We are halfway through the week, although it seems like we should be at the weekend already. This update is going to be light as most are likely still reviewing and talking about the Governors Restore Illinois plan. If you have missed out on the details from yesterday’s update or haven’t caught anywhere else, check out the archive message section on our covid page at www.jolietchamber.com or look for all of our posted resources on this topic there as well.
The most feedback that is coming in from the Restore plan is whether the targets are achievable. Most common question seems to be why a full 28 days rather than 14 days that some other states have used. The Governor remarked that he is not the one making these rules, but rather it is the doctors that he is listening to. His explanation for the 28-day period is that the feeling is it takes this long to determine whether the rate has really stabilized or has dropped.
We will continue to monitor and discuss the plan and look for your feedback on how this will impact your business.
CARES Act 2 Latest
Speaker Pelosi has promised that we’ll definitely see more funding for PPP and the program will likely be altered. The changes will include an extension of the pay-back period and the assurance that funds will find the most vulnerable small businesses. She also mentioned that a set amount of the funds would be dedicated to businesses with 25 or less employees.
Democrats still are pushing for state and municipality funding, unemployment benefit expansion, more testing ability, and another possible stimulus payment. Republicans meanwhile dig deeper on the topic of shielding companies from liability and vow to slow things down to see the impact of the already promised funds. We will see if anything develops vote wise before the previously mentioned Memorial Day guess. With all this said, in the end companies need to either be open or receive grants to cover operational costs so they’re not closing up shop.
Another PPP frequently asked question document was released yesterday and can be found here: https://www.sba.gov/document/support–faq-lenders-borrowers . We are hearing that the program has gone through about two-thirds of the newly infused funds. Forecasts are the remaining portion will likely dry up over the next few days. Questions are surfacing regarding the situation where an offer has been made to employees to return to work and they decline the opportunity. Worry sets in that the borrower’s PPP loan forgiveness amount will be reduced because they have not brought back all employees. Question #40 addresses this specific topic as the SBA and Treasury intend to issue an interim final rule excluding laid-off employees whom the borrower offered to rehire (for the same salary/wages and same number of hours) from the CARES Act’s loan forgiveness reduction calculation. The interim final rule will specify that, to qualify for this exception, the borrower must have made a good faith, written offer of rehire, and the employee’s rejection of that offer must be documented by the borrower. Employees and employers should be aware that employees who reject offers of re-employment may forfeit eligibility for continued unemployment compensation.
Special thanks to Sue Olenek from the Will County Health Department & Community Health Center as she delivered a highly informative presentation during today’s virtual conference center. A great update that will be posted on our COVID-19 resource page for those that weren’t able to join us. Make sure to register for this Friday at 10 am as we welcome Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk for city update.
Finally, this week the update has been wrapped up with a reminder. Today’s reminder is to direct you to the Illinois Department of Public Health website where you can find COVID-19 resources that can be posted in your workplace and/or shared with your employees:
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Staff and Board of Directors
Vice President – Government Affairs
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry