Chamber Members:

Looks like a nice weekend to enjoy this weather. Hopefully, it will not be the last one before things take a turn. Governor Pritzker starts to talk about statewide restrictions for the first time since reopening phase 4. Today’s update also looks at the October job recovery, the latest on the election counts, Springfield leadership, and more.

*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital

State Restrictions Looming?
Governor Pritzker said he will again impose tougher statewide restrictions if the latest resurgence of the coronavirus, which has now claimed more than 10,000 lives in Illinois, continues to escalate.

Pritzker’s warning of a potential statewide order is a departure from his messages in recent weeks that the state will stick to cracking down only on regions in his reopening plan when they reach state-set benchmarks.

“If the current trajectory continues, if our hospitals continue to fill up, if more and more people continue to lose their lives to this disease, we’re going to implement further statewide mitigations, which nobody, and I mean nobody, wants,” Pritzker said during a his daily coronavirus briefing.

Pritzker didn’t specify exactly what additional statewide restrictions would include or give a timeline for when they could be implemented, but said “all the things we looked at and did over the last six months are things that are under consideration for what those new mitigations might look like.” As recently as Monday, Pritzker said he wasn’t considering implementing another statewide stay-at-home order, the furthest-reaching pandemic measure he’s taken to date.

The second phase of Pritzker’s regional, five-phase reopening plan allowed “nonessential” retail stores to reopen for curbside pickup and delivery, and for outdoor activities like golf and boating to resume. The third phase allowed for manufacturing, retail, offices, and salons and barbershops to reopen with capacity limits and physical distancing between people. Gatherings were limited to 10 people. The entire state entered the fourth phase of Pritzker’s reopening plan in late June, when bars and restaurants were able to reopen for indoor service and gatherings of up to 50 were allowed.

Job Recovery News
The October jobs report showed the U.S. continuing to recover jobs lost to the coronavirus pandemic and slightly exceeded economists’ projections.

The U.S added 638,000 jobs and the unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in October, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. Economists had expected the U.S. to gain roughly 600,000 jobs in October after adding 672,000 in September and seeing the unemployment rate fall to 7.9 percent.

The survey of households showed an even stronger level of job growth, with the total employment level rising by 2.24 million and the employment-to-population ratio increasing by 0.8 percentage points to 57.4%. The household survey also showed a decline of 1.52 million in the total unemployed level and a drop of 541,000 in those considered not in the labor force.

October’s gains would have been even better were it not for the loss of 147,000 Census workers that contributed to an overall fall of 268,000 in government jobs. In all, private job creation came to 906,000, better than September’s 892,000.

Election Follow Up
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden overtook President Trump in Pennsylvania and Georgia this morning, two must-win states to keep the president’s hopes for a second term alive.

Here are the latest reports. In Nevada (6 Electoral College votes): Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, just released a new batch of votes, increasing Biden’s lead to 22,076. This puts Biden up 1.7 percentage points over Trump.

In Georgia (16 Electoral College votes): Joe Biden pulled ahead of Trump. He is currently leading 1,585 votes with more than 98 percent reporting. Because it is so close, Georgia’s secretary of state predicted a recount.

In Pennsylvania (20 Electoral College votes): As results keep trickling in, Joe Biden is now leading by 9,746 votes in Pennsylvania. Just before 9 a.m., Joe Biden passed Donald Trump in the swing state.

In Arizona (11 Electoral College votes): Joe Biden’s lead in Arizona continues to shrink as more votes are released. Biden is currently leading by 43,779 votes with 93 percent reporting.

Springfield Leadership Talk
More elected leaders have spoken out on the need for House Speaker Madigan to step aside as state party leader. In addition to Governor Pritzker and Senator Durbin, Senator Tammy Duckworth and a few others have echoed the suggestion.

On the Republican side, The Illinois State Senate Republican Caucus has elected a new leader. The Senate Republican Caucus chose Senator Dan McConchie, of the 26th District, as its new leader. The Senate Republican Caucus made the announcement on Thursday. The senator says the caucus will embrace fundamentally new direction for the state. In his first act as Leader-Elect, Senator McConchie chose Senator Sue Rezin, of the 38th District, as his Deputy Leader.

State House Republicans are buzzing about the Nov. 16 vote for minority leader. Rep. Tony McCombie has put her hat in the ring to run against Rep. Jim Durkin, who’s held the position since 2013. The Republican from Savanna has held her state rep seat since 2017 and two years ago was elected by caucus members to lead the House Republican Organization, the political arm of the party.

Program and Event Notices & Reminders

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. 

If You Use These 6 Words, Use These Instead to Become a More Effective Communicator
Interacting with people can sometimes be hard. Every time we communicate, we bring baggage to the conversation based on our past experiences and current circumstances. If your job is to serve people in any capacity, sometimes that means dealing with what happens when things go wrong.

Often, there’s a good chance you are dealing with a situation you had nothing to do with. A customer’s order arrived late. A product is damaged in shipment. An experience failed to meet someone’s expectations. In each of those cases, you might find yourself having to solve a problem you didn’t create.

How you communicate when that happens is everything.

It can be easy to take another person’s frustration about a situation personally–as if they were attacking you. Then again, sometimes they actually are attacking you, even when it isn’t justified. The natural tendency is to apologize using some form of these six words.

“I’m sorry you feel that way.”
Here’s the thing–this isn’t really an apology at all. First, you can’t actually be sorry for the way someone else feels. You can only be sorry for your own behavior and the things within your control. You can’t control how someone else feels, so don’t apologize for it.

More important, however, is that the sentiment behind those words is something along the lines of “Look, I don’t know why you’re being irrational about this. This isn’t my fault, and I think it’s ridiculous that you’re upset with me.” Even if that’s not what you mean, that’s almost always the way it sounds to the person you’re talking to.

It’s about as effective as slapping them across the face.

No, I’m not recommending that, but it’s true. That’s because what you’re communicating is that the way someone feels about a situation is wrong. Even if you believe that to be true, it isn’t exactly the most persuasive way to get someone to change their mind–or their feelings. It’s insulting.

It’s also a problem because telling someone you’re “sorry they feel that way” avoids responsibility for your role in the situation. If you did something requiring an apology, apologize. “I’m really sorry we weren’t able to deliver on our promise.” Own whatever it was and say that you’re sorry. Then, do what is needed to fix it.

If you didn’t, recognize that in many cases, it very well may still be up to you to offer a solution. It’s still your responsibility. When dealing with an upset customer, for example, you may have done everything right. It may not be your fault at all, but it’s still your problem.

In that case, don’t apologize. Instead, try this: “I can tell you’re really frustrated. Let me see what I can do to try and fix this.”

This acknowledges the problem and their feelings. It doesn’t cast judgment on those feelings, but validates them and lets the person know that you’ve heard them. That, often, is the most important place to start. Sometimes people just need to know that you care enough to hear their frustration, regardless of whether it’s entirely justified.

That response doesn’t promise that you’ll be able to change the way they feel–that’s not your responsibility, after all. What it does is communicate that you’re on their side by offering to try and help.

Ultimately, that should be your goal–to get on the same side as the person you’re talking to. You might be surprised how much of a difference that can make.

Finally, a reminder 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