Morton Updates:

On April 30, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker signed Executive Order No. 32 extending the stay-at-home restrictions statewide. Prior to the Governor's Order, Mayor Jeff Kaufman joined local leaders from central Illinois communities in a letter requesting the Governor's consideration of an alternative three phase plan to reopen local businesses. Mayor Kaufman advocated to the Governor for the best interest of our local economy, especially the interests of local businesses within the Village of Morton. While Mayor Kaufman is disappointed in the Governor's decision to continue the stay-at-home order, the Village of Morton nonetheless respects the Order of the Governor. The Village of Morton will enforce Governor Pritzker's Executive Order No. 32 in a like manner to prior executive orders. Local businesses are encouraged to read Governor Pritzker's Executive Order No. 32, available online at www2.illinois.gov/government/executive-orders  for more information on how this new executive order affects local businesses. Additional resources are available for businesses through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity online at  www.dceocovid19resources.com


The Morton Forecast Breakfast will be held virtually on Thursday, May 7. Registrants can pick up a Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast through a drive thru at Freedom Hall from 8:00 - 10:00 AM and watch a pre-recorded broadcast of the program at 10:00 AM on the Chamber's Facebook and YouTube. To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, each breakfast purchase ($15) will also provide a complimentary meal to an educator. Register here.

A Perfect Promotion has a supplier for disposable medical face masks. If you would like to order marks for your business, contact C layto n.

Parker Fabrication and Best Made Signs are able to make face shields and plexiglass guards for your workplaces.

The Peoria Magazine nominations for Best of Peoria are now open through May 13. Nominate your favorite business, restaurant, event, and venue!
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 .

Stay-At-Home Order Extended, Revised
You can find the new Executive Order extending and revising the stay-at-home order here . The order mandates all citizens over the age of 2 to wear a face covering in public places when social distancing is not possible; imposes restrictions on “essential” retail stores; allows for curbside pickup and delivery at “non-essential” stores; and outlines a number of other restrictions.  

New State Safety Regulations for Manufacturers
Within the Executive Order are new safety requirements for the manufacturing sector. These include:

  • Providing face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six feet of social distancing at all times
  • Staggering shifts
  • Reducing line speeds
  • Operating only essential lines while shutting down non-essential lines
  • Ensuring that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing; and
  • Downsizing operations to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing and to provide a safe workspace in response to the COVID-19 emergency

Poster Requirement
Section 1.5 of the Executive Order states: “ All businesses that have employees physically reporting to a work-site must post the guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Office of the Illinois Attorney General regarding workplace safety during the COVID-19 emergency. The guidance will be posted on the IDPH webpage.” The poster can be found here .

University of Chicago Survey on Business Impact (and a chance to win $500
The University of Chicago is reaching out to business owners to take a short and confidential survey about how small businesses have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The feedback can help improve the types of assistance that city and state government agencies provide to help businesses survive and recover from this crisis. Respondents will be entered into a lottery for the chance to win one of ten $500 prizes. Take the 10-minute survey by clicking here .

Employee Retention Credit – CARES Act (FAQs)
The IRS has posted updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to IRS.gov providing answers regarding the Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act. The Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act encourages 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. Learn more here .

Free HR Webinar hosted by Turner School for Entrepreneurship
The Turner Center for Entrepreneurship, at Bradley University, has partnered with local attorneys from Miller, Hall and Triggs LLC to provide answers to companies’ questions regarding HR and employment law during the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, May 19 from 12 -1 p.m.   To ensure the webinar is of value, participants are asked to pose questions in advance by completing this form .

RESOURCE REQUESTS
  • 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. Donate here.
  • UnityPoint Health: UnityPoint is seeking personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies. They are also 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
  • UICOMP Accepting Handmade Masks – The University of Illinois College of Medicine is accepting donations of handmade masks. Details can be found here.
  • IWIRC: Seeking standard PPE such as N-95/surgical/home-made masks, face shields, gowns, and latex-free gloves. Donated supplies can be dropped off at their downtown Peoria clinic location at 736 SW Washington St. Information here
  • Morton Chamber & EDC addition: Community Harvest and Midwest Food Bank are soliciting monetary donations to help support the influx of requests for food.Visit their sites for more info.

Chris Setti
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council