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Dear Frankfort Chamber members,

Keeping in line with our efforts to provide you continual updates regarding CARES act information that may be helpful to you, please note the following information.

The following is a summary of the modifications made in Governor Pritzker's Stay at Home Order, extending to May 30, as provided to us by Senator Michael Hastings:
 
OUTDOOR RECREATION: State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website here.  Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and when ensuring that social distancing is followed.

NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.

NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL: Retail stores not designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.

FACE COVERINGS: Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING: Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.

SCHOOLS: Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.
 
Paycheck Protection Program:
As noted in my email update last Friday, the initial funding for the Paycheck Protection Program was fully allocated as of 4/16/20. On 4/23/20, the House of Representatives passed and President Trump signed into law, an additional $310 billion to the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it is anticipated these new funds will be exhausted quickly.  Congress is being urged to work on solutions to ensure these programs do not lapse again.
If you are pursuing coverage under the Paycheck Protection Program, it is recommended you do so as soon as possible by contacting any existing SBA 7(a) lender, federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or Farm Credit System institution that is participating. You can also click here  to secure a list of PPP lenders approved by the Small Business Administration, and   here  for further detailed information from the Small Business Administration .  The most recent application form posted on the U. S. Department of Treasury CARES Act Resource page can be found   here .   Banks have said they process loans on a first-come, first-served basis, and many continued accepting applications after the program’s initial funds were exhausted. If you already applied, please contact your bank to determine where you stand in the process. Although circumstances change daily, as the guidelines are currently established, the loan have been said to be fully forgivable if the funds are used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities ( at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments are also scheduled to be deferred for six months, with no collateral or personal guarantees required. Neither the government nor lenders should charge small businesses any fees. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness is noted to be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. The Paycheck Protection Program is scheduled to be available through June 30, 2020.    The Treasury Department has a valuable Q&A sheet dated 4/23/20 found   here.

Unemployment Insurance information:
Senator Mike Hastings has provided a comprehensive list of Q&A's regarding Unemployment Assistance that can help you answer any preliminary questions you may have regarding unemployment insurance. Please click here to review this very informational document.

How can I pay my debts?:
The IL Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has also created a comprehensive guide for consumers struggling to repay their debts during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This guide addresses a summary of some of the major relief options for mortgages, student loans, and other types of debt that might be available to you and places that you can go for help. Please   click here to review this information.
Please take advantage of the following resources created by the US Chamber to assist in navigating the CARES Act programs:
  • Financial Aid and Tax guides to help small businesses, independent contractors and gig economy workers prepare to file for relief
  • National Small Business Town Halls are held at noon on Fridays to help guide business owners through the resources available to you.
  • Workshop Wednesdays provide the opportunity to learn skills and new approaches to keep your business going
  • Path Forward is a bi-weekly series to assist in navigating back to the workplace
  • Click here for great overall information for multiple resources available to you pertaining to COVID-19

I hope you find this information helpful, and that you are hanging in there. We will get through this.

Best wishes for a safe and healthy weekend.

Sincerely,

Marianne Melcher
Executive Director
Frankfort Chamber of Commerce
 
Phone: 815-469-3356    
 
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