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.

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.

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)

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 allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. 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 start date for small businesses and sole proprietorships to submit PPP loan applications is April 3, 2020. The start date for independent contractors and self-employed individuals to submit PPP loan applications is April 10, 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.

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. 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 (NEW! April 2, 2020)

  • 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 Governor’s Stay at Home; Social Distancing; and Essential Businesses Operations Executive Order  mandates all non-essential business and operations must cease effective March 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. including fitness centers/health clubs, bowling alleys, private clubs, and theatres unless specifically exempt in Executive Order 20-10 issued on March 20, 2020 The order also lists prohibited activities, outlines prohibited and permitted travel, leaving home for essential activities including certain types of work, and other specific line items. Section 12 of Executive Order 10 lists all Essential Business and Operations as defined by the order. Please consult this list as to whether or not your business may remain open at this time or if you must close your doors until expiration of this ruling which was extended on April 1st to run through April 30th or at such time as the Governor declares otherwise.

The Illinois State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce this order but adhering to the order will save lives and it is the responsibility of every Illinoisan to do their part.    

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 

Restaurant & Bar Closure

On-site consumption at restaurants and bars is currently scheduled to be closed through April 30th per the Governor’s Executive Order 20-10 issued March 20, 2020 and extended on April 1, 2020. The State is continuing to evaluate this timeline as we move forward and will announce any updates as they happen. Delivery, drive-through, carryout and curbside pickup will continue to be allowed at all restaurants able to provide these services. Please visit our list of Elmhurst establishments that have confirmed with the City that they plan to modify their business plan for the next few weeks to remain open in some capacity and support local as best you can during this period. This list continues to change on a daily basis so we ask you to check back as the days progress. 

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.

The Governor’s Executive Order prohibits all gatherings of 10 people or more in places including fitness centers/health clubs, bowling alleys, private clubs, and theatres unless specifically exempt in Executive Order 20-10 issued on March 20, 2020. However, it does not impact establishments that provide essential goods and services, including grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, gas stations, banks/credit unions, shelters, and other establishments that provide essential services. A full list of businesses deemed “essential services” are available in Section 12 of the Executive Order.

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 in the coming weeks. 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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