provide the latest updates regarding federal and state programs. They will answer any questions regarding the available resources open to businesses. These are open conversations with OMEE constituents: racial / ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran-owned businesses.

  • Wednesday, April 29 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM
  • Wednesday, May 6 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM
  • Wednesday, May 20 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM

To register for one or more of these conversations, click here

May is just around the corner and May 4 is the target date for the Senate and House to reconvene in Washington D.C. Congress is slated to take up additional legislation to provide relief to individuals and small businesses impacted by the coronavirus-forced economic shutdowns. Stay tuned for additional updates on proposals for the next phase.

Illinois and bail out discussions

President Trump tweeted the following as the topic continues to get attention, “Why should the people and taxpayers of America be bailing out poorly run states (like Illinois, as example) and cities, in all cases Democrat run and managed, when most of the other states are not looking for bailout help? Then, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley added that additional relief funds “should not bail out states” like Illinois “that have recklessly spent and taxed their way into oblivion. When questioned about the remarks, Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin said “I agree with former Gov. Haley to a point. Illinois deserves penny zero from the feds to fix our pension systems. The Illinois legislature owns it and needs to step up to the plate and fix the problem. However, Illinois citizens and employers make a significant investment every year to the federal Treasury and they deserve the same treatment as any other state including the state of South Carolina.”

Governor Pritzker added, “Coronavirus has blown a hole in every state budget in the nation. If we don’t get any funds, it will be extremely difficult, not only for Illinois but other states.” He also reminder everyone that “We pay more in federal taxes than we get back.” Illinois has long been a “payer” state when it comes to the amount of funds received back from the Federal government vs. what we send off in taxes to Washington D.C.

Stay at home order challenged

A judge from Clay County in southern Illinois today ruled that Governor Pritzker exceeded his authority in issuing a statewide stay at home order. The lawsuit was filed by Rep. Darren Bailey and the judge’s ruling now applies only to Bailey personally. Going forward, it remains to be seen if this will open the door to legal challenges from any number of groups and individuals.

The Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission held an emergency board meeting today to withdraw a controversial rule that would grant benefits to essential employees who become ill from COVID-19 even if the workers cannot prove they got the virus while on the job. This issue is not over with as it will likely come back in another form and/or as a piece of legislation. At issue is the overstepping of authority as current law should be sufficient enough to show that your workplace is in fact where the virus was contracted.

Have you filled out your Census form yet?

Census responses are still being counted as we move toward the goal of a complete and accurate count of everyone living in the United States. If you have not already participated, now is the time to submit yours. You can also view response rates as they are now available online. Click here to see how the Joliet area compares to the rest of the country:

Finally, watch your email for a video conference announcement. We will have final details to share on our next video conference with Congressman Bill Foster tomorrow in an email blast.

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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