Morton Updates:

On 4/24, join us for Fourth Fridays: Gone Virtual from the comfort of your own home with music from Black Velvet, balloon art from The Unique Twist, and a workout with BRelentless Training! Tune in!

On 4/29, we will be co-hosting an info session with Float Learning about SparkLearn Go - a mobile content delivery platform available for reaching your employees in new ways. Register here.

The Morton Public Library Board of Trustees has now approved a policy to temporarily extend services to non-residents during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This means all residents who live within the District 709 school boundaries, and who are not served by another library, may apply for a temporary digital card to allow access to e-books and other online resources through June 30, 2020. Use this link to apply:
Reminders: All previous bulletins and other resources listed at . Resource requests from our community institutions listed at the end of this bulletin. Send any questions to .

Stay-At-Home Order Extended Through May
This afternoon Governor Pritzker announced his intention to extend the “Stay-At-Home” order through Saturday, May 30. The governor stated that there will be some modifications starting May 1 and briefly outlined a few:

  • Hospitals and other medical centers can resume some elective surgeries and other medical procedures.
  • Retail stores currently deemed “non-essential” can begin filling orders for delivery or curbside pickups.
  • Phased re-opening of state parks and golf courses with some regulations remaining in place.

In addition, starting May 1, all individuals over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask when in public and proper social distancing is difficult (i.e. a grocery store). The governor also announced that there will be new guidelines on social distancing for essential businesses like manufacturing. According to the Illinois Manufacturers Association , those safety guidelines will include: 
·       Face coverings must be provided to all employees who are not able to maintain six feet of social distancing
·       Manufacturers may only operate essential lines
·       Occupancy limits for essential businesses
·       Encourage staggered shifts

More information on these regulations and changes to the Stay-At-Home will be posted as soon as available. Media coverage here .

Paycheck Protection Program Training On-Line 
The Kim Group and Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce hosted an online seminar to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete the application. A recording of the webinar can be found here

PPP Application Window Opening Soon
Moments ago the US House of Representatives approved a $484 billion relief package that includes a replenishment of PPP. It is expected to be quickly signed by the President. The window for accepting PPP applications may open as soon as tonight or tomorrow morning. Local banks are reporting a considerable number of completed applications already in queue that were halted when the first round closed. If you are interested in PPP and have yet to apply, you should contact your bank or financial institution immediately. The application can be located here . The Treasury Department also has a variety of useful information on PPP here

LISC Small Business Relief Grant Application Window Open
The second round of applications are now being accepted for LISC’s Small Business Grant program. The program will award $5000, $7500 or $10,000 to for-profit businesses. According to their website, “priority will be given especially to entrepreneurs of color, women- and veteran-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically under-served places who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital.” Applications are being accepted until Tuesday, April 28 at 11:59PM EST. More information and application here .
ShelfLove Open For Business
A few weeks ago we told you about ShelfLove, a startup on-line retail platform developed by Pekin native and Eureka College grad Anna Palmer . ShelfLove gives small, independent retailers to sell their products on-line to a national market without creating their own online presence. After getting retailers to sign up and list their products, the site is now live for shoppers. Click here to see Central Illinois businesses who have products listed. The list includes So Chic Boutique (Peoria, Morton); The Runaway Rack (Metamora); One Fit Stop; Small Town Girls Boutique (Lacon); Peoria Riverfront Museum Gift Shop (Peoria); Succulent Natural Skincare (Tivoli); and Tick Tick Fizz (Washington). Retailers interested in learning more and signing up should visit click here .  
Temporary Restraining Order over Workers Compensation Rule
From Illinois Manufacturers Association: Sangamon County Judge John M. Madonia issued a temporary restraining order following a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association earlier this week seeking to block emergency amendments filed by the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission that create a presumption that the workplace is the cause of COVID-19 cases. 
  • Community Foundation of Central Illinois: Requesting monetary donations for the Central Illinois Disaster Recovery Fund. Information  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.
  • Morton Chamber & EDC addition: Community United Church of Christ and Grace Church provided meals to Morton kids over Spring Break.To help cover some of the expenses, they are graciously accepting monetary donations. Checks can be made out to and mailed to Community United Church of Christ, 300 N. Main St, Morton, IL 61550 with the memo "School Meals".

Chris Setti
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Peoria Economic Development Council