Chamber Members:

We hope you had a chance to get outside this weekend and enjoy the nice weather. It is certainly not what we would expect for the beginning of November, but then again it is 2020 so who knows what to expect these days.

For years, businesses have always said that the best thing they could ask for is certainty. We’ll begin to take a look and share what potential policy, rules, and regulation may come down road with changes in administration and landscapes, both federally and locally. First though, an announcement today from the Governor about more mitigation measures and a major vaccine announcement.

*Daily Coronavirus update brought to you by Silver Cross Hospital

Governor Announces Move to Tier 2
Region 7 (Will and Kankakee Counties) and 8 (DuPage and Kane Counties) will enter tier 2 of enhanced mitigation measures this Wednesday, November 11. The biggest change from tier 1 to tier 2 is lessening of gatherings from 25 to 10 individuals and seated groups at bar/restaurant establishments from 10 to 6. Additionally, organized group activities now have a limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors & outdoors and group outings are limited to 10 or fewer people. This does not include fitness centers.

Should a region reach Tier 3, elective surgeries will be suspended, gathering sizes will be restricted again, recreational spaces like gyms could be forced to close, salon and personal care services will be suspended, and nonessential retailers may be forced to shut their doors once again.

“It’s the last thing I want to do, but I’m ready to do it,” Pritzker said. The governor has declined to give specifics on what restrictions could be ahead and though he has previously said another stay-at-home order was not on the table, but he said he can’t guarantee what might happen in the coming weeks.

Here is the full listing of Tier 2 mitigation measures:

• All bars close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day
• No indoor service
• All bar patrons should be seated at tables outside
• No ordering, seating, or congregating at bar (bar stools should be removed)
• Tables should be 6 feet apart
• No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
• No dancing or standing indoors
• Reservations required for each party
• No seating of multiple parties at one table
• No tables exceeding 6 people *

• All restaurants close at 11pm and may reopen no earlier than 6am the following day
• No indoor dining or bar service
• Tables should be 6 feet apart
No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
• Reservations required for each party
• No seating of multiple parties at one table
• No tables exceeding 6 people *

Meetings, social events, and gatherings (including weddings, funerals, potlucks, etc.)
• Limit to 10 guests in both indoor and outdoor settings *
• Applicable to professional, cultural, and social group gatherings.
• Not applicable to students participating in-person classroom learning, sports or
polling places.
• This does not reduce the overall facility capacity dictated by general business
guidance such as office, retail, etc.
• No party buses
• Gaming and Casinos close at 11:00pm, are limited to 25 percent capacity, and
follow mitigations for bars and restaurants, if applicable

Organized group recreational activities (including sports, but excluding fitness centers*)
• Limit to lesser of 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity both indoors & outdoors *
• Groups limited to 10 or fewer people *
• All Sports Guidance effective August 15, 2020, remains in effect
• Outdoor Activities (not included in the above exposure settings) continue per
current DCEO guidance


In addition, IDPH recommends the following actions be taken:
• Display prominent masking and distancing signage
• Discourage non-essential travel to other states and international locations
• Discourage groups greater than 4 individuals in ages 12 -17 from congregating outside of school
• Promote work from home when possible

IDPH will continue to track the positivity rate in regions requiring additional mitigations 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. If the positivity rate averages less than or equal to 6.5 percent over a 3-day period, the region will return to Phase 4 mitigations under the Restore Illinois Plan.

If the positivity rate averages between 6.5 percent and 8 percent, IDPH will continue to monitor the region to determine if additional mitigations are needed. If the positivity rate averages greater than or equal to 8 percent after 14 days, more stringent mitigations may be applied to further reduce spread of the virus, which could include reducing capacity on organized group recreation, fitness or other activities supported by local contact tracing and outbreak data and temporary suspension of certain activities.

Follow the latest regional metrics at:

For more information on guidance for businesses, please visit the FAQ on DCEO’s website

Vaccine Announcement
After weeks of mounting coronavirus cases and hospitalizations, the country received a bolt of good news on Monday morning: An interim analysis found Pfizer’s vaccine candidate was more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19. “Today is a great day for science and humanity,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Here are five things to know about the breakthrough:
The results are better than expected
Experts had been girding the public that many vaccines are not close to 100 percent effective. The Food and Drug Administration had set a minimum of 50 percent effectiveness for a coronavirus vaccine to be approved. These results would far exceed that bar. Multiple experts said they were pleasantly surprised.

There are still some unknowns and the full data from the clinical trial has not yet been published. Among the outstanding questions is how long the protection from the vaccine will last. It is possible people will have to return every year to get a shot again, for example. There is also not yet data on how well the vaccine works in subgroups, like the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.

It won’t be available right away
Despite the encouraging data, the vaccine will not be an immediate game-changer in the fight against the coronavirus. The company needs to wait until the third week of November to finish gathering the two months of safety data required by the Food and Drug Administration, and then plans to apply for emergency authorization. No serious safety concerns have been observed so far, the company said.

Even after authorization, the number of initial doses will be limited and will go first to high-risk groups like health care workers or the elderly. Many experts expect the first doses could be given before the end of the year, but that much of the general public will not be vaccinated until sometime several months into 2021.

Alejandro Cané, a vaccine official at Pfizer, told The Hill on Monday the company plans to have 100 million doses of vaccine available in the U.S. from December through March, under a previously announced deal where the U.S. government purchased those doses for $1.95 billion.

Because each person needs to get two doses of the vaccine, though, that translates to enough initial doses for 50 million people, which will be free of charge to the patient.

It’s still important to take precautions
Because the vaccine will not be available to the general public for some number of months, it is crucial that people take precautions like wearing a mask, maintaining distance from others, and washing their hands.

There’s political maneuvering over the credit
Republicans were quick to credit the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed effort for helping speed the vaccine along.

The picture is complicated, though, by the fact that Pfizer and its partner, the German firm BioNTech, did not receive U.S. government funding for research and development, unlike some other pharmaceutical companies working on coronavirus vaccines. However, Pfizer did receive $1.95 billion from the government to purchase the doses of its vaccine.

President-elect Joe Biden, meanwhile, took a high-level view in a statement that did not mention President Trump. He called the vaccine progress “excellent news,” but cautioned that “the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.”

Distribution is still a challenge
Even once the vaccine itself is authorized by the FDA, there is still the daunting undertaking of getting shots into the arms of hundreds of millions of Americans. The Pfizer vaccine has the added complication that it must be stored at extremely cold temperatures, beyond what a normal freezer provides.

State health officials, who are largely responsible for the vaccination effort, warned Congress last month that they need $8.4 billion for vaccine distribution efforts that they do not currently have. A coronavirus response package has been stalled for months, which would be a vehicle for providing those funds.

“This is a pretty major undertaking,” said Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer at the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. “It’s not just the scale but also the need for speed. We’ve got to be able to scale up the system further in order to do that.” The group says much of the funding is needed to build up the health care workforce, as well for costs like storage and transportation of the vaccine.

Election Follow Up
Saturday evening the announcement was made that Joe Biden will be the President elect.
President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is poised to unleash a series of executive actions on his first day in the Oval Office, prompting what is likely to be a year’s long effort to unwind President Trump’s domestic agenda and immediately signal a wholesale shift in the United States’ place in the world.

In the first hours after he takes the oath of office on the West Front of the Capitol at noon on Jan. 20, Mr. Biden has said, he will send a letter to the United Nations indicating that the country will rejoin the global effort to combat climate change, reversing President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord with more than 174 countries.

He has vowed that on Day 1 he will move rapidly to confront the coronavirus pandemic by appointing a “national supply chain commander” and establishing a “pandemic testing board,” similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime production panel. He has said he will restore the rights of government workers to unionize. He has promised to order a new fight against homelessness and resettle more refugees fleeing war. He has pledged to abandon President Trump’s travel ban on mostly Muslim countries and to begin calling foreign leaders in an attempt to restore trust among the United States’ closest allies.

There is no question that Mr. Biden and members of his party are eager to systematically erase what they view as destructive policies that the president pursued on the environment, immigration, health care, gay rights, trade, tax cuts, civil rights, abortion, race relations, military spending and more.

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. 

Brands That Stands – Multi-Chamber Virtual Conference 
When the crisis passes, will your small business still be standing? Today’s economic climate is nothing short of harrowing. Some businesses are hanging on by sheer will. Help your business’ brand weather the unprecedented combination of COVID-19, a struggling marketplace, social unrest, and natural disasters.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
3:00 p.m.
$10.00 Joliet Chamber Member
Register here:

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