Chamber Members:

How late did you stay up until? Some election results are in and others have a ways to go for certainty. Today’s update will depart mainly from Covid and take a much-needed break for more of a focus on the election results. A big round of applause to our Will County Clerk, Lauren Staley Ferry, and her office for all of their efforts during election season. Mail-in, early voting, day of voting, and timely results last night seemed to be all on track.

*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital

Our Next President 
We’ll likely need to wait a few days on this one. At the moment of the typing of this update, this was extremely close with about 6 remaining states still needed to be called. Those states include Georgia, North Carolina, Alaska, Nevada, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Wisconsin was one, but news broke this afternoon that it likely will go to Biden. Likely is a very key word here as none of this is official until it is made official which can vary so that is why we’ll likely need to wait a few days. Reports are a recount will be requested already for Wisconsin.

If Wisconsin is counted towards Biden, then that would give him 248 electoral votes and Trump would stand at 214. Of the remaining six states, Pennsylvania carries 20, Michigan 16, Georgia 16, North Carolina 15, Nevada 6, and Alaska 3. Most “experts” are looking for Trump to take Georgia, North Carolina, and Alaska which would move him up to 248. They also say Biden will take Nevada to bump him up to 254. That leaves Pennsylvania at 20 and Michigan at 16. The race is to 270 and many are placing the odds on a 270 to 268 victory for Biden with him getting Michigan and Trump taking Pennsylvania.

Again, these are educated guesses and nothing is over until all has been finalized and then that may not be the end. So, as we had said earlier this week, everyone will need to be a little patient.

Continued Divided Government
Early results and race predictions seem to lean towards the House remaining in control by Democrats, although their numbers may be reduced a little. Also, the Senate looks like it will remain in Republican control with a very slim margin. Again, we wait for the final results.

Regardless of who wins in the end for President, it appears that there will not be power across the board for one party. This heightens the need for our elected officials in Washington, D.C. to work across the aisle and get things done.

What’s Next on the Federal Level
Putting election results to the side for now, we need to get back to discussions on Covid federal aid. Back and forth for five months has been way too long for what is and was needed months ago. Regardless of who is elected, waiting until after the beginning of the year is unacceptable.

In addition, Americans are feeling the negative effects of Washington gridlock and want action. That action consists of bringing the pandemic under control, put people back to work, keep our economy open while keeping people safe, save small businesses, rebuild communities and lives, and chart a brighter, stronger future for our country.

We need our leaders to act collaboratively and govern responsibly. Ongoing division and gridlock will deepen the harm already endured by so many and will result in the economy, businesses, and workers suffering the effects long after these crises go away.

One area that is always talked about and much needed is infrastructure and even though we locally have been included on a state level for projects, needs still exist. Investing in rebuilding our infrastructure is one of the fastest and most direct ways to spur growth and create jobs now, while strengthening and sustaining our modern economy for the long-term. Importantly, there is widespread bipartisan agreement that it needs to be done.

If the election yields another two years of divided government, progress on an infrastructure package could help lawmakers hit the reset button on two years of gridlock and show their constituents that they are capable of governing.

State Election Results
The big item that we were closely watching and advocating for defeat was the progressive income tax amendment. As of right now, it looks like it is safe to say that it has been defeated. Governor Pritzker, in his first comments since the election, told reporters today, “There will be cuts, and they will be painful” in the wake of the defeat. But he gave no details and left the distinct impression that some revenue enhancers will be in the mix, too.

Senator Durbin will go on to another term representing Illinois. He along with the majority of incumbents running for Congress appear to be moving onto another term. Here is the list of some races throughout the state starting with the 11th Congressional District which covers a majority of our area and others nearby:

Dist 11 – Bill Foster (incumbent) over Rick Laib
Dist 14 – Jim Oberweis leads Lauren Underwood (incumbent)
Dist 3 – Marie Newman over Mike Fricilone
Dist 16 – Adam Kinzinger (incumbent) over Dani Brzozowski
Dist 1 – Bobby Rush (incumbent) over Philanise White
Dist 6 – Sean Casten (incumbent) over Jeanne Ives
Here are the results for State Senate and State Representative:

Senate Dist 43 – John Connor over Ben Bierly
Senate Dist 49 – Meg Loughran Cappel over Tom McCullagh

House Dist 37 – Tim Ozinga of Michelle Fadeley
House Dist 85 – Dagmara “Dee” Avelar over Ron Doweidt
House Dist 86 – Larry Walsh Jr.
House Dist 97 – Mark Batinick over Harry Benton
House Dist 98 – Natalie Manley

Here are the results for Will County offices:

Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant over Nick Ficarello
Andrea Lynn Chasteen over Anthony Granata
Karen A. Stukel over Gretchen Fritz
James W. Glasgow
Kevin ‘Duffy’ Blackburn over James Buiter
Laurie Summers over James J. Piacentini

You can visit the county clerk web site for full details on county board races and additional county wide results:

Congratulations to all of the candidates that have won their races and congratulations as well to those that made the decision to run for public office! All should be commended and we look forward to working with those re-elected and those that will be new to their office.

Caution Arises on Rapid COVID Tests
One of the first states to receive rapid, low-cost coronavirus tests from the U.S. government is cautioning against their use in asymptomatic people, a group that were hoped to benefit most from the technology.

Antigen tests like one from Abbott Laboratories that look for telltale viral proteins may miss some infections that can be picked up by costlier gold-standard assays, and can incorrectly return positive results. The rapid tests aren’t recommended for people without symptoms who haven’t been exposed to a Covid-19 patient, and those who undergo one should be informed of the limitations, the Louisiana Department of Health said in guidance issued last week.

The recommendations highlight issues with tests like Abbott’s $5 BinaxNOW that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is spending $750 million on and were used in the White House. State health officials are increasingly concerned that people without symptoms should be screened with more costly but more reliable polymerase chain reaction assays because of worries about the rapid tests’ performance, according to Jeff Engel, a senior adviser at the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also issued an alert on antigen tests, warning on Tuesday that they can produce incorrect positive results. Problems are more likely in populations with low virus prevalence, or when the test is improperly performed, the FDA said in a statement.

But screening individuals regularly with antigen tests can cut down on risk and allow for quick identification of cases, said Mark McClellan, a former FDA commissioner in former President George W. Bush’s administration. Ultimately, though, the tests must still be accompanied by other measures like masking and social distancing.

“For people looking to one-time use of Covid antigen tests as a way to go back to normal, we’re not in that situation now,” McClellan said. “This is one more layer of protection as we try to reopen and get through the rest of the pandemic.”

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