News Flash

City of Elmhurst News

Posted on: March 18, 2020

COVID-19 Business Impacts, Relief, & Resources

COVID19 Business Impacts Relief Resources

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis creates unique challenges for our local business community. The City of Elmhurst remains actively engaged in serving the needs of our business community through this crisis and is committed to assisting and connecting businesses with the resources they need during this unprecedented time. We will continue to update this page as new information becomes available. We also encourage local business owners/operators and residents to follow information being shared on the State of IL’s new dedicated Coronavirus Response Site. We have put together a list of Q&A’s for businesses related to COVID-19 based on information coming from our partners in economic development at the County, State, and Federal level and industry resources. Questions related to specific programs offered by our partners should be directed to those organizations.

GUIDELINES FOR BUSINESSES RE-OPENING IN PHASE 3 – MAY 29, 2020

Elmhurst is on track to move into Phase 3 of the State’s Restore Illinois Plan on Friday, May 29th. The State issued guidelines for different industry sectors eligible to re-open in some capacity during Phase 3 were released Sunday morning 5/24 and are available at the following link.

State Guidelines for Businesses Re-opening in Phase 3

The City of Elmhurst finalized plans to assist businesses in expanding outdoor operations, including but not limited to restaurants and fitness providers. 

Elmhurst Applications for Outdoor Business Operations in Phase 3

Outdoor Dining Operations Temporary Use Permit Application

Outdoor Fitness Classes Temporary Use Permit Application

Businesses with specific questions on outdoor business expansion in Phase 3 are encouraged to email Business Development Coordinator Erin Jason at erin.jason@elmhurst.org 

Modified Stay at Home Order Will Be Extended Through May 30th

On April 23, 2020 Governor Pritzker announced that next week he will be issuing a modified Stay-at-Home Order which will be effective May 1- May, 30, 2020. Learn more about the pending order and modifications to the original order regarding outdoor recreation, new essential businesses, face coverings, and more in the State’s press release:

Press Release on Extension of Stay-at-Home Order

Restore Illinois Plan

On Tuesday, May 5, Governor Pritzker announced a 5-phase plan to safely reopen Illinois as we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic. Restore Illinois is designed to provide a framework for reopening businesses, education, and recreational activities. This initial plan can and will be updated as research and science develop and as the potential for effective treatments or vaccines is realized.

View the complete Restore Illinois plan HERE.

Elmhurst Businesses We Want to Hear from You: The City of Elmhurst and the Elmhurst Economic Development Commission are working to collect data from local businesses to assist the City with future forecasting and planning. In a season of uncertainty, the City’s goal is to act proactively, strategically, and with intention. Local business owners/operators are asked to respond to the following five questions in this form which will be submitted to the City’s Business Development Coordinator.

Guidelines for Opening Up America Again

President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps are geared to help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.

Guidelines for Opening Up America Again (CDC)

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has several Business & Organization Guidance forms and best practices available on their website for both businesses that are currently operational and those that are in the process of preparing to reopen:  IDPH Business & Organization Guidance

What business assistance is available through DuPage County?

Small Business Relief Grant Program: Reinvest DuPage

In an effort to assist small businesses and independent contractors impacted by COVID-19, DuPage County, in conjunction with Choose DuPage, is launching Reinvest DuPage, a grant relief program. Grants can be used for payroll, rent, mortgage payments, utilities, and other expenses necessary to maintain operations.

Eligible Applicants:

Small businesses with fewer than 15 full-time employees and less than $1.5 million in annual revenue may apply for a grant up to $15,000.

Independent contractors with more than 50% of their annual income coming from 1099 work, and an annual income of less than $100,000 may apply for a grant up to $7,500.

Businesses and contractors that have received other funds intended for this purpose (i.e. PPP, EIDL) are not eligible.

To apply for this program, you must complete an online application. Applications opened on Monday, May 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM CST. Reinvest DuPage is a first come first served program. Apply for Reinvest DuPage

Learn More at Reinvest DuPage.

Have questions, contact Choose DuPage at reliefgrant@choosedupage.com. Please allow 2-3 business days for a reply.

What business assistance is available through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was passed by Congress?

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) the afternoon of March 27, 2020. The CARES Act’s estimated $2+ trillion funding includes: extraordinary public health spending to confront the COVID-19 pandemic; immediate cash relief for individual citizens; a broad lending program for small business; and, targeted relief for hard-hit industries. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. 

On Friday, April 24, 2020 President Trump signed a $484 billion bill Friday to aid employers and hospitals under stress from the coronavirus pandemic H.R. 266, Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The bill is the latest effort by the federal government to assist businesses that have had to close or dramatically alter their operations. It includes a $320 billion replenishment for the Paycheck Protection Program as well as approximately $75 billion in aid for hospitals, $25 billion for coronavirus testing, and $60 billion to replenish the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

To help small business owners and entrepreneurs better understand the new programs that will soon be available to them, a comprehensive guide was created addressing many of the small business provisions in the CARES Act. These programs and initiatives are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.  The guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.To keep up to date on when these programs become available, please stay in contact with your local Small Business Administration (SBA) District Office, which you can locate here

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act (US Senate Committee)

CARES Act Assistance Guide for Small Businesses (Congressman Mike Quigley Dist. 5)

Struggling to get started? The following questions might help point you in the right direction. Do you need:

  • Capital to cover the cost of retaining employees? Then the Paycheck Protection Program might be right for you.
  • A quick infusion of a smaller amount of cash to cover you right now? You might want to look into an Emergency Economic Injury Grant.
  • To ease your fears about keeping up with payments on your current or potential SBA loan? The Small Business Debt Relief Program could help.
  • Just some quality, free counseling to help you navigate this uncertain economic time? The resource partners might be your best bet.

Paycheck Protection Program Loans (PPP)

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act originally allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn; an additional $320 billion in funds were added to the program through the H.R. 266, Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act on April 24, 2020. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

General Information:  The PPP program is designed to help small businesses maintain payroll in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible businesses who enroll in the program will receive a forgivable loan to use for payroll purposes, in addition to helping pay for utilities, rent, mortgage interest payments, and more. Details are included in the links below.  

Overview of PPP Program (US Treasury)

Guide & Checklist for PPP Emergency Loans (US Chamber of Commerce)

PPP Information Sheet for Borrowers (US Treasury)

PPP Information for Lenders (US Treasury)

PPP Loan Application Form

  • Key Dates: The SBA resumed acceptance of PPP applications from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrowers at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 27, 2020. The Treasury Department guidance urges businesses to apply as soon as possible, due to a funding cap in place on this program.
  • Lender Information: PPP loans will be 100% federally guaranteed but handled by SBA-certified lenders. Lending institutions that are not currently SBA-certified but want to participate should email DelegatedAuthority@sba.gov.
  • Application Information: Interested parties should contact their local lender to see if they are SBA-certified and/or planning on participating in the program. Applicants will have to provide payroll documentation to the lender.
  • PPP Loan Forgiveness: The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released the Paycheck Protection Program’s loan forgiveness application. This application must be completed in order for the lender to determine the amount of the loan that is to be forgiven. Download the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)

On March 19th the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), approved Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s application for small businesses and not-for-profits across our state to be declared eligible for low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) assistance relating to financial damages caused to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. Additional funding was made available through H.R. 266, Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act on April 24, 2020. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act expanded the SBA’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL).

General Information: The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program received significant funding in the Families First Act, which was the 2nd COVID-19 stimulus package. These SBA loans provide small businesses with a long-term, low interest loan of up to $2 million to pay for expenses they would have met if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Note that these are loans, not grants, although refinancing an EIDL into a PPP Loan is a possibility, provided you used the fund for the proper purpose. Additionally, applicants can apply for both EIDL and PPP loans simultaneously, although the funds cannot be used for the same purpose.

Application Process: The SBA has just recently rolled out a new, streamlined application process. Note that if your business needs short term assistance, and you applied before March 30, 2020, you may need to re-submit your application.

If you have already applied for funds through EIDL and do not need the $10,000 advance, your application should continue to be processed without additional steps. You may check on the status of your application by calling 800-659-2955.

Streamlined SBA Loan Application 

  • Application Assistance:  The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is working with federal and local partners to ensure assistance is available for small businesses seeking loans, counseling, and preparedness planning. Business advisors at the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will assist with the application process.

Locate your nearest Small Business Development Center or text LOCATE to 7234

  • Additional Resources for SBA EIDL Application Process:

Guide to SBA’s EIDL Program (US Chamber of Commerce)

Understanding the Basics of SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans Slide Deck

SBA Disaster Loan Resources Guide

SBA Loan Front Line Staff Contacts

SBA Small Business Debt Relief Program

The Small Business Administration is providing a program to assist small businesses who have non-disaster SBA loans – namely 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans.

  • Program Benefits: The SBA will cover payments (on principal and interest) in addition to fees for six months.
  • Program Applicability: This program will apply to preexisting loans in these categories, in addition to new borrowers who take out these loans within six months of the CARES Act becoming law.
  • Loan Program Details: Please see the below links if you think that your business could benefit from these options:

7(a) Loan Program Information

7(a) loans max out at $5 million are targeted towards borrowers who lack credit elsewhere and need access to flexible capital. These loans are offered through approved 7(a) lenders (a list is available here)

504 Loan Program Information

504 Loans max out at $5.5 million and provide long-term fixed-rate financing and may be a good option for businesses looking to purchase property or large equipment

SBA Microloan Program Information

The SBA’s microloan program offers loans of up to $50,000 to help small businesses start up or expand.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.

General Information: The CARES Act includes an Employee Retention Tax Credit, designed to encourage employers to retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The IRS describes the credit as a “fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allocable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. This applies to wages paid between March 12, 2020 and January 1, 2021, with a maximum credit for any employee amounting to $5,000.

FAQs: Employee Retention Credit under the CARES Act (IRS)

Guide to Employee Retention Tax Credit (US Chamber of Commerce)

  • Key Caveat: This credit is not available to employers receiving assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program.  

Employer Payroll Tax Deferral

General Information: According to the Guide, a provision in the CARES Act allows for the deferral of the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020. These deferred amounts are due in two installments – one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022. Included deferrable taxes include the employer portion of FICA taxes and half of SECA tax liability. Watch for additional IRS guidance on this at the IRS coronavirus webpage.

  • Key Caveat: Deferral is not available to employers receiving assistance via the Paycheck Protection Program.

Business Resource Partners (Counseling & Assistance with Applications)

General Information: In addition to direct financial assistance to small businesses and non-profits, the recent stimulus packages have included significant funding for enhanced small business counseling services. These organizations are well versed in how to help small businesses succeed and stand ready and willing to help your organization navigate these difficult times.

General Information: In addition to direct financial assistance to small businesses and non-profits, the recent stimulus packages have included significant funding for enhanced small business counseling services. These organizations are well versed in how to help small businesses succeed and stand ready and willing to help your organization navigate these difficult times.

Illinois Small Business Development Center and ITC at College of DuPage

Women’s Business Development Center

312-853-3477 / wbdc@wbdc.org

In addition to serving women entrepreneurs, the Women’s Business Development Center is mandated to serve the needs of underserved entrepreneurs, including low-income entrepreneurs.

Minority Business Development Agency Business Center

312-755-2563

Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

CEO.Support@illinois.gov

What Emergency Small Business Grant and Loan Assistance is available from the State of Illinois?

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund

DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are establishing the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside of the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at a below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term. 

How to Apply  DCEO is partnering with Accion Serving Illinois and Indiana to provide access to the Small Business Emergency Loan Fund in your area.

Initiate an Application with Accion  

The State expects high demand for this program, and once submitted, it will take time to process your application and receive a response. Lenders are reviewing applications as quickly as possible, and DCEO is working to add additional lenders to the program. Please continue to check the DCEO website for an up to date listing of lenders and available programs.

As of 6:00pm on April 1st, businesses that submitted an expression of interest form have been contacted at the email address provided. Please check your junk, spam or promotions folders if you submitted the form and have not received a message.

If you did not submit an expression of interest, you are still be able to apply. For assistance with additional questions, please email CEO.Support@Illinois.gov.

Small Business Covid-19 Relief Fund (Bridge Loans)

On Monday March 23, 2020 Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced that small business and NFPs can apply for low-interest bridge loans through the $250 million Business Invest – Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Fund. The program is an impact investment loan program under which the State Treasurer would make up to $250 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero rates, to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this funding is to provide vital economic support to small businesses and non-profits throughout Illinois to help overcome the loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Through this program, the Treasurer’s Office will partner with approved financial institutions to provide loans -- either lower rate loans, or loans to a business or non-profit that would not otherwise qualify -- to Illinois small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find an Active List of Participating Financial Institutions

DCEO Information Gathering Impact Form

Given that an SBA loan is a short-term option, DCEO will continue to gather information around your industry, specific anecdotal data around your supply chain/transportation, distribution (if it applies) and overall information to give a thorough analysis/report to the Governor’s Office to account for the long-term impact of this pandemic. You can directly help through your assistance in identifying affected business by filling out the DCEO Business Impact Form.

Will my business be allowed to remain open under the Governor’s Stay at Home Order issued on March 20, 2020?

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has issued a List of Clarifications for those businesses having difficulty interpreting whether or not their business is considered an essential or non-essential business at this time. If you still have questions after consulting the list you may contact DCEO directly at (800)252-2923 or ceo.support@illinois.gov

Covid19 Elmhurst Restaurant Support Guide

Please note that our restaurants and bars may have modified hours and menu offerings during the mandate. We encourage you to check their social media pages, websites, or call them directly to learn more about their operations for the next several days and weeks.

What do I do if I believe a business is violating the Governor’s Stay at Home Order?

If you believe that a business is violating Executive Order 20-10, which requires all non-essential businesses cease all activities except for working from home, you may submit a complaint to the State of IL. Please review this document that describes the executive order before submitting the complaint Essential Business FAQ.  You can also view the Full Executive Order 20-10 Here. Note on April 1st the Governor extended the length of the order to April 30th.

If after review of the Executive Order you still believe that a business is in violation, you may Submit a Complaint Here.

If you have questions about whether a business is violating the Stay at Home Order by not allowing for safe social distancing or that it is not maintaining a safe and sanitary work environment to minimize the risk of spread of COVID-19, please contact the Workplace Rights Bureau of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office at (844)740-5076 or workplacerights@atg.state.il.us.

If you have questions about employee benefits, including paid leave, please contact the Illinois Department of Labor at 312-783-2800 (Chicago office), 217-782-6206 (Springfield office), or dol.questions@illinois.gov.

In the event you observe a flagrant violation of the Stay at Home order, such as a bar or restaurant having a room full of customers eating in, please contact the Elmhurst Police Department (630)530-3050.  

How can my company Donate, Make, or Sell needed PPE items?

For donations of personal protective equipment, please email: PPE.donations@illinois.gov. Here’s the list of items they are looking for:

  • Masks: N-95, ear loop, or surgical
  • Gowns: Isolation or non-descript
  • Gloves: Nitrile, sterile, or surgical
  • Eye Protection: Face shields and goggles
  • Infection Control Kits
  • Hand Sanitizer: Any size
  • Disinfectant Wipes: Any size
  • Thermometers: Forehead only

All donated items should be in the manufacture’s original packaging and unopened. For non-PPE items, tangible or financial, please email: CEO.BusinessDonations@illinois.gov.

“Make”: Manufacturers who are ramping up or altering their operations to provide more essential items should contact the Illinois Manufacturers Association (IMA) at: https://ima-net.org/covid-19/supplies/ 

“Sell”: Wholesalers, suppliers, or manufacturers that already have items on hand to sell or will in the future, should contact: COVID.procurement@illinois.gov.  

The following items are in greatest need:

  • N-95 masks
  • Gloves (non-powdered)
  • Gowns (impermeable)
  • Isolation gowns (all sizes)
  • Surgical masks
  • Regular masks, ear loop
  • Procedure masks with face shields
  • Goggles
  • Face shields
  • Sanitizing wipes
  • Purple-top wipes
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Digital thermometers
  • PAPR hoods
  • Ventilators

Is there any relief from penalties for late sales tax payments to the State of IL?

In an effort to assist eating and drinking establishments impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, effective immediately, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is waiving any penalty and interest that would have been imposed on late Sales Tax payments from qualified taxpayers. Taxpayers who are eligible for relief from penalties and interest on late Sales Tax payments are those operating eating and drinking establishments that incurred a total Sales Tax liability of less than $75,000 in calendar year 2019. Read the following Informational Bulletin from IL Department of Revenue to learn more.

Did the IRS Extend the Tax Payment Deadline for Businesses?

The IRS announced a tax deadline extension of 90 days to July 15 interest and penalty-free to help individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

 Learn More about IRS Tax Extensions

What is available for my employees as a business owner?

Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. Individuals without access to paid sick leave or unable to work due to COVID-19 can apply for unemployment insurance under the Governor’s program expansion. The governor’s executive order waives the 7-day waiting period for residents to apply for unemployment benefits, meaning anyone who qualifies can file and become immediately eligible instead of experiencing a week-long lag during this challenging time. IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. Please review this link for the information to assist your employees: https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/COVID-19-and-Unemployment-Benefits.aspx

Additionally, encourage individual employees to check into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamps) which helps low-income persons and families buy the food they need for good health. https://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=30357

What about Utilities?

Gov. Pritzker and Attorney General Raoul have urged the Illinois Commerce Commission to immediately institute a moratorium on shutoffs for all utility companies across Illinois - including energy, telecommunications and water - until the state disaster proclamation has been lifted. Several have announced plans to maintain services and waive late payment fees. This list is not all inclusive but does offer direct connection to specific response to COVID-19.

Commonwealth Edison

NICOR Gas

Verizon

T Mobile

AT&T

Xfinity

Best Practices in the Workplace at this Time?

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has published the following interim guidance for Businesses and Organizations. The Guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

IDPH Recommended Strategies for Businesses & Organizations

Additional Resources

Choose DuPage

Choose DuPage Board Members have volunteered their expertise to assisting businesses in DuPage County. If you would like to be connected to an expert in the fields below, please contact Lisa Miceli, lmiceli@choosedupage.com.

  • Banking
  • Education
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Marketing

DuPage County Health Department

The DuPage County Health Department has put together information for businesses on COVID-19, including guidance, food facility guidelines, water sampling, CDC guidance, education, outreach and more. Click here for details.

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