FRIDAY, JUNE 11 – MOVE TO PHASE 5
According to information released last week by the Governor’s Office, the entire State of Illinois will move to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan on Friday, June 11. This move is possible due to low rates of COVID-19 positivity, low numbers of hospitalizations from the virus and more than half of the state’s population being vaccinated to protect against the virus. This move will allow for a full reopening of all businesses and activities, with some continued safety guidelines for unvaccinated people and for all individuals in certain settings (i.e., while taking public transportation, etc.).
Here are excerpts from a recent announcement by the State of Illinois:
Following weeks of steady decreases in new positive COVID-19 cases and with over 67% of residents age 18 and older receiving their first vaccine dose, Governor JB Pritzker is releasing guidelines for Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan, which will go into effect on June 11th and marks a full reopening of all businesses and activities. This guidance will mean businesses, large-scale events, conventions, amusement parks, and seated-spectator venues, among others, will be able to operate at full capacity for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The State is also lifting the outdoor mask requirement in schools in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This guidance comes as Illinois has recently reached a test positivity rate of less than 2 percent, more than half of the population has been fully vaccinated, and key hospitalization metrics have been declining since early May.
Upon entering Phase 5, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. The State will continue to recommend masking for unvaccinated persons, and require it for all people while traveling on public transportation, in congregate settings, in health care settings, as well as in schools, day cares, and educational institutions pursuant to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and CDC guidance. Businesses and local municipalities can put in place additional mitigations as they deem appropriate.
Phase 5 also marks the return of traditional conventions, festivals, and large events without capacity restrictions. Large gatherings of all sizes can resume across all industry settings, and Phase 5 removes requirements that businesses institute mandatory social distancing in seated venues as well as daily health screenings of employees and visitors. Businesses and venues should continue to allow for social distancing to the extent possible, especially indoors. Businesses and venues may also continue to put in place additional public health mitigations as they deem appropriate, including requiring face coverings.
While the entry to Phase 5 signals an end to business and activity specific guidance requiring social distancing, health screening and other required operational shifts, Illinois will continue to recommend face coverings for unvaccinated persons, as well as all individuals while (1) on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation and in transportation hubs, such as airports and train and bus stations; (2) in congregate facilities such as correctional facilities, veterans’ homes, and long-term care facilities, group homes, and residential facilities; and (3) in healthcare settings.
Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is awarding funding through the Restaurant Revitalization Program to restaurants, bars, and other similar places of business (including bakeries) that serve food or drink to provide support to eligible entities that suffered revenue losses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund was established on March 11, 2021, with the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act.
Access the Program Guide as of April 20, 2021, here.
Access SBA’s webpage on the Restaurant Revitalization program here.
Emergency Resources for Businesses
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has compiled a list of emergency resources for small businesses throughout the state. To view the complete list of resources, click here.
Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) ais offering PPP loans until May 31, 2021. The PPP is a loan designed to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. For more information, including eligibility, loan details, how to apply and more, please visit the SBA website and contact your lender.
NEW ComEd Small Business Customer Assistance Program
As of December 16, 2020, ComEd is accepting applications for assistance that would be applied to a business’ bill in 2021 if they meet all qualifications. The Small Business Assistance Program provides eligible small business customers with a one-time grant up to $2,000 toward a past due balance. Eligible customers may also place a remaining balance into a payment plan of up to six months.
To apply, call 1-877-426-6331
Click for More Information
Illinois Restaurant Association Restaurant Employee Relief Grant
The Illinois Restaurant Association has opened the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, a program of the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (IRAEF). This fund provides one-time grants of $500 to support restaurant employees facing an unforeseen hardship due to COVID-19. Grants will help to cover basic living expenses such as rent, food and utilities. This fund allows IRAEF to give back to the employees at the heart of the restaurant community. Employees may apply here.
0% Interest LOANS STILL AVAILABLE THROUGH THE VILLAGE OF HOMER GLEN
Partnering to Keep the Lights On
Funding is still available for the Village of Homer Glen COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Assistance Program. Mayor Yukich and the Village Board of Trustees proactively approved loan program for small businesses to Keep the Lights On at their March 25, 2020, meeting. Independently-owned businesses in Homer Glen are eligible to apply. Up to a $10,000 line of credit is available with loans offered at zero percent (0%) interest. The Village has approved $130,000 of loan assistance to date.
Click on the link below for the program details and application form.
Contact Economic Development Director Janie Patch at (708) 301-0632 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.