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Dear Frankfort Chamber members,
In our ongoing effort to provide you with the most current COVID-19 updates, please note the following information received from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce:
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:
  • As noted in yesterday’s update, the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity submitted Illinois' application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to assist small businesses and private non-profits in paying expenses during the COVID-19 disaster.
  • They believe a decision on that application is imminent, and know of no hurdles causing denial.
  • Approval would allow Illinois businesses and non-profits to begin submitting their applications. 
  • This is a direct loan program. Applicants will apply directly to the SBA and the SBA will disperse funds directly from the U.S. Treasury to the applicant.
  • There will be considerable funding available, but it is recommend getting applications in as quickly as possible. You can also amend your application downstream to ask for more funds if your need becomes greater. 
You can read the Small Business Association’s one page document on the program   here  and the governor's press release from his announcement  here .
Mandatory paid leave:
  • Concerns from the GOP and business community were raised on the up-front cost of mandatory paid time off on employers included in The Families First Corona Virus Response Act HR 6201.
  • Those concerns were not addressed in the US Senate and the president signed the US House version yesterday. 
  • You can read the US Chamber's analysis of the bill here. 
Business shut downs: 
       There has been some confusion in the business community over the shut downs that have been ordered over the last week. 
  • In Executive Order 2020-04 banning gatherings of 1,000 or more people, there was an explicit exemption for normal workplace activity.
  • However, in the subsequent Executive Order 2020-07 banning gatherings of 50 or more people, that explicit exemption for workplace activity was removed from the order. 
  • The governor has given verbal assurance that the 50 person limit does not apply to our larger businesses, but they are urging businesses to adhere to the guidelines from the IDPH and the CDC, to keep the number of employees they have in close proximity to each other under 50, and apply social distancing practices as best they can. 
At this time, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has not received any official indication from the administration that they will be moving to a total shut down similar to the shelter-in-place orders seen in  San Francisco  and  Oak Park . The Illinois Chamber has assured us that if the state does move in that direction, they will continue to reach out to the Governor's Office for clarity so businesses can be fully informed, and that an appropriate balance between public safety and economic distress is considered. We, at the Frankfort Chamber, will continue to keep you updated of any changes.
We wish you continued safety and strength.
Marianne Melcher
Executive Director