Chamber Members:

It is the start of a new week, the fourth day under round 2 of our further mitigation measures, and eight days away from the election. If you haven’t seen enough campaign commercials yet, the Bears game tonight is supposed to be filled with them.

Read below for our daily update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital covering the most recent news regarding federal aid discussions, Illinois mitigations, stock market response to rising cases, and more. As a reminder, please review the opportunities below to make sure you are taking advantage of grant opportunities.

*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital

Latest on Relief Discussions
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that the Trump administration is reviewing the most recent items for possible inclusion in a coronavirus relief package while continuing to project an optimistic tone as she awaits word from the White House about next steps.

“I sent over on Friday the list of the concerns that we still had about what is the answer, what is the answer, what is the answer. And my understanding is he will be reviewing that over the weekend and we will have some answers on Monday,” Pelosi told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We want it the sooner the better,” she added. “We’re ready, we can change some words in the bill, should they come back with some modifications.”

Pelosi said the two sides still have still not come to agreement on a testing plan, which was an open issue early last week and seen as easy to fix by both sides. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said he would accept Pelosi’s testing and tracing plan, which clearly was not the case. The two sides have not agreed on the tracing portion. Pelosi said she would work with McConnell and Trump in the lame duck even if Democrats win the presidency and Senate majority.

Mark Meadows also told the Sunday morning program that Senate Majority Leader McConnell has given him a commitment to putting the bill on the floor and getting it passed. McConnell has said that he will bring a potential bill up for consideration but has not publicly said that it will get passed, as many Senate Republicans oppose the largesse of the current bill Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are negotiating.

New Region Added to Further Mitigations
Indoor bar and restaurant service will be suspended, as well as reduced gatherings in suburban Cook County this week as a COVID mitigation measure, the governor announced. It marks the first time the additional mitigation measures will be applied to the Cook County suburbs.

These measures take effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. They cover all of suburban Cook County.
In suburban Cook County, the positivity rate and the rate of hospital admissions has been rising sharply. As of Thursday, the most recent day for which data is available from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the rounded rolling average of daily new hospital admissions of people with symptoms of COVID-19 had risen to 49 — more than doubling since the start of October.

“We are seeing test positivity across the state increase, but for Region 10, Suburban Cook County, we are also seeing a steady increase in hospitalizations for COVID-like illness,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement announcing the new restrictions. “At the beginning of the pandemic, we were concerned about overwhelming our hospitals, and we must take action now to prevent that possibility.”

With Monday’s announcement of new measures in suburban Cook County (Region 10) and the re-imposition of restrictions on the Metro East region (Region 4) more than half of the state’s 11 COVID-19 resurgence mitigation regions will be under some form of additional resurgence mitigation.

In suburban Cook County, the coronavirus positivity rate had risen on eight of the previous 10 days but had yet to reach the 8 percent threshold, sitting at 7.7 percent as of Thursday.

Governor Pritzker said the Metro East region’s new mitigation measures were triggered when its positivity rate again rose above the 8 percent mark, while suburban Cook County’s was set off by a combination of 10 days of rapidly rising hospitalization rates and positivity increases.

“Much like the four areas already operating under Tier One or Tier Two of the plan — Northwestern Illinois, Southern Illinois, and Will, Kankakee, DuPage and Kane Counties — Region 4 triggered our 8 percent positivity average threshold, the second time it has done so since mid-summer,” the governor said. “Region 10, on the other hand, is the first region in Illinois to earn additional mitigations not because of its positivity rate alone, but because its positivity rate and its COVID-related hospitalizations have both seen a sustained increase over the last 10 days.”

Stock Market Hit
Stocks were down badly on Monday as U.S. daily coronavirus cases hit record highs and investors dealt with the likelihood that stimulus negotiations will not produce a bipartisan relief deal before Election Day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average had lost more than 880 points shortly before 1:30 p.m., falling 3.1 percent after more than 83,000 new U.S. cases of COVID-19 were confirmed Saturday, shattering previous records. The S&P 500 index had fallen 2.6 percent, and the Nasdaq composite fell 2.5 percent with less than three hours before markets closed.

The rise in COVID-19 cases has sparked fears that the U.S. will need to reimpose restrictions and business closures that had been previously lifted, following in the footsteps of European countries who have done the same.

Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship to Lead Economic Recovery
Prioritizing new businesses will lead to job creation and a faster recovery from Covid-19. Communities need to help. This comes from an article by Victor W. Hwang on

The economic damage to America’s cities from Covid-19 is deep, and recovery will require more than defeating the pandemic. About 60% of business closures are now permanent, according to recent data from Yelp. Our cities won’t revive until we create new businesses to replace those lost. Fortunately, there are tools available to boost business starts and restarts. Entrepreneurship is the vaccine to revive our urban economies.

Our cities face a deep entrepreneurial hole. Even before the pandemic, we were in a startup slump. Business creation in the U.S. had fallen overall to its lowest rate in more than 40 years. But then Covid-19 hit and forced many businesses to close. Between February and June, about 1.2 million U.S. business owners had to shut down, including 19% of Black entrepreneurs and 10% of Latinx ones.

While our nation must focus on reopening existing businesses, historically it’s new businesses that create virtually all job growth, including replacing jobs lost. More businesses correlate with higher average incomes in communities. And firm creation correlates with a decrease in income inequality.

To enhance entrepreneurship nationwide, America’s cities of all sizes must commit to business creation and growth. That starts with what cities already have. That means cataloging the latent assets in their ecosystems (including leaders, capital, educational institutions, corporate partners, service providers, mentors, entrepreneurial support programs, community gatherings and culture), removing barriers to entrepreneurs to access them, and mobilizing and coordinating resources to flow more efficiently.

Fortunately, America’s cities and towns have enormous strengths on which to build new businesses. In my previous capacity as vice president of entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, I traveled throughout the nation supporting innovative champions of entrepreneurship in communities large and small. In my current capacity as founder and chief executive officer of Right to Start, a national campaign to advance entrepreneurship as a community priority, I am struck by the energy and vitality our communities are dedicating to entrepreneurship, even during this harsh pandemic.

For example, I recently made “virtual road trips” to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Peoria, Illinois, which were recorded on video. Our discussions in Tulsa focused on Black entrepreneurship, particularly as we approach the 100th anniversary next year of the racial violence that destroyed its once-thriving “Black Wall Street.” In Peoria, we discussed entrepreneurship in the agricultural and manufacturing heartland, especially in the context of the 2017 decision by the world’s largest construction-equipment maker, Caterpillar Inc., to move its headquarters to suburban Chicago.

Both cities impressed me. Despite major local challenges — plus Covid-19 — they have extraordinary champions, energetic leaders, and determined entrepreneurs fighting to strengthen their economies while embracing the diversity and resilience of their populations.

The core takeaway from my decades-long work in entrepreneurship is that it takes a community, and every community has what it takes.

Communities have tools to take action. Right to Start, for instance, recently published a free “Field Guide for Policymakers” that provides immediate steps at all levels of government to drive recovery through entrepreneurship. It includes nine steps each for the federal and state government, and five for local policymakers. Here are the local ones, in brief:

  • Zero barriers to start. Eliminate all registration costs and licensing fees to cut red tape for new businesses at the start and in their early years.
  • Access to contracts. Dedicate a pilot percentage of 5% of government procurement dollars to businesses under 5 years old.
  • Spur local financial innovation. Create Entrepreneurial Capital Catalyst Grants to invest in starting and restarting businesses underserved by the capital marketplace.
  • Drive local learning. Redirect 5% of workforce training and economic-development funding into helping Americans start businesses through local and online entrepreneurial support organizations.
  • Easy access. Strengthen local libraries as hubs of knowledge and digital tools for entrepreneurs.

In addition, “America’s New Business Plan” — from a coalition that includes nonprofits and university centers — offers a fuller exploration of policy barriers to entrepreneurship and a long-term strategy for restoring the nation’s rate of new businesses.

There are also programs that cities can activate locally to bring the entrepreneurial community together and mobilize its members to support each other. The nonprofit program 1 Million Cups, for example, has chapters in more than 160 communities, and growing. The Kauffman Foundation’s annual ESHIP Summit was just held virtually, and it still provides an extraordinary platform for convening, informing, and energizing entrepreneurial champions nationwide.

Covid-19 is challenging our cities, but we are up to the challenge. That’s true whether we are one of the three Americans out of 1,000 each month who start new businesses, or we are among the 997 whose support is needed as customers, employees, collaborators, or simply allies of our entrepreneurs.

America already has the vaccine needed to reenergize our communities and revive our businesses. We need to take advantage of its availability and make entrepreneurship a priority nationwide.

Victor Hwang is Founder and CEO of Right to Start, a campaign to rebuild the American economy by putting entrepreneurs first.

Ready to Grow Your Business?
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at JJC is offering assistance for existing businesses during these times.

21 Topics in 21 Minutes for 2021 Growth
In less than 30 minutes, the SBDC will help you prioritize key 2021 business plans whether it is for your people, your product, your marketing, your sales, your money, or the impact of this crisis. In this short, one-on-one exercise, we will help you determine up to three of the biggest opportunities for growth in the year ahead. We will offer no-cost tools to develop your strategy for success in those areas. Email us at and we will send you a link for registration.

Will County Small Business Assistance Grant

Business Interruption Grant

Finally, due to the recent mitigations, we have moved our Thursday, October 29 hybrid member luncheon to a completely virtual event. This virtual conference will begin at 11:30 AM. You can sign up participate here:

Downtown Joliet – The Renaissance Continues

Please join the Joliet Chamber and Megan Millen – City Center Partnership Board Chair, and Rod Tonelli – City Center Partnership Economic Development Chair, for a hybrid luncheon to discuss:

  • City Center Partnership Overview
  • Downtown Development Project Updates
  • Review of Downtown Grants & Impacts
  • Preview of some of the exciting things coming to Downtown

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