COVID Resources for Business Owners

REOPENING

Keep Your Customers Updated on Your Status

  • Log your business at SpringfieldZoom.com so the public knows your status (including if you offer “outdoor seating,” “curbside pickup” and more. You can update your listing as things change. This is free and will take less than three minutes to get set up. You will never be spammed. Thanks to DSI Member AlertsMadeEasy.com for donating this service during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • If you have problems logging back in, just email support@goweb1.com

Restore Illinois 5-Phase Plan

  • Announced by Governor on May 5
  • State broken up into four regions – Sangamon County is in the Central Region
  • Each region can open up based on the benchmarks in this plan
  • Overview of plan
  • IDPH Tracking Numbers for each Region here

Phase 4 Reopening on June 26

Phase 3 Reopening on May 29

Outdoor Seating

More Reopening Considerations

Reopening For Property Owners

UNEMPLOYMENT

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

  • Description of all federal stimulus programs managed by the Illinois Department of Employment Security
  • IDES Instructs 1099 Workers to Apply for Regular Unemployment Benefits Before PUA Program Goes Live – PUA Portal to Launch on May 11
  • Governor Pritzker says Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for people who cannot traditionally access unemployment) system will be ready no earlier than May 11
  • The program allows self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. This program provides a total of 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals not typically eligible for unemployment benefits, including independent contractors and self-proprietors, who have become unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19.
  • PUA claims will be backdated to the individual’s first week of unemployment, but no earlier than February 2, 2020. Benefits will continue for as long as the individual remains unemployed as a result of COVID-19, but no later than the week ending December 26, 2020. While a program of this magnitude might normally take up to a year to design and implement, IDES plans to get this program online by the week of May 11.

Employees

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (FEDERAL CARES ACT)

Flexibility Provisions Signed Into Law June 5

    • Changing the forgiveness period for PPP loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks
    • Extending the covered period for loans to December 31, 2020
    • Changing the restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses from 25% to 40%
    • Changing the loan maturity limit from 2 years to 5 years, and
    • Ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment

New applications accepted through June 30, 2020

Loan Forgiveness Procedures

More on PPP

OTHER LOANS

No Matter What You’re Apply For

Small Business Administration Disaster Loans (EIDL) – Opened again as of June 16

  • Apply Now. SBA says loan applications are usually processed in 18-21 days but they are processing faster than that. Money reaches businesses 2-5 days after approval.
  • Borrowers can receive $10,000 in an Emergency Economic Injury Grant (cash advance) that can be forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue loss. Applicants can get the emergency cash even if they don’t qualify for additional funds through the EIDL process. Because lending decisions are based on self-certification and the applicant’s credit score, the review process should go quickly.
  • In addition to the application form, be prepared to submit a completed and signed
    Tax Information Authorization (IRS Form 4506T); complete copies of the most recent Federal income tax returns for the applicant business; completed and signed Personal Financial Statement (SBA Form 413) and a Schedule of Liabilities listing all fixed debts (SBA Form 2202).
  • Register for Disaster Loan Trainings
  • Check out this handy one-pager about the process
  • Independent Contractors – “When in Doubt, Apply.” Sole proprietors are eligible. You will need to have tax returns and/or a profit and loss statement for 2019 if your taxes haven’t yet been filed. Apply even if you don’t have an EIN. You will need to demonstrate that you have been generating business revenue in order to demonstrate economic injury. – Advice from Illinois SBDC at Lincoln Land Community College
  • Contact Kevin Lust at Illinois SBDC at Lincoln Land Community College for questions

Accessing Low Interest Loans via Local Banks

Accessing Low Interest Loans via Justine Petersen (City Partnership)

DCEO (State) Small Business Emergency Loan Fund (Currently No New Applications are Being Accepted as DCEO Deals with Backlog of Submissions)

  • Small businesses (outside of Chicago) with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3M in 2019 revenue are eligible for this program, allowing up to $50k loans with 5 year low interest repayment terms. Six month deferral on repayments.
  • First-step applications are now available on DCEO’s website.

GRANTS

State Business Interruption Grants

  • Applications for this program will open on June 26 on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) website and will remain open for 7-14 days. One week after the application period closes, grant administration partners will begin reaching out to recipients.
  • Review the grant application
  • Review the eligibility criteria. Businesses that have not received other grants and loans will be given priority.
  • 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.

Funding Areas

  • Businesses in disproportionately impacted areas (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 NOTE: Downtown Springfield is not in a DIA
  • 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

CDBG-City Funds for Micro-Business (NOT OPEN YET)

$500 Utility Grant from Ameren

  • Ameren Illinois announced that funding is available for small businesses and non-profits that have fallen behind on their electric bills.
  • Under the company’s COVID-19 Economic Hardship Recovery Program, one-time grants of up to $500 will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis until June 30, or until the funds are exhausted.
  • Application here

FedEx Small Business Grant

  • For small business in operation and selling for more than 1 year with less than 50 employees; and have shipped in the last 12 months and/or plan to ship in the coming 12 months as part of your business
  • Each grant recipient will receive a check for $5,000. Additionally, each recipient will receive a $500 credit at FedEx Office to use toward printing services.
  • Application here due by June 12
  • Only 200 grants will be awarded nationwide

The Red Backpack Fund

  • Will make at least 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by COVID.
  • Eligible applicants include majority women-owned and led businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5M, at least one additional paid employee, and fewer than 50 individuals on staff.
  • Applications will be accepted during specific periods through August 2020. Sign up to be notified

LISC Small Business Relief Grant (CLOSED)

  • Awards will be made to qualified businesses, and eligibility is based on accurate and complete submission.Priority will be given to minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses. All awardees will have to certify that they are promoting the best interests of the community and are negatively impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Grantsof $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000
  • Your application must be completed by Tuesday, April 28th, 11:59 p.m. ET.
  • Application here

US Chamber Foundation Small Business Grants (CLOSED)

  • For small businesses with 3-20 employees, $5k grants
  • Applications opened April 20 for about four hours then closed.

Greater Springfield Chamber’s Business Relief Fund (for all Sangamon County businesses regardless of Chamber member status) (CLOSED)

State Hospitality Emergency Grant Program (CLOSED)

  • $14m fund to help hotels, bars and restaurants support payroll and rent. Including job training and technology for operations to adjust to new options like delivery and curbside
  • Lottery winners are listed here.

Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund

  • The James Beard Foundation is launching a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need. Click here to sign up for the email list so that when they launch their application, you know.

DEFERRALS

Electric and Water Bills

  • City Water, Light & Power is suspending ALL disconnections for nonpayment for electric and water services for its customers effective immediately. This order remains in effect until May 1, 2020, at such time it will be re-evaluated. Find out more

Tax Deferrals

County License Fees

  • Liquor licensees can now pay pay half of their fees by June 30 with the other half now due by Dec. 31. per this County Board order
  • The Sangamon County Board has temporarily postponed both the requirement to renew food service establishment licenses and pay the renewal fees per this County Board order

OTHER INFORMATION

Marketing Resources

  • WMAY encourages all small businesses to tell your story FOR FREE about how your business is helping Springfield come back from the pandemic’s economic challenges. Sign up for an interview here
  • Illinois Times is offering Shop Local Independent Business section rates for both June and July issues – download the Shop Local flyer

IRS/Tax Implications

Alcohol

  • Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) authorizes the return of wine and spirits sold and delivered by a distributor to a retailer based on ten conditions.
  • Liquor licensees can now pay pay half of their fees by June 30 with the other half now due by Dec. 31. per this County Board order
  • Restaurants with “Combined” On & Off-Premises Liquor License Holders May Sell Packaged Alcoholic Liquor
  • Cocktails-to-Go: Governor Pritzker signed HB 2682 into law allowing municipalities to allow the sale of cocktails by bars and restaurants with liquor licenses for pickup and delivery. Cocktails can only be delivered in a sealed, labeled container with a tamper-evident cap or seal by an employee of the liquor license holder who is over the age of 21 and trained in responsible alcohol service who has verified the age as well as the level of intoxication of the consumer. The law also provides that:
    • All state liquor licenses are automatically extended through December 31, 2020.
    • No renewal fees or late fees will be charged until December 31, 2020 (Renewal fees will be charged if a licensee renews before December 31, 2020.)
    • Retail licensees shall not be deemed to be delinquent in payment until 30 days after the date on which our region enters Phase 4 of the Governor’s Restore Illinois Plan.
    • See state Liquor Commission guidance here

Event Planning

GOVERNMENT ACTION

Stay at Home Order (ended May 28, 2020)

Other Governor Executive Orders

  • Governor’s Executive Order 2020-25 (COVID-19 EO 23) suspends sections in the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure that permit the service of a garnishment summons, wage deduction summons, or a citation to discover assets on a consumer debtor or consumer garnishee. The goal is to protect the use of the stimulus money for food, shelter, and transportation as it was intended. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation also issued Best Practices to Illinois licensed lenders encouraging them to work with struggling borrowers during the pandemic to extend the time for payment, waive late charges, and defer collection measures.

Federal Action

City Action

  • Mayoral Order for Conduct of Essential Businesses Permitted to Remain Open prior to May 1: COVID-19 Emergency Order #4
  • As of May 1: Businesses should post this sign from the City
  • The City Council passed an Emergency Powers ordinance which includes suspension of parking meter fees until 14 days after Gov. Pritzker’s emergency declaration is lifted and fees or penalties that would have accrued in during that period are waived. The Mayor has extended the order to keep free parking through June 30, 2020, but tickets will be issued if people stay longer than two hours.
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