This Friday begins the start of Tier 3 mitigations. The information is condensed as a reminder vs. what was shared yesterday, but the full details are attached to this message as a pdf. A quick note to the fact that the rollback does NOT include leaving the home to obtain services through Healthcare or Public Health Operations including donating blood, plasma, or platelets. This is very crucial currently. We understand that Governor Pritzker will include language to this effect later in the week.
See below for one more reminder about our virtual conference tomorrow covering City of Joliet Program and Project updates, federal expirations, nursing home strike, and universal broadband.
*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital
Governor Announces New Rollback of Capacity
Yesterday, Governor Pritzker announced that all 11 regions will move into Tier 3 effective November 20, 2020 at 12:01am. The new mitigation requirements to combat the surge of COVID-19 across Illinois can be found on our resource page and also attached.
IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over a 14-day monitoring period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability AND declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days.
Follow the latest regional metrics at: https://dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics
Update from Congress
The House and Senate are both in session with 13 working days left to avert a government shutdown and to negotiate a long-awaited coronavirus relief package. Congress will be out next week for Thanksgiving and is currently scheduled to leave Washington on Dec. 11 for the year.
Where government funding stands: Congress has until Dec. 11 to fund the government. One question looming over any talks is whether President Trump will sign anything beyond a continuing resolution, a short-term bill that would fund the government until early next year at fiscal 2020 levels.
Between now and June 2022, state and local governments could face a shortfall of $400 billion or more, according to some estimates cited by The Associated Press. Governors from Midwestern states spoke by conference call on Tuesday to discuss a possible sequel to the March CARES Act. For months, the effort in Washington has gone nowhere. Trump and Senate Republicans chafe at the idea of spending taxpayer dollars to, as they describe it, “bail out” states with budget problems that conservatives chalk up to mismanagement rather than the coronavirus crisis.
No Relief in Sight, but Expirations Inch Closer
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer on Tuesday called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is steering negotiations for Republicans, to restart talks this week on a stimulus bill that has drifted in circles for more than three months. With that said, there appears to be no Christmas present of federal aid unless a miracle occurs. Just as important though, is a number of crucial provisions expire at the end of this year, which is 43 DAYS from now:
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation – program that gives the extra 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to those that have run out of options
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – program used by “gig” workers and sole proprietors
- Eviction Moratorium
- State and Local funding
- 2020 Rebate Checks
- Student Loan Forbearance
- Charitable Deduction Limits
- Refundable Tax Credit for required paid sick leave
- Credit for Family and sick leave for self-employed individuals
- Payment Delay for employer payroll taxes
- This is on top of the 33 TAX PROVISIONS that end at the close of the year
In other words, a huge safety net is going to be yanked away at the end of 2020, and Congress isn’t preparing much of anything to keep people from plummeting.
Business Roundtable to Push Tariff Relief and Additional Stimulus
The Business Roundtable, a large and influential group consisting of prominent corporate leaders, has decided on its key policy priorities under President-elect Joe Biden’s administration and a new Congress.
Joshua Bolten, the CEO of the advocacy and lobbying group, told reporters that it will start pushing policymakers on a slew of initiatives, including another coronavirus relief bill to help small businesses, the removal of tariffs, and police reforms.
On trade, Bolten specifically mentioned that they believe Biden should begin cutting back on the tariffs that have been implemented by the Trump administration on foreign goods. He did note, though, that even if the administration removes trade barriers, there are still hurdles to overcome when it comes to trade deals with China.
Bolten confirmed to reporters that the Business Roundtable has been holding discussions with Biden’s team and that, even on policy disagreements, the group is convinced it can work with the new administration.
“We feel like that even on the areas where we may disagree on policy, we will have a fair chance on input and to make our positions known,” Bolten said. One area of disagreement is Biden’s campaign proposal to raise taxes on people making over $400,000, plus an increase in the corporate tax rate.
What Biden’s Plan for Universal Broadband Means for Your Business
The digital divide became even more apparent during the pandemic, making it nearly impossible for businesses in areas without adequate broadband access to launch a new e-commerce shop or even have Zoom calls with co-workers.
Help may be coming soon from the White House. President-elect Biden’s website listed universal broadband as one of its priorities for economic recovery. The Trump administration pledged to spend roughly $20 billion over 10 years on expanding broadband service to rural areas, and that will likely continue under the incoming administration. Biden’s plan for rural America specifically references spending $20 billion in expanding rural broadband infrastructure, tripling funding for Community Connect broadband grants to expand access in rural areas, and reforming the Lifeline program, which subsidizes internet and phone services for low-income participants.
A good number are in support of universal broadband access in the U.S., which essentially means that every American will have access to a broadband internet connection. Nearly one-fourth of Americans who live in rural areas lack access to fixed broadband services, according to the Federal Communications Commission’s Eighth Broadband Progress report.
The Biden administration has stated that it will support cities and local governments that want to build their own municipally owned broadband networks. There are more than 331 municipal broadband networks in the U.S. today, in cities including Ammon, Idaho, and Rockport, Maine, according to Broadband Now. But 22 states have outlawed municipal broadband outright, leaving residents with no alternative to corporate internet service providers.
While making broadband a public utility, in line with gas or electricity, has been a favored proposal of some local governments, it’s unlikely to happen on a national scale.
Nursing Home Strike on Horizon
Workers at 11 nursing homes in Illinois are threatening to go on strike next week unless they are given raises comparable to other long-term care workers in the state. Nearly 700 members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana, part of the Service Employees International Union, voted to strike on Nov. 23 if Infinity Healthcare Management doesn’t meet their demands for higher base pay and pandemic hazard pay.
Certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, who do most of the hands-on work with patients at the homes, are seeking a starting rate of $15.50 statewide, while other workers such as housekeepers and laundry workers are seeking $14.50 an hour outside Chicago and $15 an hour in Chicago, union officials said.
Last year, state lawmakers increased Medicaid funding for nursing homes by up to $240 million — $70 million of which was targeted to address staffing needs.
Statewide, nursing home residents have accounted for more than half of all deaths of people with COVID. Union workers said they were concerned that if they go on strike, their patients would be cared for by managers and contracted outside workers, but put the responsibility on Infinity to provide them with living wages and adequate protective medical equipment. Their contract expired June 1.
SBDC at JJC Update
Here is a list of upcoming programs delivered from the Small Business Development Center through Joliet Junior College:
Social Media – Stop Posting! Start Marketing!
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (CST)
Are you taking advantage of the opportunities and changes in Social Media? Learn the five-step process: Find the Right Audience; Create the Right Content; Promote Your Business as a Brand; Use Ample Resources; and Analyze the Results. Digital Marketing expert, podcast host and author Joe Sanders, from Relevant Elephant, will share a powerful overview of how to improve your social media strategy and WHY you need to take action. https://ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/33551
Selling for Non-Salespeople
Time: 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM (CST)
Is your B2B product or service really awesome – BUT – you aren’t confident in your ability to sell it? Most of us feel like introverts at times, but you can join us for a simple session to act like an extrovert. Hear tips on how to do the prospecting, presenting, and closing to help you get new customers to say YES! Join Mike Wilczynski for the no-cost webinar. https://ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/33654
E-Commerce Webinar – Third Party Platforms to Sell Your Product
Time: 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM (CST)
E-commerce – Third Party Platforms to Sell Your Product Louis Kreppert has sold over $500,000 of product using platforms like Amazon, Facebook, eBay, and Google Merchant. Learn how to sell your products where the eyeballs are – without paying for advertising. https://ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/33413
Funding Your Business
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CST)
Funding your business is critical for start-ups as well as companies who are looking to expand. Establishing business credit is the first step. Get a basic understanding of what banks look for to qualify for a loan from Nancy Kuzma of Old Plank Trail Community Bank/Wintrust Community Bank. https://ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/33653
Video Marketing for Small Business
Time: 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM (CST)
Video production once meant bringing in a full production crew to produce a television commercial. Now, a child can produce a quality video on their phone. And that video is a very important component to your website, social media pages, product information, as well as your local advertising. Learn the benefits of video marketing and hear from Mike Puglitsch at Acclaim Media about how easy the process can be. https://ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/33572
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM (CST)
A website is more than just a placeholder to occupy property in cyberspace. Your website should be the central point that your social media, SEO, email marketing, pay per click ads, content, CRM…. orbit around to generate business for your business. Join Jason McCoy from WSI to discuss how to develop a website that meets your needs. https://ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/33652
Starting Your Business in Illinois
Time: 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM (CST)
Thinking about starting a business in Illinois? This informative workshop helps entrepreneurs understand many of the steps and requirements. In this no-cost overview of Starting Your Business in Illinois, we will touch on many aspects of your business plan, including legal, accounting, banking, marketing, and sales. https://ilsbdc.ecenterdirect.com/events/33108
21 Topics in 21 Minutes for 2021 Growth
Date: Scheduled one-on-one session
In less than 30 minutes, the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Joliet Junior College 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 SBDC@JJC.edu and we will send you a link for registration.
Program and Event Notices & Reminders
Village of Shorewood Announces CARES Small Business Relief Program
The goal of the Shorewood CARES Small Business Relief Program (“Program”) is to provide financial support for the most impacted Shorewood small businesses in order to support their continued success as they navigate the coronavirus pandemic into 2021. Providing a monthly reimbursement for payroll and rent/mortgage (two of the most expensive operating costs) through this Program will ensure that business owners are not only able to keep the business open but also to focus on the future of their business. This Program coupled with the 2021 Business Fee Waivers are intended to encourage business owners to look to the future and set the stage for a successful new year.
Learn more about the program by clicking here – http://vil.shorewood.il.us/business/COVID-19/shorewood_cares.aspx
ComEd Bill Assistance
Small-business customers can visit ComEd.com/SmallBizAssistance or call 1-877-4-COMED-1 (1-877-426-6331) to learn more or apply for the Small Business Assistance Program.
ComEd’s bill-assistance programs also include flexible payment options for residents, financial assistance for past-due balances and usage alerts for current bills. Any customer who is experiencing a hardship or difficulty with their electric bill should call ComEd immediately at 1-800-334-7661 (1-800-EDISON-1), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to learn more and enroll in a program.
Business Interruption Grant
Funds still remain and the program is still open for application. Please visit:
Illinois SBA Offerings
Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) – Round 2
DCEO’s Business Interruption Grants program, otherwise known as BIG, recognizes the enormous burden seen by businesses across Illinois as a result of COVID-19 and aims to bring immediate relief for businesses hit hardest. Join the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC to learn more about BIG grants (Round 2), including who is eligible, how and what you’ll need to apply, and more. Thursday, Nov. 19, 11 a.m.
Fridays with Fergie
Open office hours with SBA Illinois Deputy District Director Mark Ferguson. Ask your questions about PPP or anything else and learn from your peers. Friday, Nov. 20, 11:30 a.m.
Finally, we will host our next Virtual Conference TOMORROW. Please make plans to join us at 11 AM for a City of Joliet projects and programs update. Interim City Manager Jim Hock will join us to discuss the progress has been made on the following:
- 2021 City Budget
- City Water Source
- NorthPoint and Cullinan developments
- Houbolt Road Bridge
- I80 Bridge / Highway
- Truck facility PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program
- Single residential rental inspections
- Downtown flood plain
- Chicago Street opening, beautification, and straightening
- Van Buren Street plaza
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Staff and Board of Directors
Vice President – Government Affairs
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry