Hi LSRCC members and local businesses,

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted significant policy changes at all levels. We're here to catch you up and support business in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood.  Please see our COVID-19 Business Resources  website for a comprehensive list of resources to aid your business during this time.
Business Compliance with COVID-19 Guidelines 

Chicago's coronavirus recovery is guided by two plans - one at the city level and one at the state level.

While our region is on track to progress to the next phase (3) on May 29th under the state plan, the timeline of Chicago's plan have not yet been released. According to CDPH Commissioner Dr. Arwady's recent comments, the administration may be targeting a move to the next phase sometime in June.

Under the state's plan, Phase 3 will allow customers to enter retail business with enhanced safety measures and reduced capacity. The state also suggests that fitness-oriented businesses will be able to hold classes of not more than 10 people outside. We're currently waiting for further guidance from the city on what, if any, additional restrictions or allowances will be made in Chicago to supplement these state guidelines.

In anticipation of reopening, our Chamber has the following suggestions for businesses that are now open or will soon open as part of phase 3:

Masks for All Employees and Customers

The IL Stay-At-Home Order extension specifies that employees and customers are required to wear masks at all times in indoor public areas such as stores. The order also creates a bit of uncertaintly when it later states that businesses must provide employees masks only when they are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. 

In order to maximize public health and comfort in Lincoln Square and Ravenswood, we strongly recommend that all employees in retail, restaurant, and customer-facing service businesses wear masks at all times. This helps customers feel more comfortable and reduces the likelihood that someone calls for a business inspection (which we have seen fulfilled in recent weeks).

Please see our resource page for a list or local business that sell masks.

Customer Floor Markings and Signage

Signs, floor markings, or employees should be placed or stationed to remind customers to wear masks and socially distance. This increases overall safety and comfort for your other customers.

If you're interested in our organization assisting with placing temporary markings on the sidewalk alongside your business, please reach out to Melissa@lincolnsquare.org.

This is a great time to look at your storefront with fresh eyes and consider how to evoke a clean, sterile environment. This may not only involve cleaning and de-cluttering, but reorganizing merchandise and adjusting lighting as well.

COVID-19 Employee Signage

The same IL Order also mandates that all businesses that have employees reporting to a central site post this guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency.

Sidewalk Cafes and Patios Remain Closed

BACP has advised us that sidewalk cafes and outdoor patios are not currently allowed to be used. Restaurants cannot serve to patrons in outdoor sidewalk cafes or patios, or allow patrons to use these spaces after they pick up food. Guidelines on future use and possible fee adjustment is currently in development. We're also participating in talks with the City about potential use of the public way for limited business operations.

New Enforcement Mechanism for Business that Open without Permission 
Businesses that remain open now face a possible type A misdemeanor. This new enforcement measure seems to address the perceived overreach of business license revocation, which was also brought up as a worst-case enforcement tool. 

Office of Labor Standards
The new city Office of Labor Standards will have oversight over labor-focused policy, including minimum wage increases, paid sick leave, and fair workweek ordinances. A new minimum wage (for certain businesses) and Fair Workweek Ordinance mandating advance scheduling notice will go into effect on July 1st, so please visit the Office of Labor Standards website and attend a webinar if needed. 


Self-employed and gig workers are now eligible for unemployment insurance under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Please see this page for further guidance on applying, if you haven't already.

3rd Party Delivery App Disclosure

Businesses such as Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, and others will be required to publicly share all customer and restaurant-facing fees in an attempt to increase transparency on the industry. This executive order will go into affect on May 22nd.

The City Council recently held a hearing to discuss restaurant industry complaints about delivery service fees and practices. Representatives from Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, the Illinois Restaurant Association, Third Coast, 50/50 Group, and Parachute were in attendance to discuss the surrounding issues. We expect additional legislation to regulate delivery service in the coming months, please reach out to us at the LSRCC with your input.

We're available and invested in your success. For further questions or individualized assistance, please email Jerry Mandujano, Neighborhood Services Director, at  jerry@lincolnsquare.org
Thank you! 
Two Neighborhoods.  One Community.  Working Together.
2611 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625 - 773.728.3890