BACK TO BUSINESS (B2B) GRANT
As part of Governor JB Pritzker’s overall economic recovery strategy, the $250 million Back to Business (B2B) grant program aims to deploy small businesses recovery grants for those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The B2B grant program builds on the success of last year’s Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program – an equity focused business relief program, which directed $290 million to 9,000 businesses in 98 communities across Illinois. B2B is a key component of the Governor’s $1.5 billion economic recovery plan, aimed toward a swift and equitable deployment of American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds that have been designated for Illinois to assist in recovery from the COVID pandemic.
To assist small businesses with the B2B application process and other upcoming or ongoing economic recovery grant programs offered at the State or federal level. DCEO has invested $9 million in support of Community Navigator organizations working in every region of the state. These organizations will provide technical assistance to businesses, with a focus on underserved businesses including minority, rural, veteran and women-owned businesses.
More info here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/B2B.aspx
BUSINESS MICRO GRANT PROGRAM
The City of Macomb and the City of Bushnell is eager to launch this grant program in collaboration with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) through the Local CURE Economic Support Payments Grant Program to reimburse local non-essential business owners for working capital expenses. The Business Micro Grant Program will reimburse local business owners a portion of working capital expenses that have occurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. This will assist business owners in their efforts to keep their businesses viable despite business interruption losses due to COVID-19.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE? All non-essential businesses within the City of Bushnell and the City of Macomb following all relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines, including those pertaining to COVID-19 mitigation, are eligible. Non-essential business are those businesses not declared essential in Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-30 (COVID-19 Executive Order No. 30): https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/Executive-Orders/ExecutiveOrder2020-32.aspx. See General Eligibility for additional conditions.
WHAT ARE TYPICAL ELIGIBLE EXPENSES? All working capital expenses are eligible between March 1, 2020 and December 20, 2020 – these could include payroll, rent, inventory, utilities, and more. The narrative should explain how items included were needed because of the business interruption caused by COVID-19.
WHAT ARE YOUR OBLIGATIONS? Business owners must complete the project application and certification. If the application is approved, the owners must adhere to the items and uses specified in the application. Applicants must also adhere to all federal, state, and local regulations. While the City understands and acknowledges the challenges related to COVID-19 facing business owners, these funds originate from the federal and state government and business owners receiving these funds must adhere to all COVID-19 mitigation regulations.
WHO REVIEWS/APPROVES PROJECT APPLICATIONS? Kim Pierce (representing the Bushnell Economic Development Corporation) with the oversight of the City of Bushnell and John Bannon with the oversight of the City of Macomb will publish program guidelines, work with applicants to ensure properties are eligible, and verify applications are complete. Completed applications will be reviewed by an economic development committee to expedite the process and ensure a quick turnaround time for applicants.
WHEN DO YOU APPLY? Now! Applications will be accepted through January 06, 2021 no later than the end of the business day (4PM). No late applications will be accepted.
Where has the money come from? The federal government (U.S. Department of the Treasury) originally contributed stimulus funds through the CARES program and the State of Illinois has passed these funds through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Local CURE Economic Support Payments Grant Program to the City of Bushnell and the City of Macomb.
Download the application here:
City of Bushnell, IL Micro Grant Program Application
City of Macomb Micro Grant Program Application
TIER 3 RESURGENCE MITIGATIONS
COVID-19 Mitigation Plan— McDonough County is in region 2.
With a new wave of COVID-19 surging across the state of Illinois and the nation, the state is committed to listening to public health experts and following the science to keep people safe. Tier 3 builds on the Resurgence Mitigation Plan first released in July to suppress the spread of the virus and ensure our hospitals do not become overrun. This new tier aims to limit gatherings and encourages people to stay home to the greatest extent possible, while permitting some industries to remain open at significantly reduced capacities with proper safety measures in place. All detailed Phase 4 operational guidance remains in effect. Where Phase 4 guidance and Tier 3 Mitigations imply different standards, the more restrictive Tier 3 Mitigations will apply. School districts and local officials should follow extensive guidance released by IDPH and ISBE in August and make decisions related to in-person and remote learning at the local level, based on the unique needs of their communities. Child care facilities may continue to operate subject to DCFS guidelines.
With COVID-19 spread now exponential in every region of the state, our statewide positivity rate at record highs and hospitalizations already surpassing our Spring peak, all 11 regions will move into Tier 3 effective November 20, 2020 at 12:01am. The new mitigation requirements to combat the surge of COVID-19 across Illinois are as follows:
The provisions above apply to industries/sectors with Restore Illinois Phase 4 guidance or other mitigations. Other functions (i.e. infrastructure, governments, logistics and warehousing etc.) that previously have not been subject to specific guidance may continue regular operations but are encouraged to voluntarily take proactive steps to support new mitigation strategy wherever possible. In these areas, customer serving functions should be limited to 25 percent capacity, aligned with Retail mitigations, and maximize work from home wherever possible.
IDPH will continue to track the positivity rates and hospital capacity metrics in regions over a 14-day monitoring period to determine if mitigations can be relaxed, if additional mitigations are required, or if current mitigation should remain in place. In order for a region to move back to Tier 2 mitigations, a region must experience less than 12 percent test positivity rate for three consecutive days AND greater than 20 percent available intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital bed availability AND declining COVID hospitalizations in 7 out of the last 10 days.
Follow the latest regional metrics at: https://dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics.
For more information on guidance for businesses and frequently asked questions (FAQ) please visit the FAQ on DCEO’s website.
For more information, check out:
OVER $300 MILLION FOR RENT AND MORTGAGE RELIEFE FOR HOUSEHOLDS IMPACTED BY COVID-19
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
With applications now available, the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERA) will support Illinois tenants unable to pay their rent due to a COVID-19-related loss of income. Tenants whose applications are approved will receive one-time grants of $5,000 paid directly to their landlords to cover missed rent payments beginning March 2020 and prepay payments through December 2020, or until the $5,000 is exhausted, whichever comes first. The assistance will be in the form of a grant and repayment will not be required. Applications for ERA will be accepted August 10th through August 21st. Due to anticipated high volume, the application window may close early. IHDA will use a third-party entity to select a pool of applications to be reviewed for eligibility. Apply online at: era.ihda.org.
Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
Available August 24, 2020, the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMA) will assist homeowners who have experienced a COVID-19-related loss of income resulting in past due mortgage balances starting March 2020. Approved applicants will receive up to $15,000 paid directly to their mortgage servicer. Assistance will cover the homeowner’s past due or forbearance balance and their regular mortgage payments through December 30, 2020, or until the funding is exhausted, whichever comes first. Payments may include all escrowed first mortgage expenses including property taxes, insurance and certain fees. The assistance will be in the form of a grant and repayment will not be required. Applications for EMA will be accepted from August 24th through September 4th. Due to anticipated high volume, the application window may close early. IHDA will use a third-party entity to select a pool of applications to be reviewed for eligibility. Apply online at: ema.ihda.org.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION GRANTS PROGRAM (BIG)
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 of which has been set aside for childcare providers and is funded by the CARES Act.
In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic and are located in DIAs. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount, since March and may continue to face depressed revenues or closure. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020. An emphasis will also be placed on those businesses that are located in areas that have experienced recent property damage due to civil unrest, exacerbating the economic impacts of COVID-19.
Specifically, the program includes support for:
Businesses in DIAs – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000
Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each
Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each
Businesses must have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must meet specific annual revenue criteria outlined in document below.
WHEN AND WHERE TO APPLY: DCEO will begin accepting applications on June 26th. The application submission portal will be posted on this webpage. Until the 26th, DCEO is posting the application questions and required documents for businesses and business support organizations to read, review and prepare.
DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED AREAS
The map (click here and scroll down) shows all disproportionately impacted areas for the Business Interruption Grant program. To determine whether or not you are located in a DIA, enter your address in the search box.
Note that for this first round of BIG funds, businesses located in a subset of DIAs where there has been recent property damage due to civil unrest will be eligible for specific grant funds. The zip codes eligible for this specific subset of funding are found here.
FUTURE BIG ASSISTANCE
This $60 million funding round represents only the first wave of the BIG program, which in total will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers. For the remaining BIG funding, DCEO will issue a NOFO at a later date to seek qualified partner(s) in assisting with administering future phases of the BIG program to small businesses. Check back here for the latest updates on BIG grant availability.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP) FORGIVENESS
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has announced that recordings of two webinars hosted last week to help businesses and lenders with the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Applications are available to anyone who missed the sessions but may still require assistance.
The first webinar is for businesses and the steps they need to take to complete their loan forgiveness applications. The second webinar (for lenders), detailed the process in how those loan forgiveness applications should be reviewed.
The Paycheck Protection Program is a forgivable small business loan program administered by the SBA. The program is designed to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic to keep their workers on the payroll. Over $125 billion in PPP funds are still available. Eligible small businesses include sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and the self-employed.
Watch the business webinar here. -click “watch on web” then click “join anonymously”
Watch the lenders webinar here.
Additional resources from the Small Business Administration (SBA) regarding the Paycheck Protection Program may also be found here or by visiting one of the 35 SBA resource partners in Illinois
PHASE 4: REVITALIZATION
Phase 4 allows for the safe reopening or expansion of several key business segments – such as health and fitness, movies and theater, museums and zoos, as well as indoor dining at restaurants. Phase 4 also allows for expanded gathering sizes, increasing from 10 to 50 people (or fewer). During Phase 4, common public health standards remain in effect; including the use of face coverings and social distancing.
Industry-specific guidelines may vary but are designed to help employers, workers and residents feel safe in transitioning to the next phase of reopening the state. All industries should continue to conduct regular cleanings, employee health screenings upon entry and mid-shift, and allow employees who can continue working from home to do so.
Click HERE for the Governor’s complete press release.
See an overview of the Phase 4 changes here.
See Phase 4 industry specific guidlines here.
CHECKLIST FOR RE-OPENING
Effective May 29, 2020: The Recovery Phase of the Restore Illinois public health approach to reopening the Illinois economy includes returning people to work, businesses reopening and group gatherings of 10 or fewer. We must all continue to social distance, frequently wash our hands and cover our faces to maintain progress in overcoming COVID-19.
Reopening Guidance For…
Now that Illinois is bending the curve, it is vitally important that we follow a safe and deliberate path forward to get our Illinois economy moving. This five-phased plan will reopen our state, guided by health metrics and with distinct business, education, and recreation activities characterizing each phase. This is an initial framework that will likely be updated as research and science develop and as the potential for treatments or vaccines is realized.
ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY
Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributed to COVID-19. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus. Resources include: