Chamber Members:

Have you all recovered from that debate last night? Today we’ve got a few different pieces to share on the COVID front. Also, it seems as if a good number of our members like the varying info pieces, so we’ll start mixing things up a little more at the end. Halfway through the week!

*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital

Deal or No Deal … Then Vote
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reportedly told rank-and-file Democrats on a conference call that he plans to bring the slimmed-down $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package to the floor Wednesday afternoon if no deal with the White House materializes before then, according to sources on the call.

First though, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke again Wednesday afternoon, as both sides have hinted at progress in recent days, sparking some hopes that an eleventh-hour agreement will emerge after two months of stalled negotiations.

Mnuchin, who has led negotiations for Senate Republicans, is expected to deliver the GOP’s latest counteroffer to Pelosi in their in-person meeting. The price tag of that proposal, he said, would be roughly $1.5 trillion which still leaves the GOP several hundred billion dollars apart from the Democratic proposal.

“We’re going to give it one more serious try to get this done and I think we’re hopeful that we can get something done,” Mnuchin said on CNBC. “I think there is a reasonable compromise here, it’s something that the president very much wants to get done and make sure that we help those parts of the economy that still need help.”

Mnuchin’s offer of $1.5 trillion is more in line with a bipartisan proposal floated by the Problem Solvers Caucus earlier this month. That proposal was swiftly dismissed by Pelosi allies as not going far enough, but has been pitched as a blueprint for negotiations. It is unclear if the speaker would now be willing to accept a deal that’s closer to $1.5 trillion than her proposed $2.2 trillion in relief.

Governor Pritzker to Self-Quarantine after Staff Members Tests Positive
A staffer who recently traveled with Governor Pritzker has tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the governor and others to self-isolate for a period of two weeks, his office announced Tuesday.

The unnamed staffer tested negative last Wednesday during weekly testing, but was tested again Monday after showing symptoms and was confirmed positive. According to the governor’s office, the staffer attended events with Pritzker on Wednesday in Chicago, Thursday in Marion, and Sunday in Marseilles. Contact tracing efforts have begun and event organizers at those locations have been contacted.

New Mitigations for Region 1 and a Region 4 Update
Region 1 of the state’s reopening plan saw a second straight day with a COVID-19 test positivity rate exceeding 8 percent, according to the most recent data for Saturday, Sept. 26, as it increased to 8.3 percent. Later Tuesday, the governor’s office announced the region would see increased mitigations starting Saturday, Oct. 3, due to the rising rate of spread.

“The concerning uptick in Region 1’s positivity – jumping more than two percentage points in two weeks even as the majority of Illinois continues to see downward trends – demands increased efforts to stop the spread in our northwestern counties,” Pritzker said in a news release.

The region includes the northwest part of the state from the Rockford area to the western edge of Illinois, including Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, and Winnebago counties.

Region 4, which includes the Metro East area on the St. Louis border, saw its positivity rate tick up by one-tenth of a percentage point to 7.2 percent as of Saturday. That region is still attempting to fall below 6.5 percent and remain there for three days in order for added mitigations to be lifted as they were here in Will County/Region 7.

Illinois Department of Labor Launches COVID Safety Consulting Program
The program, called Back to Business Illinois, will “help local small businesses audit their physical operation, identify best practices and find ways to implement them efficiently,” according to the Department of Labor.

The consultants will “help local small businesses audit their physical operation, identify best practices and find ways to implement them efficiently,” the statement said. They will be paired with businesses “based on their expertise and specific needs to customize the best plan for their business.”

“While this pandemic has affected Illinois’ small businesses in unexpected ways, IDOL remains committed to promoting health and safety during every step of recovery. We are excited to offer this new program in support of our small business owners’ efforts to keep workers and customers safe as these businesses continue to operate,” said IDOL Director Michael Kleinik.

As part of the program, businesses can sign up for online sessions that guide them through “basic infection prevention, physical space modification, infectious disease planning, employee monitoring and workplace flexibility,” according to the statement.

The program is “non-punitive,” the statement said, and no fines or citations will be doled out under its jurisdiction. The Department of Labor will also offer free, voluntary certifications to participants.

More information about Back to Business Illinois can be found at

Suburban Parents Sue IHSA
Hoping to force the return of high school football and other sports, the parents of four DuPage County high school athletes have filed a lawsuit in an attempt to force the return of sports that have been postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the Illinois High School Association violated its bylaws when it agreed to follow the state’s safety guidelines.

Finally, here are the Six Best Business Books of 2020 according to the shortlist for the Financial Times and McKinsey’s annual prize. The list offers those interested in business reads a direct route to some of the year’s best and most thought-provoking titles.

“In a year marked by disruption and uncertainty, the judges have selected a shortlist, which addresses critical business issues, from the future of work to the importance of technology, in original, enjoyable, and provocative ways,” commented Roula Khalaf, editor of the FT.

So, pick up a couple of them and curl up to enjoy the cooler weather with a book that’s bound to make you think.

1. Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism by Anne Case and Angus Deaton
The basic premise of the American dream is that every generation does a little better than their parents. In 2015, Nobel prize-winning economist Angus Deaton and fellow economist Anne Case discovered that America was no longer living up to that promise.

Deaths among working class whites in the country were actually rising and life expectancy declining. The main culprit was so-called “deaths of despair” caused by suicide or substance abuse. This bestseller digs into what’s gone wrong and what we should do about it.

2. No Filter by Sarah Frier
Described as the “definitive inside story of Instagram,” this book by Bloomberg reporter Sarah Frier actually widens out to offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse of how Silicon Valley really works.

“No Filter pairs phenomenal in-depth reporting with explosive storytelling that gets to the heart of how Instagram has shaped all of our lives, whether you use the app or not. It’s so much more than a business story; it’s a story about culture, fame, and, ultimately, human connection,” raved Taylor Lorenz in The New York Times, calling it “the most entertaining book I’ve read in years.”

3. No Rules Rules by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer
This deep dive into the unique and much discussed culture at Netflix by its CEO and a business school professor won a recommendation from no less than Satya Nadella.

“I had the privilege of learning from Reed personally and studying the Netflix culture. The insights in this book are invaluable to anyone trying to create and sustain organizational culture,” Microsoft’s CEO said of No Rules Rules.

4. Reimagining Capitalism: How Business Can Save the World by Rebecca Henderson
With the world both literally and metaphorically on fire right now, just about everyone is desperate to figure out how to save the situation, including capitalists. They might want to pick up this book by a Harvard professor, which attempts to outline how making a profit can be reconciled with a healthier society and a healthier earth.

5. If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future by Jill Lepore
You may not have heard of Simulmatics, but the Cold War-era company did much to build the modern world we live in. It “mined data, targeted voters, manipulated consumers, destabilized politics, and disordered knowledge―decades before Facebook, Google, and Cambridge Analytica,” explains Amazon.

Jill Lepore’s If Then excavates the forgotten history that presages the problems of today’s Silicon Valley giants.

6. A World Without Work by Daniel Susskind
The robots are coming for our jobs. Will that be a nightmare or a utopia? Susskind’s even-minded book guides the reader through this question, examining the arguments of thinkers on both sides of the debate and laying out the challenges of a world where machines do more so humans need to do less.

According to The New York Times, A World Without Work “should be required reading for any potential presidential candidate thinking about the economy of the future.” And maybe for the rest of us, too.

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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