COVID-19 Regulations and Resources
Latest Safety Updates: Face Coverings
New safety guidelines from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity state that all patrons of food establishments must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when approached and serviced by establishment employees, including but not limited to when employees take patron orders, deliver food and beverages, and service tables, whether dining indoor or outdoor. Patrons are also encouraged to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when picking up carry out orders. For more information, please visit the DCEO website.
Financial Resources for Businesses:
Multiple funding options are offered from the federal and state government and the private sector for small businesses seeking relief.
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - Loans available through the U.S. Treasury to up $1.5 million for businesses with 500 employees or less. Learn about the PPP Loan forgiveness.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) - Loans available through the Small Business Administration up to $2 million for businesses with 500 employees or less.
- SBA Bridge Loans and Debt Relief - The SBA offers various loan options as well as financial reprieve from interest and fees on SBA loans.
- Tax Relief - IRS guidance related to COVID-19 for businesses and individuals.
State and County
- Business Interruption Grant (BIG) - Grants available through the State of Illinois offering $220 million to small businesses The second round is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in annual revenue. Webinars are planned for September and October. Applications for the second round are now open.
- Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance - Grants of $10,000 available to suburban Cook County small businesses with 20 or fewer employees who experienced a financial loss in 2020 due to COVID-19. Deadline is Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 5 PM (subject to change).
Women Owned Businesses
- Amber Grants For Women Business Owners - Grants of $10,000 available to women business owners awarded monthly. Deadline is September 30, 2020.
- The Red Backpack Fund - Grants of $5,000 available to women owned businesses. Second round closed.
- Tory Burch Foundation Fellowship Program - Grant of $5,000 and leadership fellowship program available. Applications open September 22 to November 12, 2020.
- Business For All Grants - Grants of up to $50,000 available to support business growth. Deadline is 11 PM CST on September 25, 2020.
- Nav Small Business Grants - Grants of $5,000 to $10,000 available for business expansion. Grant closed.
- Facebook Small Business Grant - This grant program is currently closed to U.S. applicants.
Phase 4 Guidelines for Businesses:
Illinois moved into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois reopening framework on June 26, 2020. Expanded business activity includes but it not limited to: indoor dining at restaurants and bars, indoor fitness activities, outdoor gatherings of 50 of fewer people. All persons must maintain social distancing and following all face-covering and health guidelines.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (DPH) provides business toolkits to assist businesses, landlords and property owners in the reopening process that includes guidelines, checklists, and posters. The Village recommends following these guidelines to ensure safe operations. Click on the links above or visit the DCEO website to find industry-specific the tool kits and guidelines.
- Retailers and Service Counters may operate at maximum of 50% of store capacity.
- Personal care service workplaces may operate at maximum occupancy of 50% of capacity, and seating stations must be 6’ apart.
- Restaurants and bars for open for indoor and outdoor dining. Seated area capacity of restaurants and bars should be determined by arranging seating to provide a minimum of 6’ between tables or other designated patron service areas. Dining may be limited to groups of up to 10. View August 25, 2020 updated guidelines for restaurants and bars.
- Health and fitness centers may operate at maximum of 50% of occupancy at any given time. Members should maintain 6’ of distance during exercise.
- Non-customer facing office spaces may operate at maximum occupancy of 50% of office capacity.
- Indoor recreation facilities should operate at lesser of 50 customers OR 50% of facility capacity.
- Outdoor recreation facilities should limit group sizes to 50 customers, with multiple groups permitted if proper social distancing and group management is enforced.
- Day camps may operate at maximum of 50% of facility capacity with group sizes of 15 participants or fewer (limited to 10 children in programs with changing participants week-by-week).
- Youth and recreational sports venues may operate at maximum of 50% of facility capacity, at maximum of 20% seating capacity for spectators, and with groups of up to 50.
Highlights of the reopening business tool kits:
- Uniform guidelines and best practices on:
- General health guidance
- HR and travel policies
- Health monitoring
- Physical workspace
- Disinfecting/cleaning procedures
- Staffing and attendance
- External interactions, and
- Customer Behaviors
Beware Scams and Fraud Schemes:
With an unprecedented amount of federal funding available through the CARES Act and other expanded programs, scammers and fraudsters are already taking advantage of the pandemic situation. It’s important to be vigilant and careful so you don’t fall victim to these schemes. For example, the SBA will never initiate contact to offer a loan or a grant to a small business. If someone contacts you before you’ve ever applied with the SBA, suspect fraud.
In addition, all of the SBA’s loan applications are completely free, so you should never pay an application fee for an SBA loan. Be sure to check the interest rate as published by the SBA, too, because many fraudsters will attempt to add interest to your loan. You can ensure that you’ll avoid these scams if you apply directly with the SBA or through a trusted, SBA-authorized lender.
- Temporary Outdoor Dining Policy
- Reopening signage
- Training Checklists
- Promoting your Business
- Additional Resources
The Village of Winnetka created temporary outdoor dining policy that provides guidance for Winnetka restaurants and other food service establishments licensed to serve food, beverages, and liquor for on-site consumption during Phase 4 of the State of Illinois Restore Illinois response to COVID-19. Please note: Phase 4 limits dining to parties of 10 persons or fewer. Email Brian Norkus, Assistant Director of Community Development Department or call him at 847-716-3526 with any questions.
The Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce created signage for Winnetka businesses to remind customers to wear a face covering. PDF posters are available for download. Email the Chamber of Commerce or call them at 847-446-4451 with questions. Additionally, DCEO created graphic posters and text poster with reopening guidelines for industry-specific businesses. Visit DCEO’s website to download these signs.
Employee health and safety is paramount to safely reopening a business. DCEO provides industry-specific checklists for businesses to use to reopen including employee training and wellness screening information. Visit DCEO’s website to download these checklists.
The Village maintains a robust promotional program for local businesses. We support co-advertising opportunities in print media and share business posts on social media. Visit the Village’s social media sites on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Are you a business in Hubbard Woods interested in advertising with other businesses? Email the Hubbard Woods Design and Dine District to learn about their upcoming opportunities.
- The Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce
- Center for Disease Control
- Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Development Opportunity
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Cook County Department of Health
Email Liz Dechant, Economic Development Coordinator or call her at 847-716-3528 with any questions, concerns or inquiries.