COVID-19 Related Business Information

3/17/2020

COVID-19 Related Business Information

Numerous organizations in our community are coming together to help coordinate business services and streamline communication. In an effort to reduce confusion among multiple communication channels, you may receive the same or a similar looking email or post from different organizations. This is by design as we take steps to make sure everyone receives important information for their business.

At this time, we’ve identified the following information which could be helpful to your business.


HOSPITALITY EMERGENCY GRANT PROGRAM
The Hospitality Emergency Grant Program is a $14 million grant program to support working capital as well as job training, retraining and technology to support shifts in operation. Eligible applicants include:

  • Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019
  • Hotels with a valid license (hotels, motels, other lodging establishments) and generated revenues of less than $8 million in 2019

Other opportunities include:

  • Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000
  • Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000
  • Hotels that generated less than $8M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $50,000

Businesses can apply on this website page - https://us.accion.org/news/covid-19-hospitality-business-grant-program/.


EMERGENCY SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS AND LOANS ASSISTANCE
Under the leadership of Governor JB Pritzker, DCEO is working with partners to launch emergency assistance programs for Illinois small businesses. View all the details here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/EmergencySBAIntiatives.aspx


STATE TREASURER TO MAKE LOW-INTEREST BRIDGE LOANS FOR BUSINESSES AVAILABLE AS SOON AS THE WEEK OF MARCH 23rd
Illinois small businesses can tap into $250 million in low-interest bridge loans as soon as this week to help push through the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today.

The state treasurer’s office will make $250 million available to Illinois banks and credit unions that wish to participate. The financial institutions will determine who is eligible for the loans.

The Illinois State Treasurer’s Office can move faster than others because facilitating low-interest loans is one of its core functions. These linked-deposit loans have been a staple for decades. The most widely known linked deposit is Ag Invest, which helps farmers with annual and long-term loans to be used for operating costs, equipment purchases, livestock purchases, and construction-related expenses. Established in 1983, Ag Invest has provided more than $4 billion in loans.

Other linked-deposit models include efforts to assist workers impacted by a government shutdown; faith-based organizations seeking facility improvements; and the legal cannabis industry.

View more about the Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program.


THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA) ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL)
As many of you are aware Sangamon County and every county in Illinois has qualified for disaster loan assistance through the SBA. If you have any clients or know of any businesses that needs this assistance the link to apply is here https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/EIDLLoans

Additional information can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Documents/COVID%2019%20SBA%20Economic%20Disaster%20Loans%20Webinar%2003.14.20.pdf

Our local Small Business Development Center is assisting small businesses with the loan application process although they are working remotely https://www.llcc.edu/career-training/sbdc/

SBA LOAN FACTS (PDF)


THE GREATER SPRINGFIELD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ESTABLISHED BUSINESS RELIEF FUND FOR COVID-19 CRISIS ASSISTANCE
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (GSCC) has created the Chamber Business Relief Fund to provide timely and meaningful financial resources to businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. GSCC has seeded the Fund with $15,000, and members of its Board of Directors have contributed $10,000 in less than 24 hours to establish an initial fund of $25,000.

Businesses can apply for funding beginning Friday, March 20 at www.gscc.org. The intent of the funding is to act as a bridge, a lifeline to assist with the long-term sustainability of the businesses applying for and receiving funding. The Greater Springfield Chamber Foundation will administer the Fund.

Businesses, organizations, and community members who are able can make tax-deductible contributions to the Chamber Business Relief Fund immediately by clicking the “Donate Now” button on www.gscc.org. You can also text “RELIEF” to 8666125378, or mail a check payable to The Greater Springfield Chamber Foundation. Every dollar donated will go directly to the Fund as The Chamber will absorb all administrative fees.

AlertsMadeEasy.com provided the “text to donate option” free of charge. The Chamber’s goal is to raise $50,000 or more in donations.

The Foundation Board of Directors will review and approve requests on a first-come, first served basis no later than the week of April 6. Disbursements will be made immediately upon approval. Applications received after April 6 will be considered based on the availability of funding.

Checks payable to the “The Greater Springfield Chamber Foundation” can be mailed to:
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
501 E. Capitol Avenue, Suite A
Springfield, IL 62701

Visit www.gscc.org to learn more about GSCC and the Business Relief Fund.


STAY INFORMED

Summary of Employment Provisions of the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response
Act (H.R. 6201) by Brown Hay + Stephens


On March 17, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association hosted a conference call to update employers on the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Topics included business communications, human resource issues, and business continuity. Listen to audio of the call here. Please be aware that the initial audio quality for the beginning of the first panelist is very poor, but improves significantly after approximately two minutes.


The City of Springfield has also added new COVID-19 related information on their website. 


LOCAL BANKS 
Though it is not a government program, talking to your current bank is recommended if you are having any problems or anticipate any problems. As new programs become available, we will coordinate and send the information out.


FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES
The Illinois Department of Employment Security has published information about COVID-19 and Unemployment Benefits in the form of frequently asked questions which can be found on this website: https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/COVID-19-and-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx

The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus, including use of the Family and Medical Leave Act.


SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
This is an especially hard time for restaurants and bars. If you are able, please purchase a gift card from a local business right now and you’ll help assist small businesses with cash-flow. Efforts are underway to promote these businesses where the gift card option is available. In addition, Local First is developing on a gift card program that can be used at numerous local businesses. More information on this program will be released when available but buying a gift card directly from a local business is the best thing you can do right now.


CDC COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR BUSINESSES AND EMPLOYERS
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has put together a comprehensive guide to COVID-19 geared directly at businesses and employers. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about COVID-19. CDC will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

There is an ongoing investigation to determine more about this outbreak. This is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated as it becomes available.


Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate.


The IRS has established a website to help taxpayers and businesses affected by the Corona virus.


Google for Small Business has resources to help your small business manage through uncertainty.


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has an entire section of COVID-19 resources, including best practices and templates. SHRM links worth bookmarking:


TOURISM-RELATED UPDATES
For Illinois tourism-related updates regarding COVID-19, please visit this website: https://www.visitspringfieldillinois.com/BlogDetails.aspx/Latest_News_on_COVID-19


SBA GUIDE FOR IMPACTED BUSINESSES
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

Learn more: https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19


WEBINAR + VIDEO CONFERENCING + REMOTE WORK SOFTWARE

Commonly used & suggested by local employers:

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