Chamber Members:

Today is the big day or at least the start to a few days of election results. You still have time to vote if you’re reading this update right away at 5 pm.  See below for the latest on our local Covid situation and some quick tips on dealing with stress.

*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital

Illinois Stay-At-Home Possibility
Despite record high daily COVID-19 case counts in recent days, Governor Pritzker on Monday said he’s not considering issuing another stay-at-home order — at the moment, anyway.

“We’re not currently looking at a stay-at-home order, I mean, obviously that’s something that lurks in the background,” Pritzker said at a Monday afternoon news conference. “If we believe these tiered mitigations ultimately are ineffective, if people choose not to wear masks and if the spread of the virus continues to go unabated, in a kind of community spread, we would obviously have to consider, you know, more significant mitigations.”

He didn’t provide specific numbers on what might be the threshold that triggers such a drastic step.

Patience with Results, but State is Ready
Governor Pritzker on Monday urged patience in the coming days as election authorities grapple with historic levels of mail-in ballots, and said the Illinois National Guard is in a “state of readiness,” amid the possibility of election-related unrest.

“It will possibly take until Wednesday, or Thursday, or even Friday to get results for some races in Illinois and in states across the country,” Pritzker said at his daily coronavirus news briefing. “Every vote must be counted, particularly on the national level. It is very important that we are patient with the presidential election. We may very well not know who won the election on Wednesday, let alone Tuesday night.”

IRA Files Amicus Brief
Last Friday, the IRA hosted a press conference with industry operators and workers to discuss the disastrous impact of Governor Pritzker’s mitigation plan and to announce the IRA’s legal actions in the fight to save Illinois’ restaurant industry. Click here to watch a recording of the event.

On October 30, the IRA and the National Restaurant Law Center filed an amicus brief supporting the industry and Fox Fire Tavern, a restaurant that successfully challenged the Governor’s authority to issue a new order shut down restaurants. (Fox Fire Tavern LLC v. Gov. Jay Robert Pritzker – Ill. 2d. App. Dist.) The brief highlights the importance of the industry in Illinois and why it is absolutely critical to allow restaurants to continue safely serving guests indoors. A summary of the arguments:

  • The restaurant industry’s top priority is to provide a healthy environment for guests and employees. The industry has done everything asked AND MORE, spending millions to adapt their businesses to keep diners and workers safe.
  • A blanket ban on indoor dining, esp. when restaurants are already struggling to survive, is the wrong approach. Without government aid, the impact will be severe, ultimately impacting 120,000 jobs – and quite possibly more – statewide.
  • Existing data and statistics, which are inconsistent and unreliable, do not support unfairly targeting restaurants and mandating that all restaurants again shut down.
  • The Legislature gave the Governor emergency powers “for a period not to exceed 30 days,” 20 ILCS 3305/7, but he has now exercised that authority for more than 225 days. The Legislature did not authorize the Governor to issue successive emergency orders based on the same disaster or issue a new order if some facts changed. The Court cannot provide the Governor that authority now.
  • The Governor’s orders are invalid as to all similarly situated restaurants across the state, which should all benefit from a decision without having to take independent legal action.

Click here to read the summary. Click here to read the full amicus brief.
If you’re like most Americans, waiting to find out who won the election — plus everything else in the news — is causing you extra stress. Here’s how to lessen its effects.

Election Day Stress? By Minda Zetlin, Co-author, The Geek Gap
Are you stressed today? You’re not alone. In a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, 59 percent expected today, Election Day 2020, to be the most stressful day of their lives thus far. Considering that most of us have faced the loss of a loved one, accidents, natural disasters, illness, job loss, or some combination of these stressors, that’s a surprisingly strong indicator of just how tense most of us are feeling right now.

But. You’re a founder or a business leader. Your employees, colleagues, and customers are counting on you to keep things on an even keel. Whatever may be going on in the world, you can’t afford to freak out about it. So how do you stay calm, centered, and positive in a world full of fear and acrimony? It isn’t easy, but there are some steps that may help.

1. Don’t stress about your stress.

For many people, stressing about how stressed you are can add fuel to the fire. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lain awake at night, worrying that I won’t get enough sleep. I know it’s nuts, but I just can’t get myself to relax.

These days, most of us would be experiencing heightened levels of stress even without the election because of the times we’re living in. It’s normal to be stressed right now, and to have stress reactions that can include being short-tempered with our employees or family members, forgetfulness, and even trouble concentrating.

If any of this is happening to you, don’t beat yourself up about it. Apologize if you’ve done something that warrants it, and other than that, cut yourself some slack.

2. Put pen to paper.

Journal writing is one of the best ways I’ve found to combat my own stress. Writing down whatever I’m worrying about and examining it head-on always makes me feel calmer. I also nearly always see some positive steps I can take to make things better.

It turns out there’s scientific evidence that this approach — keeping a “worry journal” — works for many people. Or, if you want something a little more structured, try this worry rating exercise from mental health counselor Kailey Spina Horan, PhD. Any approach where you write down what you’re feeling worried about is likely to make you feel better.

3. Step away from the news and go outside.

Getting outdoors, especially into nature, has been demonstrated in many studies to ease anxiety and improve mood. Even a little bit of time in nature can have a big effect, such as a 15-minute “awe walk.” Or try a “forest bath,” the Japanese practice of simply being in nature, that’s been proven to have so many great benefits that it’s actually covered by Japanese health insurance.

To gain the benefits of stepping outside, you also need to take a break from watching or reading the news, and from social media as well. Limiting your news diet and resisting the temptation of “doomscrolling” — going from one distressing news item to another, and then another — is an important way to limit your anxiety during stressful times. You may feel like you need to stay up-to-the-minute on every new development. But if you think about it, there are very few news items that require immediate action from you. So, while you’re outside, take a breather. Use your smartphone to take photos of what you see, or not at all. The election and everything else will still be there when you get back.

Program and Event Notices & Reminders

Technical Assistance for the Business Interruption Grant Program 
Illinois DCEO is hosting a technical assistance session on Wednesday, November 4, 2020 from 9:30 am – 10:30 am. Business owners and others can join as they walk through the actual BIG application and answer questions on the program. This is open ended, so you can come and go as needed for assistance. To register for this session, click

Friday Feature with US Small Business Administration’s Stephen Konkle 
In this Friday feature, Stephen Konkle with the SBA will discuss how small businesses who have a PPP loan of $50,000, or less can be forgiven. This webinar is for loan officers and small businesses.
When: Friday November 6, 2020, 10:00 am Central Time.

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

Expanded by the CARES Act, the EIDL program has been around for a couple of years and is intended to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue during a declared disaster. Here’s our step-by-step guide.
The SBA will pay 6 months of principal, interest, and any associated fees that borrowers owe for all current 7(a), 504, and Microloans in regular servicing status as well as new 7(a), 504, and Microloans disbursed prior to September 27, 2020.
These loans allow small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
Click here for the Small Business Administration’s website, where you’ll find additional programs as well as more resources and guides for coronavirus-impacted businesses. 

Finally, we are announcing that our next virtual conference will be on Thursday, November 12thThe topic is an extremely important one as all should know by now that by the end of this year it is mandatory for ALL offices to go through anti-sexual harassment training. We have partnered with Marji Swanson from the offices of Mahoney, Silverman, & Cross, LLC to deliver this session that fulfills your requirement. Unfortunately, it does not apply to bars and restaurants as that training is an industry specific one. Webinar will begin at 11 am and last approximately one hour. You may 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