March 27, 2020

This Week in Illinois

Session Update
The House and the Senate canceled next week's session that was set to begin on Wednesday. The chambers also extended the committee deadline  for moving House bills out of the committee to the floor to April 24. The Senate has extended the third reading deadline for Senate bills to May 7. The House has extended the third reading deadline to May 8, which will be a scheduled session day.  
It is very unclear when the General Assembly will return to Springfield. Chamber leaders have said to expect a very limited agenda when they do return, one that focuses on the budget and Covid-19 relief.  

Treasurer Frerich's Business Invest
Treasurer Michael Frerichs updated about 300 members on his office's new Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program on a Chamber conference call this morning. 

You can read more in Illinois Chamber President and CEO Todd Maisch's president's message here

Federal Stimulus
Allison L. Dembeck, an executive director in the Congressional and Public Affairs Division at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, also updated members on the CARES Act passed by Congress this afternoon. You can read the U.S. Chamber's latest summary here or U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's press release here. You can read the  880 page legislation H.R. 748 here..  
A sampling of the important business relief in the bill:   
  • Provides nearly $350 billion in federally guaranteed loans via the Paycheck Protection Program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.  
  • Allows the Paycheck Protection Program to cover payroll costs, paid sick leave, supply chain disruptions, employee salaries, health insurance premiums, mortgage payments, and other debt obligations to provide immediate access to capital for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus.  
  • Provides $17 billion in small business debt relief by requiring the Small Business Administration to pay all principal, interest, and fees on all existing SBA loan products for six months to provide relief to small businesses negatively affected by the coronavirus.  
  • Provides $10 billion for expanded eligibility for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, including emergency grants, an advance of $10,000 within three days to maintain payroll, provide paid sick leave, and to service other debt obligations.
DCEO Conference Call
The Chamber's next conference call will be with DCEO Director Erin Guthrie who will discuss grant and loan opportunities for Illinois small businesses at 10 am Tuesday, March 31. Anyone interested please contact Lanae Clarke  at:   

State Response Week in Review
Yesterday, the Pritzker Administration, in conjunction with the United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, announced a new statewide effort to raise funds to support nonprofits with COVID-19-related services.  The web site is

The governor also announced several loan and support programs, including a Hospitality Emergency Grant Program, Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund and a Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program.  DCEO is administering all the programs.  Eligibility information and other background on all the funds can be found  here.  

SBA Injury Disaster Loan Program 
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce  held a conference call for members Monday with SBA District Director Bo Steiner. You can view his presentation here .                      

Economic Trends in the Wake of COVID-    
19 Webinar
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce will be presenting a webinar by the International Business Council and SVP of Risk Management at Wintrus Venkat Veeramani, on Friday, April 3, 2020.   
Topics will include:  
  • U.S. economic activity is all set to decline sharply. Is the recovery going to be 'V', 'U', 'L' shaped or something else;
  • General economic and financial market indicators;
  •  COVID-19 Pandemic's short-term and long-term impacts on the U.S. economy, demand, supply, capacity disruptions and its economic and financial consequences; and
  • Fiscal and monetary policy measures enacted around the globe to cope with the situation.
Members can register for $59 at this  here.

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If you have questions about the Government Affairs Report, contact Clark Kaericher at Do not reply to this email. 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce

2020 Government Affairs Report | Clark Kaericher, Editor