Below are updates shared from the Greater Peoria region, including updates included from Gov. Pritzker's address this afternoon. We plan to send out a more Morton-specific communication out in the next few days. In the mean time, the Chamber continues to be our main landing page for all COVID-19 resources.

Wishing you all health and safety,
Morton Chamber & EDC


We continue to assemble resources and information for the business community regarding COVID-19. Please visit for a complete list of business resources and send any questions to .

NEW: Please see a new section at the end of this email for active requests for resources to help during this crisis. This section will be repeated until needs are met. Please send needs to

Breaking News : State of Illinois Programs for Small Business
Gov. Pritzker today announced three new programs to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. More details here but in brief:

  • Hospitality Emergency Grant: Bars, restaurants and hotels with a valid license can receive grants up to $50,000 to support working capital costs like payroll and rent. Applications being accepted now.  Click here for more information.
  • Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund: low-interest, five-year loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses (less than 50 employees) outside of City of Chicago. Deferred payments for first six months. Applications accepted starting April 1.
  • Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program: Grants up to $25,000 for businesses with less than 50 employees outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. Funds applied for by units of government (counties, cities, villages) on behalf of their businesses. (We will do more research into this program in particular.) Application materials available March 27.

This information will be updated.

Breaking News: Illinois Tax Deadline Pushed Back to July 15
At his daily coronavirus press conference, Gov. Pritzker announced that the tax filing deadline will be pushed back to July 15 to match the change in the federal deadline. More details here .

Update from Bradley SBDC on SBA Emergency Loans
Jim Foley of Bradley’s Turner Center for Entrepreneurship reports that they have already helped over 50 businesses better understand the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. SBA has decided that all loan payments for the first 11 months will be deferred with only interest accruing. Businesses are reporting problems filing on the SBA portal during working hours and are encouraged to do so after hours. More information from Bradley here .

US Department of Labor Guidance on Emergency Sick Leave and Expanded FMLA
The US Department of Labor today made available a set of resources regarding two important provisions of the Families First Act: the emergency sick leave provision and the expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Both pieces of legislation impact businesses with 500 or fewer employees. Resources include a Fact Sheet for Employees , a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers .

Reminder: I-74 Bridge Closure
In the midst of all the discussion about COVID-19, don’t forget that the Murray Baker bridge closes on Sunday, March 29 and will remain closed through October. (Since no one has anywhere to go right now, this is a great time to start this project and let us ease into new traffic patterns.) More here

Community Foundation of Central Illinois: Requesting monetary donations for the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund. Information Inserted from Morton Chamber & EDC: The Morton Community Foundation is also accepting donations for the Morton Area Disaster Relief Fund. There is a $10,000 matching donor.  Info 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.

Chris Setti
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council