From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois has followed the science and listened to public health experts to keep people safe.
After bending the curve in the spring, Illinois achieved relatively low rates of community spread and hospitalizations in the summer. But amid a nationwide surge, every region of Illinois saw an increase in cases and hospitalizations in the fall, which triggered the regional tiered mitigations outlined in this plan.
As the surge became more severe here in Illinois and across the nation, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health moved all 11 regions into Tier 3 mitigations, effective November 20, 2020. At the advice of public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the mitigations remained in place over the holidays to prevent a “surge upon a surge.”
With some regions now beginning to make progress, Governor Pritzker announced that any region that has met the metrics for a reduction of mitigations will be able to move out of Tier 3 to less restrictive tiers beginning January 15, 2021.
What does opening look like?
There is a continued decline in the rate of infection in new COVID-19 cases. Hospitals have capacity and can quickly adapt for a surge of new cases in their communities. Additional measures can be carefully lifted allowing for schools and child care programs to reopen with social distancing policies in place. Restaurants can open with limited capacity and following strict public health procedures, including personal protective equipment for employees. Gatherings with 50 people or fewer will be permitted. Testing is widely available, and tracing is commonplace.
What is open?
Gatherings: All gatherings of 50 people or fewer are allowed with this limit subject to change based on latest data & guidance
Travel: Travel should follow IDPH and CDC approved guidance
Health care: All health care providers are open
Education and child care: P-12 schools, higher education, all summer programs, and child care open with IDPH approved safety guidance
Outdoor recreation: All outdoor recreation allowed
SBA Disaster Loans
These loans are designed to be working capital loans used to pay ongoing business expenses, such as, payroll, accounts payable, fixed debts and ongoing bills that could have been paid if the disaster had not occurred are valid uses for the loan. The loans are not allowed to re-finance existing debt..
7(a) SBA Loans — Paycheck Protection Program
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act is a $2 trillion relief package that is making its way through Congress. Among other things, it increases the maximum 7(a) SBA loan amount to $10 million.
Loans can only be used for:
Employee Retention Tax Credit
The CARES Act provides a fully refundable tax credit for employee wages taken against the employer’s share of Social Security taxes. All eligible employers would be permitted to claim a 50 percent credit of the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, paid to an eligible employee.
Chicago Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a new $100 million loan program to support Chicago’s small businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
Illinois has established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000 for working capital, with at least 50% of loans proceeds to be applied toward payroll or other eligible compensation including salaries, wages, tips, paid leave, and group healthcare benefits
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has created a resource called What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws designed to assist employers in navigated employment law during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also has an employment resource for pandemics generally that has been updated for the COVID-19 pandemic.
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