Chamber Members:

We hope that you all had a very enjoyable 4th of July weekend! As we start the first full week of July, we have a reminder to share for a funding opportunity as well as some more important pieces of information.

Deadline Nears for Business Interruption Grant

Tomorrow is the final day to submit your application for the BIG funds through the State of Illinois. The deadline is set for 5 PM and it is a lottery process so no need to fear that your submission will have less of a chance coming in at the end. Restaurants, bars, salons, barbers, gyms, and fitness centers should all look very closely at this opportunity. Additional businesses are able to apply now as well after the inclusion of a number of Joliet region zip codes have been added to the list. Here is the website for more information and to apply: . This is the first round of funding as we’ve been told to expect further announcements including programs with up to $270 million set aside for childcare services.

Latest on Next Federal Funding Phase

Business groups and consumer advocates are lobbying Congress to rethink a model that has leaned heavily on distributing funds via private lenders because of concerns that the smallest businesses lack relationships with traditional banks.

A bipartisan proposal backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would make $50 billion in grants available to state and local governments for the smallest businesses and nonprofits. Senator Rubio is also floating new ways to aim funds at the hardest hit businesses. The expected revamp of the Paycheck Protection Program is likely to still rely on banks, but Rubio has circulated plans to target long-term loans at businesses that make most of their money in low-income communities and to set aside $25 billion for those with 10 or fewer employees.

Ruling on Lawsuit vs. Governor Pritzker

A judge in Clay County ruled that all of Governor Pritzker’s executive orders since April 8 pertaining to the novel coronavirus pandemic are void because he exceeded his authority when he used his emergency powers for more than 30 days. The ruling gave supreme authority to the Illinois Department of Public Health for closing businesses and restricting the activity of residents during a public health crisis.

The ruling is in response to the lawsuit filed by Illinois State Rep. Darren Bailey claiming the Governor could not issue successive disaster proclamations. The attorney general’s office is likely to ask a higher court to reconsider the order and the Governor’s office has said the ruling is contradicted by other judgements similar. The office sees it as not being a final judgement and one with no injunction. They plan to push forward with the full Phase 4 reopening plan.

President Trump Signs PPP Program Extension Legislation

Over the weekend, President Trump signed into law a bill passed last week by the U.S. House and Senate that extends the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8.

This bill does not change the PPP, just extends the window to apply for a PPP loan for another five weeks. The original program expired on June 30, with a balance of $130 billion dollars still available for loans.

Lawsuit Ruling on Illinois GOP Request

A U.S. District Court judge denied the request for a temporary order that would allow the GOP to resume large gatherings, stating that granting the relief “would pose serious risks to public health.” In the lawsuit, the state GOP argued that Governor Pritzker’s 50-person cap on gathering sizes does not apply to religious organizations, and the governor “declined to enforce” his order against protesters.

The Illinois Republican party, along with the Will County Republican Central Committee, Schaumburg Township Republican Organization, and Northwest Side GOP Club argued that applying those exemptions to protesters and religious institutions but not to political parties created an “unconstitutional content-based restriction on speech.” That, the Republicans claimed, was a violation of their First and 14th Amendment rights.

Fiscal Year Outlook for Illinois

“This is going to be, I think, by far perhaps the most challenging year that I’ve had to manage as comptroller,” state Comptroller Susana Mendoza said in an interview last week. That statement came from the person that has had to balance a two-year budget impasse with a pretty horrible financial crisis of unpaid bills.

Now, revenue estimates and actual revenue coming in is just so up in the air that it will be tougher to manage as those impasse years. Back then, revenue continued to be received and the problem was there was not a roadmap on how and when to distribute. There are several priorities through programs and services that will need to be decided on a month to month basis depending on what is collected.

As of Wednesday, according to the comptroller’s website, the bill backlog stood at $5.4 billion. As we had talked about last week though, that does not account for the $2.7 billion borrowed to pay down that backlog. Some day soon, that amount needs to be paid back as well so the amount really still stands at least at $8.1 billion. The payback money hinges on receiving Federal aid and if for some reason(s) that does not pan out, guess who will be paying?

Finally, as mentioned above, tomorrow is the deadline for the Business Interruption Grants at 5 PM. The DCEO will be offering a morning session about the grants that you are invited to participate in. The virtual conference will begin at 10:30 AM and you can 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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