COVID-19 Regulations and Resources
On December 22, 2020, the Federal government passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act with $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses. Maximum PPP loan amount is $2 million.
Qualifying businesses must have less than 300 employees, and demonstration at least a 25% reduction in revenues in at least one quarter in 2020 when compared to previous quarters. Businesses with multiple locations that qualified under the CARES Act may qualify for a second draw provided they employ fewer than 300 people in each location.
Apply For Forgiveness For Current PPP Loan Small businesses that received a federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan may apply for forgiveness. Complete an application from the Small Business Administration and submit it to your lender or the lender that is servicing the loan. Eligible costs that can be forgiven include:
- Payroll costs incurred and paid
- Non-payroll costs such as mortgage/rent, utility payments, transportation
Find the forgiveness application on the SBA's website.
Second Draw PPP Loans
Second PPP loans are available to businesses that received a PPP loan previously and that meet special requirements, including:
- Second-time borrowers must have 300 or fewer employees. The rules of the program may limit participation if your organization has related entities, or if you are in certain industries. Check the Small Business Administration’s PPP website or speak to your trusted legal or accounting advisor for more information.
- To be eligible for a second PPP loan, businesses will need to demonstrate a reduction in revenue of at least 25% between corresponding quarters in 2020 and 2019. Special rules apply to businesses that were not in operation for all or part of 2019.
- The maximum amount for second draw PPP loans is $2 million.
- Borrowers must have fully spent the loan proceeds from their first PPP loan before their second PPP loan is disbursed.
As a reminder, PPP loans are designed to be 100% forgivable as long as the proceeds are spent in accordance with program rules..
Extension of Paid Leave Credits Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The FFCRA required employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide mandatory paid sick and paid family leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19. It provided a corresponding tax credit for any amounts paid to employees for the required paid leave. The COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (CTRA) extends the tax credit portion of the FFCRA for employers that voluntarily offer paid sick or paid family leave through March 31, 2021. The mandatory leave portion will terminate as expected on December 31, 2020.
Extension of Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)
The CARES Act allows eligible employers to claim a federal tax credit with respect to qualified wages paid between March 13 and December 31, 2020. The Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (the “Act”) extends the ERTC to cover wages paid through June 30, 2021. In addition, as of January 1, the Act increases the credit rate from 50% to 70% of qualified wages, increases the per employee wage cap from $10,000 in the aggregate to $10,000 per calendar quarter, decreases the required decline in gross receipts from 50% to 20%, and increases the threshold for treatment as a large employer from 100 employees to 500 employees. Retroactive to March 13, the Act provides that employers who receive PPP loans may still be eligible for the ERTC to the extent qualified wages are not paid using forgiven PPP loan proceeds, and it clarifies that group health plan expenses may be considered qualified wages even if no other wages are paid to the applicable employee.
Extension of Repayment Period for Deferred Employee Social Security Taxes
The current guidance issued by the IRS (IRS Notice 2020-65) required that any deferred employee portion of Social Security tax withholding between September 1 and December 31, 2020, must be ratably withheld and paid from wages and compensation paid to employees between January 1 and April 30, 2021, or penalties and interest would begin to accrue on May 1, 2021. The CTRA extends the repayment deadline from April 30, 2021, to December 31, 2021, and the date for penalty and interest to begin accruing from May 1, 2021, to January 1, 2022.
Additional Financial Resources for Businesses
Multiple funding options are offered from the federal government for small businesses seeking relief.
- 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 of Illinois COVID-19 Mitigations
Effective November 20, 2020, all regions in the State of Illinois will operate under the new mitigation requirements to combat the surge of COVID-19 across Illinois. State law enforcement and the Illinois Department of Public Health with enforce these new rules. Any business that does not adhere to these mitigation requirements will be subject to enforcement.
Restaurants are to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Restaurants will remain open to continue to offer outdoor dining, pick-up, carry-out and delivery services
- Indoor dining or bar service is suspended
- All outdoor dining closes at 11 PM
- No standing or congregating indoors or outdoors while waiting for a table or exiting
- Reservations are required for each party: no walk-ups are allowed
- No seating of multiple parties at one table
- No private events, meetings or gatherings may take place inside a restaurant
- Guidelines from the State of Illinois and Village of Winnetka for outdoor structures should be followed
Retail and Stores with Service Counters are to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Retail and general merchandise stores: Limit to whichever is less: 25 guests or 25% of overall room capacity
- Grocery stores and pharmacies: Continue to operate at 50% capacity
Meetings, Social Events, Gatherings:
Personal Care Services are to adhere to the following guidelines:
All patrons and employees should continue to maintain social distancing and wear face coverings in public and in places of business. Visit the State's website for more information about this announcement. Read a list of Frequently Asked Questions for all business types.
Visit the DCEO website to find current toolkits, guidelines, and COVID-19 information for your business.
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.
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
- Fire Safety for Outdoor structures
- 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 Fire Department has produced documents guiding:
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.