Category: General

Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) Now Open Until July 7

June 30, 2020 | General

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers and is funded by the CARES Act. In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Additional priority will be given to businesses located in…

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A Letter to Our Members from the Board of Directors

June 25, 2020 | General

Dear Chamber Members: Our businesses need you. Our community has seen the crippling effects of COVID-19 on small businesses nationwide. Businesses have closed. Employees have been furloughed or laid off. Events have been canceled. Nonprofits, such as the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce, have been hit especially hard. The Chamber can work remotely, but it cannot disappear. Our businesses need the Chamber for information, resources, and connections to survive. The Chamber staff has continued to provide valuable services to our members in the virtual realm during the pandemic crisis with consistent, timely and pertinent governmental action updates, professional seminars, financial support opportunities, as well as quickly adapting the Chamber’s normal connections and networking opportunities to the shutdown environment. And yet, the Chamber has also been forced to cancel various events over the past four months….

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U.S. Department Of Labor Announces New Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family And Medical Leave Implementation

April 02, 2020 | General

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Helps Americans Overcome COVID-19 Workplace Challenges The U.S. Department of Labor today announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective today, April 1, 2020. FFCRA helps the United States combat the workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same…

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Beware of Scams and Fraud Schemes

April 02, 2020 | General

SBA Office of International Trade, March 31, 2020 – The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19).  The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times.  Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.  Scam and Fraud Scheme Advisory List  The SBA does not initiate contact on either 7(a) or Disaster loans.  If you are proactively contacted by someone claiming to be from the SBA, suspect fraud. The SBA does not provide grants to small businesses. The SBA provides guarantees…

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COVID-19 Resources & Articles

March 17, 2020 | General

On Tuesday, May 5th, Governor Pritzker released Restore Illinois, a five-phased plan that will reopen our state, guided by health metrics and with marked by distinct business, education, and recreation activities characterizing each phase. The Restore Illinois plan recognizes that the economy will start growing again when consumers feel that it is safe to return to work, shop and dine out, and engage in social and recreational activities. Under the Restore Illinois framework, certain businesses and activities are allowed to resume in Phase 3 with IDPH-approved safety guidance in place. Read the Plan here. We ENCOURAGE the community to continue supporting local businesses during this time of uncertainty. Public health crises affect all businesses, particularly the hospitality industry. There is no better time than the present to #ShopLocal and be #StrongerTogether. We have been and…

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