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.
PPP Modification Reduces Minimum Amount Towards Payroll 

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act recently passed. It gives businesses more time to spend 60% of the loan on payroll costs (down from 75%) for full forgiveness. There is a sliding scale of forgiveness for those who spend less than 60% on payroll costs. See further details here.

The Small Business Administration will be hosting a webinar tomorrow at 10:30am to cover these changes as well as recap the business resources they can provide. You can register to attend this webinar here.  

Cocktails-To-Go As Soon As June 17th

City Council will vote on Wednesday, June 17th to pass an ordinance to allow cocktail-to-go. You can view the proposed ordinance here

If 2/3rds of the council vote to pass this ordinance, it will go into effect immediately on June 17th. This is highly expected. If 1/2 to 2/3rd Council approves this ordinance, it will possibly go into effect in late July, 10 days after a City Council date yet to be determined. 

Local coverage from the Sun-Times here.

Our summary follows:
  • Who is included?
    • Consumption on premises - incidental activity OR tavern license holders may sell cocktails delivered or to go
    • Packaged good liquor license holders are not included and cannot sell cocktails delivered or to go
  • How are mixed drinks packaged?
    • Delivered or to go drinks are served in a container with a tamper-evident sealed lid
    • No straw holes, no ability to drink without visibly broken seal
    • No foam, paper, or plastic containers
    • Suggested seals include wax or heat shrink wrap
    • Additional required info printed on the container:
      • Name of cocktail or ingredients
      • Volume served (measurement units not specified)
      • Business name, license #, and address
      • Date of cocktail mixing - not to be sold more than 6 days after packaging
  • How are mixed drinks served?
    • Delivery
      • BASSET or TIPS-trained employee (at least 21-years-old) who IDs customer
      • Employee (and customers) must transport mixed drinks in the trunk, or in an area not accessible to the driver of the vehicle
      • No 3rd party delivery allowed
      • no Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc
    • Curbside pickup
      • BASSET or TIPS-trained employee (at least 21-years-old) who IDs customer
    • Sale on-premises (inside)
      • BASSET or TIPS-trained employee (at least 21-years-old) who IDs customer
Cocktails-to-go are not to be sold after 9pm. Restaurants serving customers alcohol for consumption on premises in approved outdoor patios or sidewalk cafes may serve alcohol until 11pm (food until regularly approved closing-time) now that the city curfew has been lifted. 

Sidewalk Cafe Permit Reforms

City Council will also vote on June 17th to adopt an ordinance that makes several needed adjustments to sidewalk cafes. A Sidewalk Cafe Permit is  needed to place tables and serve patrons on the sidewalk or in the parkway (the area between the sidewalk and the street). Three adjustments are expected:
  1. Expediting permit to estimated 5-10 day approval time by eliminating need for a vote at a City Council meeting. The 1st step in the permit process is still to get approval from the local alderman.
  2. Allowance to extend the footprint of a sidewalk cafe beyond the boundaries of the business property. More details on that below.
  3. 75% reduction in cost for the sidewalk cafe permit. Businesses that have already secured a sidewalk cafe permit this year can apply for reimbursement.  
Expansion of sidewalks cafes to neighboring properties:
  • Where/how much can the sidewalk cafe expand?
    • Cannot expand in front of a retail food or alcohol establishment
    • Can only extend to 1 neighbor's property in 1 direction
    • Cannot obstruct neighboring windows (unless unit is vacant) or doors
    • Can expand on neighbors property only to one side
      • must preserve 6 foot ADA clearance for pedestrians and be covered by sidewalk cafe insurance
      • must notify neighbor in writing IF sidewalk cafe against property, no notification required if sidewalk cafe against the curb.
  • How to apply?
    • Submit an application (link below) to your local alderman
    • If you already have a sidewalk cafe you would like to amend, submit an amended application to your alderman
    • It's always a good idea to discuss your plans with a staff member at the local alderman's office to identify any potential issues that they would like you to address in your application
  • We still have questions about the following
    • There does not seem to be a specified limit to the extension - not sure what this means when a neighbor has a very wide lot.
    • Although the neighbor does not formally have a "veto" on a sidewalk extension, we anticipate that local aldermen will take a neighbor's input into account when making their recommendation to the city. 

You can find the Sidewalk Cafe Permit application here, and check to see if you have an active permit here.

Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit

The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce has been reaching out to local businesses along Lincoln Avenue to apply for an  Expanded Outdoor Dining Permit on Lincoln Ave from Lawrence to Sunnyside. We'll be working with local businesses, elected officials, and city departments to address any concerns or potential conflicts. 

Permits are not yet being granted pending approval of the city's initial pilot areas.   

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