Chamber Members:

It is the last week of Phase 3 here in Illinois as the Governor has stated today that all needs have been met for moving onto Phase 4 this Friday, June 26. We’ll share information throughout the week as it become available, but please see the initial information below. Also, make sure you read the update on the Business Interruption Grant from the state.

Monday, Jun. 22, 2020 


Governor Pritzker Releases Guidelines to Safely Reopen Additional Businesses and Industries as State Advances to Next Phase of Restore Illinois 

CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker today released plans to safely continue reopening businesses and industries as Illinois moves into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Working with public health officials and business representatives, guidelines were developed to keep workers and customers safe as the economy recovers. All four regions of the state are currently on track to move into Phase 4 on June 26 as the state continues to make significant progress in reducing new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, with the average 7-day statewide case positivity rate falling to just 2.5 percent as of June 20.

Phase 4 allows for the safe reopening or expansion of several key business segments – such as health and fitness, movies and theater, museums and zoos, as well as indoor dining at restaurants. Phase 4 also allows for expanded gathering sizes, increasing the limit from 10 in Phase 3, to 50 people or fewer. This expanded gathering limit extends to key activities like meetings, events, and funerals. For full guidance and other resources visit:

“Over the last four months, Illinoisans have pulled together with the common mission of keeping each other safe. By staying home and practicing social distancing, the rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to drop and each region throughout the state is prepared to move to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Science and data are the overarching guardrails for how Illinois will keep moving forward. By continuing to wear face coverings and following the guidance from health experts we can continue to safely reopen our economy and move forward together.

“The state of Illinois has made great progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, largely because of the measures our administration enacted to protect residents and communities during this public health crisis,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Our strategy to encourage social distancing and expand testing and contact tracing will enable Illinois communities to continue to take steps to reopen, to return to work and to resume daily activities.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) collaborated closely with local governments, businesses, and other stakeholders in the development of guidelines for Phase 4. In all, more than 150 businesses and regional partners were consulted on the guidelines developed with IDPH to ensure alignment with the State’s Restore Framework and the latest public health data.

“From the beginning, our administration has worked tirelessly to find solutions for businesses and communities impacted by this crisis so they can reopen safely,” said DCEO Acting Director, Michael Negron. “These new guidelines for Phase 4 represent our continued progress in overcoming the virus and will make way for hundreds of thousands more to return to work, and for more Illinoisans and Illinois businesses to come back into the economy.”

To ensure businesses can reopen safely, the state released a common set of standards expected of all employers, while also outlining industry-specific guidelines using a risk-based approach to support unique operational needs of businesses across the state. Industry guidance will help businesses and residents feel safe in returning to many of these new activities that have been closed for the past several months.

Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan creates safety guidelines for the following permitted activities and businesses to resume, with capacity rules in place:

  • Meetings and events: Venues and meeting spaces can resume with the lesser of up to 50 people OR 50% of overall room capacity. Multiple groups are permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups. This includes activities such as conferences and weddings.
  • Indoor and Outdoor recreation: Revised guidelines to allow select indoor recreation facilities (e.g., bowling alleys, skating rinks), as well as clubhouses to reopen. Indoor recreation to operate at lesser of 50 customers OR 50% of facility capacity with outdoor recreation allowing group sizes of up to 50, and permitting multiple groups given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Indoor Dining: Indoor dining can reopen with groups of 10 or less, with tables spaced 6-feet apart in seated areas and with standing areas at no more than 25% of capacity.
  • Museums: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; museums should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Zoos: Can reopen with no more than 25% occupancy, and with interactive exhibits, indoor exhibits, and rides closed; guided tours should be limited to 50 people or fewer per group; zoos should have a plan to limit congregation via advance ticket sales and timed ticketing; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Cinema and Theatre: Indoor seated theaters, cinemas, and performing arts centers to allow admission of the lesser of up to 50 guests OR 50% of overall theater or performance space capacity (applies to each screening room); outdoor capacity limited to 20% of overall theater or performance space capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Outdoor seated spectator events: Outdoor spectator sports can resume with no more than 20% of seating capacity; concessions permitted with restrictions.
    Film production: Allow no more than 50% of sound stage or filming location capacity; crowd scenes should be limited to 50 people or fewer.

Industries with revised guidelines in Phase 4:

  • Youth and Recreational Sports: Revised guidelines allow competitive gameplay and tournaments; youth and recreational sports venues can operate at 50% of facility capacity, 20% seating capacity for spectators, and group sizes up to 50 with multiple groups permitted during practice and competitive games given venues have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups; concessions permitted with restrictions.
  • Health and fitness centers: Revised guidelines allow gyms to open at 50% capacity and allow group fitness classes of up to 50 people with new safety guidelines for indoors, with multiple groups permitted given facilities have space to appropriately social distance and can limit interaction between groups.
  • Day camps: Water-based activities permitted in accordance with IDPH guidelines; no more than 50% of facility capacity with group size of no more than 15 participants in a group, unless participants changing weekly.

Additionally, retail, service counters, offices, personal care (including salons, barber, nail salons), manufacturing and other industries allowed to reopen in Phase 3 will continue to operate at a reduced capacity.

To help businesses prepare to reopen and remain in compliance with new guidelines over the next two weeks, DCEO has released a new set of downloadable materials. Business toolkits are complete with signage, training checklists and other resources to help business owners and workers implement safety procedures and adhere to the latest capacity restrictions. Materials for businesses and operators pertaining to Phases 3 and 4 of the Restore Plan, can be found at

During Phase 4, common public health standards remain in effect – including the use of face coverings and social distancing. Industry-specific guidelines may vary but are designed to help employers, workers and residents feel safe in transitioning to the next phase of reopening the state. All industries should continue to conduct regular cleanings, employee health screenings upon entry and mid-shift, and allow employees who can continue working from home to do so.

The state’s move to Phase 4 of the plan is expected to bring approximately 400,000 additional Illinoisans back to the workplace across all industries. While Phase 4 marks the return of 7 percent of the state’s workforce, it accounts for about $30 billion in annual GDP returned to operations and represents continuous progress towards fully reopening the state’s economy.

Phase 4 guidelines were designed by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) in coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure that as more activities and businesses resume operations, policies are in place to protect the health and safety of Illinois residents.

A PDF attachment covers the full Phase 4 information above as well as this link:

For all of those that have been asking about golf outing restrictions, a PDF attachment to this message outlines the new golf directives for Phase 4.

SBA to Disclose PPP Fund Recipients

After Congressional pressure continued for sharing information on companies that have received PPP funding, the SBA and Treasury have come to an agreement to share some information. If an organization received more than $150,000 then they can expect their names to be released along with some potential identifying information (not sure what this means). Initially, the committee pushing for the release was asking for all loan recipients to be names, but this agreement will cover about 75% instead.

The agreement is said to please those looking for transparency and at the same time protect the small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors from sharing personal income and payroll records. Loans that were below the $150,000 level will only be classified by zip, industry, and general demographic categories.

SBA Announces Tool for Matching Small Businesses to PPP Lenders

The SBA has announced a new online tool for small businesses and non-profits that are eligible for PPP funds. This site will match those in need with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s), Minority Depository Institutions (MDI’s), Certified Development Companies (CDC’s), Microlenders, and traditional smaller asset size lenders. For those of you that have not yet applied, this may be a useful tool if you do not have a banking relationship. For our members in the financial field, this may be an opportunity to be added to one of these lists if you are not already and have interest in doing so. Further information can be found here:

Illinois To Begin Borrowing Federal Funds to Pay Unemployment Benefits

On Friday, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced it will begin to borrow funds from the federal government to cover unemployment claims in Illinois. The Department anticipates borrowing about $300 million through the end of June and is approved to borrow up to $3.8 billion through September of this year.

Report on Real Estate Market

Homes sales in the Chicago metro area last month dropped by about 40 percent compared to May 2019, and home prices went flat, according to data just released by Illinois Realtors. There’s only been one other month when home sales dropped by more than 40 percent: February 2009, in the depths of the recession following the 2008 financial meltdown. Bad as that news is, Crain’s reported last week that so far in June, large numbers of homes have gone under contract and the number of homes listed for sale is rising. Both portend a rebound in the next few months. The sales declines in both the city and the larger metro area were considerably larger than the nationwide figure. Home sales in May dropped by 26.6 percent across the U.S. from a year earlier

Finally, for those that were anticipating the Illinois Business Interruption Grant to open today, the DCEO announced that the process will be delayed until tomorrow. No further details have been shared as to what time and what other information will be needed to fill out the application. Here is the link to the site as we’ve been told it will contain the link to apply:

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


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