Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
March 20, 2020
We’ve been focused on promoting local businesses and relaying your requests to our partners. We’ve had multiple conversations with local, state, and federal officials to gather the latest information for our community, which you’ll find contained in this email. Keep in mind: we’re here to help you. If you’d like our office’s guidance and support navigating challenges you’re facing, please reach out to us at (773) 472-7171 or email@example.com. In other news, we’re rolling out two new rebate programs aimed at supporting local businesses with Special Service Area (SSA) 27 funding: a Digital Marketing Rebate Program and a Health & Sanitation Rebate Program. And we’ve announced a second Coronavirus Business Roundtable call Tuesday at 1 PM. We’ve included more information below.Going forward, we’ll plan to send out these emails as soon as there are enough updates to warrant it. In the meantime, we’ll continue posting the latest information on our COVID-19 Business Resource page at www.lakeviewchamber.com/COVID19, so check back frequently for updates.Save the Date:
Weekly Coronavirus Business Roundtable Call
Tuesday, March 24 at 1:00 PM
Register HereIn This Update:
- Federal and City Loans Now Available for Lakeview Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
- SSA 27 Announces Rebates to Assist Lakeview Businesses During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Other Relief Available to Lakeview Businesses
- Register for Our Weekly Coronavirus Business Roundtable on Tuesday, March 24
- Updates from Washington: Awaiting Debate on the Phase Three Coronavirus Stimulus Package
- Marketing Opportunities for Lakeview Businesses During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Keep Your Business Safe During COVID-19 Closures
- Connect With Lakeview Businesses in Real Time: Share Ideas via the Lakeview Chamber’s New Business Connection Facebook Group
Federal and City Loans Now Available for Lakeview Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses facing financial hardship in all Illinois counties due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans at https://disasterloan.sba.gov. More information:
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
City of Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced a new $100 million economic relief package to support Chicago’s small businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Funds will be provided to eligible businesses as low-interest loans that can be repaid over a term of up to five years.
To be eligible, businesses must meet the following requirements:
- Suffered more than 25% revenue decrease due to COVID-19
- Employ fewer than 50 employees and have gross revenues of less than $3 million in 2019
- Provide a City business address or City business license
- No pre-existing tax liens or legal judgments
SSA 27 Announces Rebates to Assist Lakeview Businesses During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Special Service Area (SSA) 27 is rolling out two rebate programs to assist Lakeview businesses and support the local economy during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. Communities have been confronted with the need to quickly adapt to the current environment, and these measures are meant to support this transitionary period so that local businesses can continue to promote themselves while providing a clean and safe environment for customers and employees, which will help sustain economic activity across Lakeview.
- The Digital Marketing Rebate Program supports local businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak by providing rebates to businesses who invest in a digital marketing and social media strategy through working with a digital marketing or social media consultant, purchasing online ads (e.g., Google ads), or use of social media boosting. Applicants that meet all Program requirements may receive a rebate of up to 50% of eligible costs, not to exceed a total of $400 per project.
- The Health Sanitation Rebate Program is an extension of SSA 27’s Security Rebate Program and supports local businesses impacted by high sanitation materials costs due to COVID-19, reinforcing a safe and clean environment by providing rebates to businesses with an increased need for personal and commercial sanitation, cleaning, and sterilization products. Applicants that meet all Program requirements may receive a rebate of up to 50% of eligible costs, not to exceed a total of $200 per project.
Other Relief Available to Lakeview Businesses
Officials have announced the following measures intended to provide relief to small businesses experiencing hardship during this challenging time. Be sure to review the links below for additional information and to make sure you’re in compliance.
- State Sales Tax Deferral for Bars and Restaurants: To help alleviate some of the unprecedented challenges facing bars and restaurants due to COVID-19, Gov. Pritzker has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants in the State of Illinois. Under the directive, eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May made late. Be sure to read this official bulletin (PDF) from the Illinois Department of Revenue to ensure compliance. (For bars and restaurants that exceed this annual tax threshold, The Hospitality Business Association of Chicago is soliciting signatures on this letter, asking Gov. Pritzker to expand the relief to accommodate more businesses.)
- Federal Income Tax Deferral: The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. This morning, the Federal Government also announced an extension of the filing deadline; however, more details were pending as of this email.
- Temporary Suspension of City Debt Collection: The City of Chicago will be temporarily suspending debt collection practices and non-safety related citations and impounds, as well as penalties for late payment. Additionally, there will be no new interest accumulated on current compliance plans. These measures take effect immediately through April 30, 2020.
- Deferral of City Business Fines and Tax Payment Extensions: Building on the the temporary suspension of debt collection, the City of Chicago’s new economic relief package will temporarily defer all business fine collections as well as license renewal and late fees for Chicago’s businesses until April 30, 2020. To further provide relief for businesses over the coming weeks, the City is also extending due dates for tax payments until April 30, 2020 for the following City taxes:
- Bottled Water tax
- Checkout Bag tax
- Amusement tax
- Hotel Accommodation tax
- Restaurant tax
- Parking tax
If you experience any issues with taxes, fees, bank loans, rent, or other payments due during this challenging time, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re doing our best to help our businesses navigate concerns related to the impact caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. We’ll do everything we can to help you solve any issues your business is facing.
Updates from Washington: Awaiting Debate on the Phase Three Coronavirus Stimulus Package
We’re watching closely as Congress begins debate on the next phase of stimulus packages aimed at shoring up the economy and helping small businesses. We expect this process to move very quickly, so be sure to share any feedback with us on the kinds of support you’d like to see offered and we’ll relay your feedback to our elected officials. In the meantime, here’s an update on the latest from Washington, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
On Wednesday, the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill provides, among other things, provisions to address Paid Sick Leave, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Unemployment Insurance for workers displaced by the ongoing outbreak. Furthermore, it includes provisions to provide diagnostic testing for coronavirus, and bolsters Medicaid and nutrition programs for at risk populations. Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s summary.
Congress’s focus will now turn to the Phase Three stimulus package. Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s letter to Congress and the President with the business community’s recommendations.
Connect With Lakeview Businesses in Real Time: Share Ideas via the Lakeview Chamber’s New Business Connection Facebook Group
Join our brand new Lakeview Chamber Business Connection Facebook Group! We created this group based on recommendations from a few of our Lakeview businesses during our Coronavirus Business Roundtable earlier this week. It will allow Lakeview businesses to connect with each other, ask questions, brainstorm ideas and find opportunities to collaborate during and in the aftermath of these uncertain times. The Lakeview Chamber will moderate the group, but the main goal is for businesses to connect with each other through this Facebook Group. If you have any specific questions for the Lakeview Chamber, the best way to reach us is by emailing us at email@example.com.