Early delivery today to convey important information to the Greater Peoria business community.

Reminders: All previous bulletins and other resources listed at www.gpcovid.com . Resource requests from our community institutions listed at the end of this bulletin. Send any questions to bizinfo@greaterpeoriaedc.org .

It is April
Really, it is April. March is over, finally. (When will May be here?)

Sample Paycheck Protection Program Application Available
Late Tuesday the Treasury Department and SBA released a sample application for businesses to better understand the process for receiving a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. You can download the sample application here and get more detailed information here . According to the information page, businesses can begin applying on Friday, April 3. Self-employed individuals and independent contractors can begin applying starting on Friday, April 10. Check with your lender to see if they are an SBA approved 7a lender and if they are prepared to take applications on opening day.

Employee Retention Credit
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. More information from the Treasury Department here and information from the US Senate Committee of Finance here .

Verizon LISC Small Business Recovery Fund
Thanks to a $2.5 million investment from Verizon , LISC is offering grants to help small businesses fill urgent financial gaps until they can resume normal operations or until other more permanent financing becomes available. Approved businesses will receive a $10,000 grant to cover operational expenses (rent, utilities, vendor payments, liability holders, payroll, etc.). Program website is here and the application page can be found here . It’s a relatively straightforward application, with the only document needed for submission being a copy of your business’ Federal ID/Tax Identification Number.  Please be sure to note that you were referred by LISC in question 14 and enter “Karen Davis - Peoria” in the “Other” line.

REMINDER: Illinois Hospitality Emergency Grant Application Due TODAY at 5 PM
The State of Illinois is offering grants of up to $50,000 for hotels and up to $25,000 for bars and restaurants. Applicants will be chosen via a lottery, not based on merit. The application is very simple, but only those who have completed an application by April 1 at 5 p.m. will be entered. Decisions announced on April 4. An FAQ on the program, including a description of the information you will need, can be found here . More information and the application portal can be found here .

Summary of Government Actions to Support Business
PNC has put together a comprehensive summary of all federal programs impacting business (of any size) here .

April 1 is Census Day; April 3 is Corporate Census Day
In the midst of this pandemic and economic crisis, the federal government is also conducting the decennial Census. Full participation in the Census is incredibly important -- made more apparent in this crisis. The CARES Act (federal coronavirus relief bill) included a distribution of federal Community Development Block Grant dollars to the state of Illinois and major cities. The State received about $18 million, the City of Peoria received about $1 million and the City of Pekin received $250,000. These disbursements are based on population! Without an accurate count, our communities will receive less money in the future. The census form contains only nine questions and can be filled out online or over the phone.   Please encourage your friends, family and employees to take 10—15 minutes out of their workday to complete the census. For more information on Corporate Census Day, click here .

Help for the Creative Community
Through the newly launched Arts for Illinois Relief Fund, individual artists and artisans – including stage and production members and part-time cultural workers – experiencing an urgent need are able to apply for one-time grants of $1,500 distributed by 3Arts . Grants will be awarded through a lottery system and will be disseminated quickly. Additionally, nonprofit arts and cultural organizations of any size will be able to apply for relief through the Arts Work Fund . Based on their demonstrated financial need, organizations will be awarded grants from $6,000 – $30,000. More information about application guidelines and eligibility can be found online. 

Additional Guidance on Families First Act
The Department of Labor issued new guidance addressing exemptions under the paid leave laws this past weekend (March 28). Joshua Herman of Miller, Hall & Triggs provides an excellent summary of exemptions now available for businesses under 50 employees and others here .

  • Community Foundation of Central Illinois: Requesting monetary donations for the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund. Information https://communityfoundationci.org/Morton Chamber & EDC addition: The Morton Community Foundation has also announced a Morton Area Disaster Relief Fund for organizations serving those affected by COVID-19. Donations are being matched to up to $10,000. Donate here.
  • UnityPoint Health: UnityPoint is seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. They are als in search of medical personnel to help them prepare in the event that there is an influx of sick patients. Information here.  
  • OSF Healthcare: OSF seeking personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators and other supplies. Information here.
  • Peoria Innovation Alliance: PIA is gathering the maker community to discuss ways individuals and small companies can make supplies like masks. Information here.
  • Heartland Health Services: Seeking personal protective equipment, medical supplies, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant wipes unopened. More information here. 

Chris Setti
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council