Chamber Members:

We have made it through another week. It is really hard to believe that school is starting back up and that we are halfway through August already. Hopefully, we are nearing the end of an uptick in COVID cases and don’t have to sit through weeks of uncertainty as to what will come out of the nation’s capitol. Today’s update will be quick to get you going on to your weekend!

Update on Updates out of DC
It’s been a full week since Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer last met to haggle in person over another massive COVID-19 relief deal, but recent days have been filled by a public back-and-forth between the two sides.

On Thursday, the remarks escalated as Pelosi told reporters that talks will resume only when Republicans come to the table with an offer of at least $2 trillion, a number Mnuchin and Meadows have dismissed.

As Pelosi spoke, Meadows addressed reporters at the White House briefing room, saying that the White House offered Democrats reasonable alternatives in short-term bills to extend unemployment insurance that recently expired and on other items. In the meantime, he pointed to executive actions released over the weekend.

At the moment, GOP negotiators are open to a deal between $1 trillion and $1.5 trillion, which Meadows told Senate Republicans during a conference call on Thursday.

The impasse has led to an increasingly likely outcome: That any coronavirus relief package will have to wait until September as Democrats and the GOP have other pressing matters to attend to in the coming weeks. Namely, the Democratic National Convention, which starts virtually on Monday, and the Republican National Convention that starts a week later.

The Senate is not expected to return until Sept. 8 without a deal in the interim. Negotiators are also not expected to meet in person in the near future

Post Office Woes
The number of Americans who plan to vote absentee has spiked during the pandemic. At the same time post office officials are taking actions like limiting overtime that seem to be slowing down the mail right before the election.

States set their own rules on mail voting. But some fear postal delays could undermine those rules. The concern from Democrats is that the President and his allies at the Postal Service could slow down the mail so that ballots from Democratic voters would not be returned in time to be counted.

But it’s unclear which side any delays would hurt most. Despite the President’s false claims of fraud, studies show mail voting doesn’t benefit one political party over the other. Many uncertainties remain so, what can states do to limit potential delays?

One option is to send absentee ballots early and encourage their prompt return. Illinois seems to be on the right track here. States could also provide more opportunities for voters to fill out absentee ballots and drop them off at official election drop boxes, avoiding any possible mail delays.

Tips for Keeping Your Business Secure While Working from Home
This information can serve as a good reminder. We all scrambled to set things up remotely or improve existing setups back in March / April. It is always good to do a little refresher.

While you are protecting yourself and your employees from COVID-19 by staying home, the “new normal” of working remotely poses significant risks for cyberattacks that could compromise your data and the health of your company.

From training your staff to equipping your devices with security features like two-factor authentication, check out these top cybersecurity tips for small businesses straight from the experts at Dell and McAfee.

  • Educate your staff about the dangers of phishing emails, unsecure sites, and weak passwords.


  • Defend customer information, financial records, credit card numbers, and more with a firewall.


  • Back up data on a reputable cloud storage system that can fit your budget so you can access your data anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

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
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