COVID-19 BUSINESS/CONSUMERS: How To Determine If You're Eligible For a Stimulus Check; STC #Stronger Together

COVID-19 BUSINESS/CONSUMERS: How To Determine If You’re Eligible For a Stimulus Check; STC #Stronger Together

  • Editor’s Note: Kane County Connects is here to help during COVID-19 emergency, and so are your local businesses. Consumers need stuff — from the supplies for everyday living to the best advice about taxes, financing or services during the coming days and weeks. This article is designed to help you easily find what you need. Economic development and chamber of commerce officials who wish to share information can email news releases, links and images to kanecountyconnects.com.
  • CLICK THIS LINKS FOR THE KANE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT WEBSITE.

Kane County Connects Daily Updates

  • COVID-19 OVERVIEW — A roundup of national and international updates.
  • COVID-19 STATE — State of Illinois and Illlinois Department of Public Health updates (Includes daily updates from Gov. JB Pritzker’s news conferences and Kane County COVID-19 alerts from the IDPH.)
  • COVID-19 KANE COUNTY — Kane County updates, including information from the Kane County Health Department, courts, Sheriff’s Office, and all units of county government. (Note:  IDPH provides breaking information on the numbers of cases or deaths in Kane County.)
  • COVID-19 COMMUNITIES — A roundup of information from municipalities, park districts, libraries, as well as local human interest stories.
  • COVID-19 SCHOOLS — Updates on school closings or openings, meals and online learning.
  • COVID-19 HOSPITALS — Vital links to local hospital websites and additional trusted information on COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 BUSINESS/CONSUMERS —Business news, what’s open and closed, where to find stuff you need, and updates from local chambers of commerce.
  • COVID-19 CONNECTIONS — Personal observations, photos, miscellaneous news, quirky and fun stuff related to the days of COVID in Kane.
  • COVID-19 HOW TO HELP — Volunteer, donation and any local efforts to help others during the COVID-19 emergency.

9AM WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1

How To Determine If You’re Eligible For a Stimulus Check

The amount you’ll receive will depend on your total income in 2019 or 2018. If you qualify, you’ll receive one payment. Here’s who qualifies:

  • If you’re a single US resident and have an adjusted gross income less than $99,000.
  • If you file as the head of a household and earn under $146,500.
  • If you file jointly without children and earn less than $198,000.

Read on for how your payment is calculated and how much you can expect. You can also look at this calculator.

4PM TUESDAY, MARCH 31

St. Charles Chamber: #Stronger Together

Aurora Company Transforms Factory To Make Emergency Beds

The most critically-needed resources in the coming days, as the COVID-19 cases spike, will be medical personnel, equipment, ventilators and beds.

Here’s another inspiring effort by a local company — Richard Wilcox, Inc. of Aurora — to make difference in this COVID-19 emergency, shared by Kane County Economic

Send Meals To First Responders in St. Charles

COVID-19 Pandemic: Manufacturers’ Greatest Time of Need

Helpline image - horizontal

IMEC and our partners are ready to serve you! The experts at IMEC have packaged the tools and resources you will need to survive current disruptions, while strengthening your business continuity plan:

  • Illinois Manufacturing Helpline – You need quick, credible responses to urgent questions and concerns. Submit them to the helpline and an expert will address your concern in as little as one business day!
  • Manufacturing Leaders and Experts Forum – An opportunity to share best practices, ideas, and solutions with other leaders and experts who are experiencing and overcoming similar crisis-related challenges.
  • Coronavirus / COVID-19 Updates – Your source for up to date information around the pandemic from federal and local government sources, along with tips and resources to help you prepare for COVID-19 impacts
  • COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Webinars (part 1 and 2) – Experts address the issues and initiatives associated coronavirus/COVID-19. Both webinars are available for download, as well as other key resources from the webinars.
  • COVID-19 Preventative Sanitation & Decontamination Practices Webinar – Daily tasks and proactive steps you can take to limit your risk of exposure to COVID-19
  • 10 Practical Things Manufacturers can do to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic – A checklist that helps you keep a pulse on the different areas of business you need to be concerned with right now to overcome the challenges brought on by COVID-19.
    Supply Chain Disruptions Tools:
  • Supply Chain Planning Checklist – As the COVID-19 health crisis impacts global supply chains, IMEC is stressing the importance of having a plan in place prior to disruptions to your supply chain. This checklist can help your company react to and prepare for disruptions.
  • Supply Chain Preparedness Support – There are over 20 critical supplies needed to respond to COVID-19. If your company currently does or can quickly begin production, please let us know. This information will be shared with critical stakeholders such as US Department of Commerce, DCEO, and IMA.
  • Match with a Supplier –  For company experiencing supply chain disruptions and looking for suppliers to fill their needs.
  • IMEC COVID-19 Blog Collection – Timely blogs related to the best ways to respond COVID-19, written by IMEC experts and industry partners. Topics range from supply chain planning, cybersecurity, employment law, marketing, safety practices, tips and highlights from the Illinois Manufacturing Helpline, and more!

As always, IMEC is proud to be a manufacturer’s source of information, solutions, and confidence for your community.

11:30AM FRIDAY, MARCH 27

Where To Find Important Information From Kane County Hospitals

Elgin OKs Alcohol Delivery

8:06AM FRIDAY, MARCH 27

IDES Taking Steps to Address Unprecedented Volume of Unemployment Claims

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced new rules for applying for unemployment in the wake of the unprecedented volume of unemployment benefit claims resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, the department has taken several steps to improve the unemployment benefit claims process via the online portal and the call center.

  •  The website has been moved to new hardware infrastructure to handle the increased demand
  •  Web, storage, and processing capacity has been increased to meet needs of increased traffic
  •  Methods have been implemented to track COVID-19-related claims
  •  Call center capacity has been increased
  •  Daily call center hours have been extended to respond to those waiting in the queue after closure
  •  Call center staff has been supplemented by 40% to cut down on wait times
  •  Both the website and the call center will continue to be monitored for improvements in functions and abilities

In addition to these measures, IDES is now asking individuals to adhere to an alphabetized schedule when filing an unemployment benefit claim online and over the phone.  This process mirrors other states, such as Colorado and New York, who are experiencing increased web traffic and high call volumes with their unemployment benefit systems.

Online Filing Schedule:

  •  Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to file their claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  •  Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to file their claims on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays.
  •  Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule:

  •  Those with last names beginning with letters A-M will be asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  •  Those with last names beginning with letters N-Z will be asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:30am – 6pm.
  •  Fridays (7:30am – 6pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether you receive benefits or your benefit amount.  Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19.

IDES is currently working through an unparalleled number of unemployment benefit claims and questions, both online and through the call center.  Over the first three weeks of March, IDES has received over 130,000 unemployment benefit claims, an increase of close to 400% compared to the corresponding weeks the prior year.  The department received close to 115,000 claims for the week of March 21 alone, an increase of nearly 1,400% compared to the corresponding week the prior year.  Additionally, the call center continues to field hundreds of calls per minute, per day.

The administration and the department understand and empathize with the heightened level of frustration this crisis has had on those wishing to file a claim.  IDES is doing everything possible to support our customers and meet the demand for unemployment benefit inquiries and claims.

Those with questions or in need of assistance with unemployment benefit at this time are encouraged to visit IDES.Illinois.gov.

10:30AM THURSDAY, MARCH 26

Gas Prices Go Low

Kane County Board member Chris Kious spotted this sign for gasoline at $1.47 Thursday morning in northern Kane County.

One consolation for consumers during the COVID-19 emergency is the price of gas.

As you can see by the image above, Kane County Board member Chris Kious spotted this sign for gasoline at $1.47 Thursday morning in northern Kane County.

You won’t have to drive far to find a great price. Below is a chart from a GasBuddy search for Geneva.

Geneva Business Makes Ventilator Valves

Nice story in the Kane County Chronicle about a Geneva business that makes ventilator valves.

1PM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25

Aurora Puts Non-Essential Businesses on Notice

In an effort to reinforce the mandated closure of non-essential businesses through April 7, the city of Aurora is preparing to issue compliance notices for those in violation.

Irvin

“We have received complaints from employees who are justifiably concerned about working conditions amid the COVID-19 crisis,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “We will determine if the business is essential as defined by the state, and, if so, what social distancing and prevention measures are in place for operations.”

Concerned employees can contact the city of Aurora at 630-256-4636 or MayorsOffice@aurora-il.org.

Once information is received, the city’s Law Department will make the determination if a business located within the city of Aurora is essential or non-essential. Non-essential businesses will receive a hand-delivered Notice to Comply and mandated to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order.

Business owners will have 24 hours to comply or appeal to the law department before corrective action is enforced, which could include 1) an order of closure issued by the state or local health department or 2) a civil and/or criminal liability.

“This is clearly a matter of life or death,” said Irvin. “COVID-19 is here in Aurora, and we will do whatever is necessary to reinforce the state’s guidelines for safety. We cannot have employees working in unsafe conditions and completing non-essential tasks just to meet the company’s bottom line. People are more important than profits.”

10AM WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25

Kane County Business FlagSource Is Making Masks

Is this cool, or what?

2:15PM TUESDAY, MARCH 24

Small Business Administration Offers Disaster Loan Webinars

The Small Business Administration is a great resource for Kane County businesses during these tough economic times.

Additional SBA Disaster Loan training/info webinars have been scheduled.

All Illinois small businesses can now apply for low-interest disaster loans to help offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Tuesday, March 24, 3 p.m. CT
  • Wednesday, March 25, 11 a.m. CT
  • Thursday, March 26, 11 a.m. CT
  • Thursday, March 26, 3 p.m. CT

Click here for a link to register.

11:30AM MONDAY, MARCH 23

Health Department Shares Interim Guide For Businesses

The Kane County Health Department has released interim rules and guidelines for workplaces and restaurants in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. (CDC has provided separate guidance for healthcare settings.) This guidance also provides planning considerations for community spread of COVID-19.

INFORMATION FOR FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS

Per Gov. JB Pritzker’s Executive Order dated March 16, 2020,  all businesses in the state of Illinois that offer food or beverages for on-premises consumption must suspend service for and may not permit on-premises consumption.

This is effective through March 30, 2020. Click HERE​ ​for information​.

It’s important for consumers to know exactly how restaurants are maintaining safe conditions for delivery and carry-out. Check out the links below to see the requirements.

10:30AM MONDAY, MARCH 23

Geneva Offers Temporary Business Accommodations

During the statewide coronavirus public gathering restrictions, the city has issued temporary accommodations to assist Geneva’s restaurants and stores.

Parking and sign regulation enforcement has been relaxed for restaurants and merchants to utilize public parking spaces for curbside pickup operations. The City also will delay the due date of liquor license renewal applications and fees from April 1 to May 1 without proration or penalty. Daily fee parking in the Third Street Commuter Parking Deck and downtown commuter parking lots will be free until further notice.

The city has provided a full listing of temporary municipal business accommodations as well as links to state and federal agencies offering useful information and financial assistance for businesses on the City’s website.

8:30AM MONDAY, MARCH 23

Got a Virtual Workshop For Kane County?

If you’ve got a webinar or workshop event that’s specifically targeted to a Kane County audience, send an email a link and text to kanecountyconnects.com, and we’ll try to add it to our e-newsletter calendar.

This idea comes from the Women’s Business Developement Center, which is holding a virtual event “How To Set Your Business Up For Growth!” from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 24.

“Thinking of starting a business? Recently started one? Ready to set your business up at a legal entity, a corporation or LLC? If you are an entrepreneur, start-up or established business, please join us for this seminar,” WBCD says on its events page.

Leading the workshop is Nancy Fallon-Houle, a business lawyer in Downers Grove, a small-business owner herself at Velocity Law, LLC. She will apply her 25-plus years of experience to advise you on how to navigate legal topics.

“Please note this is being offered as a Virtual Training on-line. Instructions to access training will be emailed once you are registered,” the website says.

Click this link to learn more.

8:30PM SUNDAY, MARCH 22

The Elgin business community is coming together to make sure that all residents and businesses are aware of services available during this time (both virtually and in person).

The Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce is asking businesses to update their information frequently so officials can keep the most current information on websites.

PREVIOUS POSTS

UPDATED 3:30PM FRIDAY, MARCH 20

While the governing is right now announcing a Shelter in Place order, please note the order does allow people to go out to shop for groceries or pick up from a local restaurant or go online to buy a gift card from a local business.

We’ll continue to update this post with messages from chambers of commerce throughout Kane County. Here’s the most-recent note from the Geneva Chamber of Commerce:

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Geneva Chamber will be taking the following steps until further notice. We feel that extra caution needs to be taken to mitigate the spread of the virus.

  • Beginning noon Thursday, March 19, we will be working remotely.
  • Emails will continue to be checked regularly.
  • Voicemail will be checked, so please leave a message at 630-232-6060.
  • Updates regarding status of businesses will continue to be placed on our home page. KEEP SHOPPING LOCAL!
  • All March events have been canceled. We will update on April events.
  • Businesses – If you have gift certificates to be redeemed, please drop them off in the mail slot at 10 S. Third St. We will monitor this and send you a check in the mail.
  • Businesses – Flyers can be downloaded here, please continue to use.
  • Visitors – If you need to purchase a gift certificate, please do so at genevachamber.com/gitcertificates.php.

The chamber is continuing to support Geneva during this unprecedented time.

EAT, DRINK, STAY

If you are uneasy about going out right now, you can still support our local businesses by doing the following:

  • Buy gift certificates from the Geneva Chamber or gift cards from your favorite shop NOW, and use them later.
  • Buy items now for future pick-up or curbside pick-up (ask if they even offer delivery service).
  • If you know a business owner, ask how you can help them during this time.

By supporting our local businesses, you will help ensure that Geneva continues to be a desirable place to live, work and play!

UPDATED 12:05AM FRIDAY, MARCH 20

Here’s The Status on Waste Hauling

Here’s a quick update on the status of waste hauling and recycling services, courtesy of Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland.

Bottom line is, waste-hauling services are still a go, and the drive-up recycling centers for electronics and textiles are open.

UPDATED 4PM THURSDAY, MARCH 19

State Offers Tax Deferrals For Bars, Restaurants

What’s Open in Kane County

The Batavia Chamber of Commerce has a really cool idea that they shared today: Let’s help connect consumers and local retailers so that people can find the stuff they want and need and local businesses can stay open as we soldier through the six to eight weeks many health officials say might be the duration of the coronavirus bell curve.

Yes, it’s vitally important to use social distancing strategies. But when you have to venture out for supplies, want something delivered or want to conduct business online, there are plenty of options.

The Batavia Chamber of Commerce, Batavia MainStreet and the city of Batavia have partnered to offer a comprehensive Google document spreadsheet of hours, accessibility and specials by local business.

The partners also have a Google doc list of Batavia restaurants that are open for delivery, drive-through and curbside service.

For information about what’s open in your neck of the woods — or to find resources for your business, click the links below.

We will update this article as often as possible during the COVID-19 emergency.

Chambers of Commerce

Additional Resources

Kane County Connects Daily Updates

 

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