Chamber Members:

Today is Thursday so that means we get our weekly unemployment reports. As a bonus, with the observed holiday tomorrow, we also get jobs numbers. So below you will find that information as well as some other announcements. Have an enjoyable and safe 4th of July weekend! Our update will be back on Monday.

Unemployment and Jobs Reports

Employers added 4.8 million to the payroll in June after a revised 2.7 million gain in the prior month, according to Labor Department figures. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 450 points Thursday morning, climbing about 1.7% after the Labor Department report.

The Labor Department also showed the unemployment rate fell for a second month to 11.1%. Initial applications for unemployment benefits came in at 1.43 million new applicants. Continuing claims rose slightly to 19.3 million in the week ending June 20. About 17.8 million Americans remain unemployed, down from 23.1 million in April. Roughly 7.8 million people who were unemployed in May found a job in June.

Economy … Hang in There

Indicators of how the economy is performing in real-time point to an overall weakening. The data based on spending, retail foot traffic, and job listings show that after a rapid recovery the recent spike in virus cases has stalled the recovery.

The above jobs report is based on middle of June numbers before the states getting hit hardest started to really climb in cases. Nonetheless, Illinois is certainly performing much better and with continued efforts to follow guidelines and proper procedures we should hopefully miss the resurgence. A spokeswoman for Governor Pritzker said that the governor and medical experts at the Illinois Department of Public Health are watching the data closely to see whether the looser restrictions in the new phase have any effect on the state’s health care system.

Larger Individual Payments Supported by President Trump

President Trump said in an interview with Fox Business that he supports another round of economic impact payments to individuals. The President said that he supported the measure as part of another stimulus package, so long as it is “done properly.” “I support actually larger numbers than the Democrats, but it’s got to be done properly,” Trump said. “I want the money getting to people to be larger so they can spend it. I want the money to get there quickly and in a non-complicated fashion.”

DCEO Announces Investment in Small Business Development Centers

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity has announced an $11.5 million investment to support and expand the State’s network of Small Business Development Centers. Seven new centers have opened around the state. The total investment is a combination of funds from the SBA, the State of Illinois, and matching funds from partner organizations.

The SBDC’s allow small business to have free access to one-on-one confidential small business advising, guidance, and resources. The centers are also able to link companies to much needed assistance programs. Of the seven new offices, one of them is located right here in Joliet at the main campus of Joliet Junior College. We, as a Chamber, have already begun to work with them to collaborate on potential offerings and expect to have more information in the very near future.

Childcare and Education Focused Relief Package

Yesterday Democrats in the Senate released a new $430 billion package that focuses on childcare and schools. It follows the path of the CARES Act by setting aside $175 billion for K-12 schools, $132 billion for higher education, $33 billion for aid that governors can direct, and $50 billion for childcare. The bill also would set aside $1.5 billion programs aimed at preventing child abuse and neglect.

This should be on the radar along with other next phase proposals of pandemic relief after the 4th of July break. Lawmakers will attempt to finished this among other items such as unemployment benefits that expire at the end of the month, liability protections across the board, and increased funding for testing, treatment, and vaccine development by the August recess.

PPP Lender Fatigue

As reported the other day, the Senate has voted to extend the PPP funds past the June 30 deadline. After the House passed yesterday, we are awaiting the signature of the President. Moving forward, a new proposal is in discussion that would create a recovery loan that would extend over as much as 20 years for recovery of severely affected companies.

The structure would separate a portion for payroll expense and non-payroll. The non-payroll amount would be the part that could be repaid over 20 years and would carry a 2% interest rate. This so far is in draft form and some questions have come forward from lenders regarding issues with regulators. So far during the pandemic, lenders have served over 5 million borrowers with an amount of $500 billion in loans so they may be a little overwhelmed and hesitant to jump into another program.

New Infrastructure Bill

The House passed the INVEST in America Act (HR2) infrastructure bill yesterday with $1.5 trillion for everything from roads to broadband, but it has been labeled dead on arrival in the Senate. We had shared information about this and the funds that would be coming to Illinois. At the core of the bill is a $494 billion reauthorization of surface transportation programs like roads and bridges. It also includes additional projects such as trains, transit and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The bill, which passed 233-188, is massive in its scope, including money for such varied Democratic priorities as schools, hospitals, housing, broadband, drinking water, storm water, the energy grid and vehicle safety.

Finally, we again wish you all a very safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

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

Have you heard the Chamber is going paperless? Since you are seeing this email then you’re on our mail list, but your co-workers may not be. Check in to make sure everyone is being reached that should be as we move forward to a paperless system. Contact us by phone or you can email us to verify representatives.