Chamber Members:

Can you believe that Christmas is six months away? Has time really flown by since the beginning of the pandemic, as it is kind of hard to believe we’re already getting ready for 4th of July Fireworks already? A quick reminder that June 30th is the last day that you can apply for the PPP funds with a local lending institution and don’t forget about the re-opening of the SBA EIDL loan with the forgivable advance grant of up to $10,000.

Weekly Jobs Report
Unfortunately for the 14th straight week there are 1 million plus jobless claims. The newest report from the end of last week shows 1.5 million filings. These new additions bring the total to around 19.5 million continuing claims which is still down from previous highs. The recent spikes in cases may lead to further claims if states revert back to shutdowns.

In addition to jobless claims, over 700,000 individuals have applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance aid that is designed for self-employed and independent contractors.

Tax Deadline Extension? 
As of right now the deadline to file taxes stands at July 15 after the recent extension in response to COVID-19. We are now hearing that there is a slight chance that this deadline will once again be extended. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated that this possibility is something he is thinking about and did not rule out the consideration.

Additional Stimulus Checks in Response to Case Spike
Over the last two months Republican lawmakers have been cold to the idea of a new round of direct payments to individuals. Recent discussions and comments from President Trump indicate that he is open to the second round of $1,200 checks that the recent HEROES Act called for. In addition, with the recent spikes in states that had seen relatively low COVID cases until now, more Republicans are coming around to the possibility as millions of Americans have been newly impacted. If something does progress, watch for it to be more targeted than before to those in need.

Nonprofit State Funding
Governor Pritzker’s office has indicated that nonprofits that accepted PPP funds should not be able to receive full state funds. The Department of Human Services and the Department of Children and Family Services are looking to reduce or delay state funds meant for these nonprofits.

During the pandemic, the state pledged to continue payments for nonprofits that provided services whether they were providing at 100% or not. The purpose was to keep agencies afloat and the complaint now is that these nonprofits that took PPP funds are getting double paid.

It seems though that the state is not taking into consideration the numerous challenges and constraints that the coronavirus has presented to these agencies who serve thousands of individuals. The need for service has grown tremendously through this time and will certainly continue to grow as we progress back to “normal.” Now is not the time to punish nonprofits for accepting funds to keep their doors open as they continue to provide critical services.

Pritzker Administration Announces Federal SBA Declaration to Make Additional Low-Interest Loans Available for Businesses and Communities Damaged by Civil Unrest

Following request by State of Illinois, SBA declaration will unlock low interest, long-term loans; Program initially available for Cook and surrounding counties

SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker today announced the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved the state’s request for federal assistance to help businesses in the northern Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will. The declaration stems from looting and other damages that took place in connection to civil unrest occurring May 26 through June 8, 2020. The approved SBA disaster declaration makes low-interest loans of up to $2 million available to eligible for businesses, homeowners, renters, and non-profits.

To help businesses facing damages as the result of recent civil unrest and looting, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) worked closely with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) to survey the damage from recent civil unrest and help businesses submit documentation.  To be eligible for an SBA declaration, at least 25 homes and/or businesses in a county must sustain major, uninsured losses of 40-percent or more.
“Without a question, COVID-19 has placed an unprecedented burden on businesses across our state, and recent damage sustained during civil unrest only makes matters more challenging for business owners,” said Acting Director of DCEO, Michael Negron. “These SBA disaster loans will provide an essential resource for Illinois businesses who are looking ahead to make repairs and reopen safely.”

The DCEO-IEMA survey of damages in Cook County identified at least 40 businesses that sustained major damages and uninsured losses.  Another 95 businesses in Cook County sustained minor damage. The damage assessment estimates more than $20 million dollars in damages due to recent civil unrest.  This input was critical to receiving the SBA’s disaster declaration, and for triggering the availability of targeted, low-interest loans that will now be made available to small businesses and non-profits impacted by property damage and looting.

“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of Illinois with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said U.S. Small Business Administration, Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

Businesses who experienced physical damage or economic injury in counties that are not noted here are encouraged to fill out this form to assist with obtaining a county declaration through SBA which would allow these loans to be available in their county. To be eligible for an SBA declaration, at least 25 homes and/or businesses in a county must sustain major, uninsured losses of 40-percent or more.  SBA loans can help repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate.  Homeowners and renters can apply for loans to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.  Businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply for loans to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets.

Applications for loans are available now and can be found on SBA’s website. Businesses and non-profits can borrow up to $2 million, homeowners can borrow up to $200,000 for real estate, and homeowners and renters may borrow up to $40,000 for personal property. Loan applications can also be downloaded from
In order to accommodate with the coronavirus health guidance, a Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center (VDLOC) has been established by SBA to provide additional information and loan assistance.  Applicants can also receive one-on-one assistance via phone, skype, and webinars.  Virtual customer support representatives can help applicants complete their applications and answer questions related to the application process.

Virtual Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Phone: 571-422-6016 or 470-363-6079
Open: Monday – Friday
Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Note: Closed Friday, July 3 in observance of Independence Day

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is August 24, 2020.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is March 23, 2021.  Any individual or business needing additional information, or wishing to apply for a loan, should contact the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

Completed applications should be mailed to:
U.S. Small Business Administration,
Processing and Disbursement Center
14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Illinois small businesses are encouraged to reach out to business advisors at one of the 41 Illinois Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) located across the state for any additional questions regarding grants, loans, and other available resources. Nearest SBDCs can be located here.

Finally, two reminders on upcoming video conferences. The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will be hosting a webinar this upcoming Monday and all of our members are invited to participate. The webinar will begin at 1:00 PM. This is the perfect opportunity to have all of your questions answered about the next phase and grant eligibility. You can register here:
Make sure that you register to join us on our next Virtual Conference this Friday (tomorrow), June 26 at 11:00 AM.
Will County Update – Pandemic Funding, Ballots by Mail, and Census Information 
Speakers and Topics:

Denise Winfrey, Interim Will County Executive – Update on Will County Programs and Projects including $120 million distribution of CARES Act funds
Lauren Staley Ferry, Will County Clerk – Information about New Ballot by Mail Process
Quinn Adamowski, Census Engagement Coordinator – Census 2020 Progress and Next Steps

Register here:

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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