Covid-19 Information

Virus Update 15
5-29-2020

The Henry Stark County Health Department as of this email are reporting 72 cases in Henry and 3 in Stark county.

Ribbon Cutting
Open for Business!

Today, May 29th many businesses that have been closed for weeks will be allowed to reopen. We wish you well!

Reopening Guidelines

If your business needs information on what the guidelines are to open safely the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has put them on their website. The entire set of guidelines can be found here. The website includes a toolkit for all businesses that includes letters, posters, signage and social media materials.

Local Business providing Hand Sanitizer

If you need hand sanitizer for your business in bulk Global Impact Innovation located on the campus of Big River Resources ethanol plant in Galva may be able to help you. Working with state officials early on in the pandemic they were able to retool their facility and have the capability of producing over 150,000 gallons a week. Recently they have been able to obtain containers and are now able to have it 1 gallon and 5 gallon containers. They have supplied many local hospitals, health care organizations and will continue to help local charitable organizations with donations. They also will be available to supply private industry at very reasonable pricing in the $13 per gallon range. For more information contact them at 309-320-2175.


Virus Update 14
5-26-2020

The Henry Stark County Health Department as of this email are reporting 69 cases in Henry and 3 in Stark county.

Getting Back to Business!

´╗┐Friday, May 29th many businesses that have been closed for weeks will be allowed to finally reopen.

Phase 3 Reopening Guidelines

Over the Memorial Day weekend, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) released a set of guidelines for businesses able to reopen in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan. The entire set of guidelines can be found here. The website includes a toolkit for all businesses that includes letters, posters, signage and social media materials.

The website also includes individual guidelines and tool kits for specific industries that are allowed to reopen or further reopen in Phase 3, which is to begin on Friday, May 29. Please click on the links below for particular industries.

Industry/Business Type

Manufacturing: Guideline - Toolkit

Health & Fitness Centers: Guideline - Toolkit

Offices: Guideline - Toolkit

Personal Care (i.e. salons, tattoos, nails, massage): Guideline - Toolkit

Retail: Guideline - Toolkit

Outdoor Recreation: Guideline - Toolkit Pending

Service Counters (i.e. dry cleaners, car washes, repair shops): Guideline - Toolkit

Day Camps: Guideline - Toolkit Pending

Youth Sports: Guideline - Toolkit

Restaurants & Bars: Guideline - Toolkit

In order for you to prepare and to let your customers and employees know you care about their health and safety the 2 posters below can be printed out by clicking on the following links:

Covid-19 Notice
Five Ways to Prepare

Virus Update 11
5-13-2020

The Henry Stark County Health Department as of this email are reporting 62 cases in Henry and 1 in Stark county.

Regional Progress

Progress on the regional metrics that must be met under the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan in order to move from Phase 2 to Phase 3.

Under the Governor’s plan, the state’s 11 medical regions were reconfigured from 11 to 4. In each region, there must be a surge capacity of at least 14% for hospital beds, ICU beds and ventilators. The positivity rating must be under 20% for a 14-day period. Any number in red means that region has not met the capacity requirement for that category.

To view the regions dashboard click here. We are in the North Central Region.


Below find 2 programs that may be of interest to your business:

Hometown Hope Local Marketing Grant Program
COVID-19
Pandemic Relief

ABOUT THIS EMERGENCY GRANT PROGRAM

Local businesses are one of the most important parts of our community’s identity. Whether it is the tens of thousands of jobs that are created, the mark they leave on the community or the services they provide, they truly are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. As the local leader in news and media consumption, and on behalf of each local business we serve as the advertising leader, we are here to help through Regional Media’s Hometown Hope Local Marketing Grant. Our Hometown Hope Local Marketing Grant Program is another way we are looking to strengthen our communities, one locally owned business at a time.

During this time, it's essential for you to know the facts.
92% REACHED EACH WEEK (P18+) -
RADIO IS AMERICA'S #1 REACH MEDIUM
*Nielsen Total Audience Report February 2020
More adults use Broadcast Radio each week than:
CABLE TELEVISION, BROADCAST TELEVISION, STREAMING TELEVISION, FACEBOOK,
TWITTER, NEWSPAPER, SMARTPHONES, and THE INTERNET
Radio is #1 plain and simple.

Regional Media's Hometown Hope
Local Marketing Grant will be awarded to small to medium-sized businesses in the Regional Media listening area effected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

To apply for the Hometown Hope grant, please visit: https://www.illinoisnewsnow.com/hometown-hope/


Adapting Your Business Webinar
Is Too Good to Miss!

Save the date:
Wed, May 20 at 12:00pm
Join Bella Gibson, Thryv Business Advisor as she discusses how to
Adapt Your Business during the COVID-19 crisis.
Adapting Your Business Free Webinar.
Strategies and Tools to help you Pivot to a digital environment during and post
Covid-19 with online appointment scheduling, contactless payment, etc.
Draw from our 130+ Years Experience in Helping Local Businesses!
Register now to secure your spot!

Hosted by
Bella Gibson
Thryv Business Advisor
Register Here


Event Update
5-13-2020

Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is announcing the cancellation of the following events:

Stay Informed
Stay Healthy


Update Addendum
5-1-2020

Passing this along from the Illinois Retail Merchants Association of
which the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce is a member.
As you can see there are still many questions to be answered.
Once information is received I will pass it along.

NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER

During his briefing on Thursday, Governor JB Pritzker noted that his new Executive Order will be effective May 1st thru May 30th.

The following social distancing measures have to be implemented by essential stores “to the greatest extent possible7rdquo;:

A. Facial coverings are required in public places or when working and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. This requirement applies to anyone over the age of two who is able to medically tolerate a face-covering. The face covering must cover the nose and mouth. Employers must provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times.

NOTE: The Governor’s office agreed that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will issue a guidance that retailers are NOT required to confront consumers who are not wearing fade coverings. Instead, the retailer must have a sign at the entrance notifying consumers that they are required to wear a mask. If the retailer notices a number of customers not wearing masks as required, the retailer needs to call local officials and request enforcement. If those two things happen, the retailer has done its job. However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued.

IRMA GUIDANCE:

1.Treat the face covering requirement as an absolute. Do not attempt to rely upon the qualifying phrase “unable to maintain a six-foot social distance”.

2. Expect active local enforcement and customers calling law enforcement or the state to complain every time they see an individual without a face covering.

3. Post a prominent sign at the entrance stating something to the effect of “At the order of Governor JB Pritzker, all consumers are required to wear a facial covering while in this store.”

4. If you have consumers who are not wearing a face covering, contact local law enforcement, explain that you have customers who are not wearing face coverings and request their assistance in enforcing pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order. Log this call.

5. Be aware there will be localities, such as the City of Chicago, who will be looking to impose substantial fines for the slightest violation and they will be looking to do so on businesses as they do not have the political courage to do so on individuals.

B. Occupancy limits are being imposed. The EO limits occupancy to 50% of store capacity OR at the occupancy limits based on store square footage set by DCEO. NOTE: At IRMA’s request, the Governor’s Office will be directing DCEO to issue a guidance that gives retailers the alternative option of imposing a 5 people per 1,000 square foot standard. This was a request of IRMA as a result of member feedback. However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued.

IRMA GUIDANCE: IRMA strongly suggests retailers post a sign at the entrance stating how many consumers are allowed in the store at one time pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order.

C. One-way aisles are required “where practicable” with “conspicuous signage and/or floor markings”. NOTE: DCEO will be issuing a guidance that one-way does not apply to front, middle, or back aisles. This was requested by IRMA members and recognizes the experiences of retailers who have tried one-way aisles.

However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued. For those stores with very small foot prints, please note the EO states “where practicable”.

D. Communicate social distancing requirements “through in-store signage, and public service announcements and advertisements”. NOTE: As a result of IRMA’s two-week radio campaign, the Governor’s office told IRMA we have covered the ‘advertisement’ requirement so retailers do not have to worry about that. Thank you to the IRMA members who helped make that campaign possible. IF a local government takes a different stance, please let IRMA know promptly.

E. Discontinue the use of reusable bags. NOTE: IRMA has asked on a number of occasions for the City of Chicago to remove the bag tax. They have steadfastly refused and given no indication of a willingness to remove it. If you are in a location that imposes a bag tax, and that location has not suspended it, please continue to collect it as you can be certain the local government in question will come looking for their money.

Other items of note:

Households must limit the number of members who enter stores to the minimum necessary. There is no enforcement requirement here and you will note it is listed separately from the requirements on ‘essential businesses’.

So called ‘non-essential’ stores are allowed to re-open for curbside and delivery fulfillment of telephone and on-line orders. The employees of the store must follow social distancing requirements and must wear a face covering within 6-feet of another employee or customer.

All businesses are required to ‘evaluate’ which employees are able to work from home and are encouraged to facilitate remote work from home where possible. NOTE: At IRMA’s request, DCEO will be issuing guidance that retailers do not have to do such evaluations because retail employees can’t function from home. However, at this writing, that guidance is not available. IRMA will pass it along as soon as it is issued.

On page 14, under the ‘Enforcement’ section, please note businesses are specifically prohibited from retaliating against an employee for disclosing information where the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information discloses a violation of the Executive Order.

Finally, a few moments ago, IRMA communicated directly with the Director of DCEO regarding the aforementioned guidances. We will be notifying you as soon as we have them.


Friday Update
4-24-2020

The Henry Stark County Health Department as of this email are reporting 41 cases in Henry and 1 in Stark county. Now is not the time to become complacent.

Stay Healthy.

Program Information

Save Small Business Fund

The U.S. Chamber Foundation Save Small Business Fund website was overloaded and shut down on Monday. It opened back up and at this time is no longer taking grant applications.

Paycheck Protection Program Depleted/Replenished

The SBA Paycheck Protection Program depleted funds last week as expected. Additional funds were passed by Congress yesterday and should be signed by the President soon. This will add almost 300 billion to be loaned out but most lending leaders are reporting this is most likely spoken for with the large amount of pending applications on file. Those interested should contact their lender to discuss options.

Illinois update

To continue flattening the curve of COVID-19 across the state, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday announced a modification to the state’s stay-at-home order that will take effect May 1 and extend through the end of the month. The modified order aims to strengthen the state’s social distancing requirements, allow residents additional flexibility and provide measured relief to nonessential businesses.

The new executive order includes the following modifications effective May 1:

All individuals over the age of 2 will be required to wear a face covering in public indoor places where they cannot maintain a six-foot distance from others.

Greenhouses, garden centers, nurseries and animal grooming sites may reopen as essential businesses. These businesses must follow social distancing requirements and require employees and customers to wear a face covering.

Retail stores designated as nonessential businesses and operations may reopen to fulfill telephone and online orders through curbside pickup and delivery service.

Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a six-foot distance from others.

Illinois state parks will begin reopening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of two people will be permitted. Additional guidelines and a list of parks that will open May 1 can be found on the DNR website.

Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

According to the state-issued news release, “Lifting mitigation measures is only possible with widespread availability and access to COVID-19 testing, tracing and treatment. The data show that if the state were to lift mitigations abruptly this week, this would result in a second wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.”

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program Grant

The City of Kewanee is still looking into this state sponsored program. Additional details will be released soon on the city website and social media platform.

The City of Kewanee is also looking into possible city sponsored loan program that would have favorable rates and payback terms.


Friday, April 17th, 2020

The Henry Stark County Health Department as of this email are reporting 26 cases in Henry and 1 in Stark county. Now is not the time to become complacent. The virus is and has been among us and the best way to minimize the chance of contracting it, until a vaccine is developed is to limit contact with others. Stay Healthy.

Food for thought!!

While I can’t claim this as my own, it resonated with me from one of my fellow chamber director friends and I personalized it quite a bit.

We are lucky that we do have some economic draw in Kewanee from both commerce and tourism but please read the following words.

Cities should step out of the rubble created by COVID-19 with torches in hand, ready to melt down the golden calf of tourism, grind it into ash, and scatter it into the sea.

Who is keeping the city intact during a pandemic that has brought the entire world to screeching halt?

It’s not Jim and Karen driving over from the other side of state to have some drinks and enjoy their anniversary weekend.

Whose actions will decide whether downtown disintegrates into ruin or, despite everything, continues to grow?

It’s the people who call Kewanee HOME.

Kewaneeans are the ones buying takeout, cheering on local businesses who don’t think they can make it, and sewing face masks for the local nursing home staff. They’re the ones who will flood local businesses when things open up with support not because “I hear the steak here is good,” but because the owners are their neighbors.

Citizens are the troops that are rallying and saving the day because they are proud of where they live.

Pride is the prerequisite of action.

And action saves cities.

Before this, pride may have seemed warm and fuzzy and “nice”, but after this, it should be seen as the thing that influences everything else.

Maybe, just maybe, after this, more cities will stop asking, “How can we get more people to come here on the weekend?” and start asking, “How can we build a city people are proud to call home?” Think about it and feel free to share this as much as you desire.

Program Information

Save Small Business Fund

FYI 61443 is valid

The U.S. Chamber Foundation is launching their Save Small Business Fund. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the U.S. Chamber Foundation will be providing $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers (between 3-20 employees) in economically vulnerable communities. A zip-code lookup on their website will tell you if a business is considered to be located in a “vulnerable community.” Applications for the Save Small Business Grant Fund will open this Monday, April 20, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. ET. Interested individuals can sign up for an email alert to be notified of the window opening. The effort is part of the U.S. Chamber’s larger Save Small Business Initiative.

Paycheck Protection Program Depleted

The SBA announced Thursday that the Paycheck Protection Program had been depleted and no more applications were being accepted. Congress is currently debating a new relief package that is likely to include more funds for PPP. Those interested should contact their lender to discuss options. Please contact your US Senators and your US Congresswoman/Congressman and ask them to immediately approve additional appropriations for the program. You may find your elected officials and their contact information here.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program Grant

The City of Kewanee is still looking into this state sponsored program. Additional details will be released soon on the city website and social media platform.

The City of Kewanee is also looking into possible city sponsored loan program that would have favorable rates and payback terms.


COVID-19 Update: April 3rd

It's Friday
We made it through another week!!

Please find below some information regarding a couple of programs available to businesses. Please be advised that the information is changing, sometimes hourly. So please check with your lender and bear with them as they get the information processed. Since the lobbies are closed, an appointment is required so please call ahead.

Please look over the links that detail what is needed to hopefully streamline the process.

Just a reminder the Kewanee Chamber office is closed to the public but we are working as best we can on-site and remotely.

We have been told that adding new information on to the previous updates is helpful if someone did not see the previous one. Therefore we will continue to add new information instead of composing all new page edits.


Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program Grant

The City of Kewanee is preparing the grant information and will be holding a public hearing on April 9th at 6:30 p.m. Information will be made available on the City website and on social media on how to participate in this meeting by electronic device.


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The U.S. Treasury Department and Small Business Administration (SBA) on March 31 unveiled details of the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program, including instructions for businesses to apply for funds. Established by the federal CARES Act, this program is designed to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the COVID-19 crisis.

Who, what, when?

Beginning Friday, April 3, businesses with fewer than 500 employees, including sole proprietors, private nonprofit organizations and veterans organizations, may apply for loans of up to $10 million. Beginning April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals may apply for funds.

How to apply

The Chamber encourages businesses and entrepreneurs to contact the Small Business Development Center and their bank or credit union for immediate assistance.

Loan forgiveness

The SBA will forgive loans if the funds are used to cover payroll costs, including benefits, rent, mortgage interest and utilities for eight weeks after the loan is made and all employee and compensation levels are maintained. Due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must be used for payroll.


Governor Pritzker unveils new "All In Illinois" campaign to encourage residents to continue observing social distancing guidelines. Check out the new campaign by clicking on the link below:


Bars, Restaurants, Lodging Grant Deadline!!
The deadline to submit an application is 5:00 p.m. April 1st

The Illinois DCEO has released information on how to obtain a possible grant if you are in the hospitality industry. Please click on the link below which will take you to the City of Kewanee website and the information needed to fill out the grant application. Additional small business grants and loan information will be available soon.


Please find 2 informative flyers provided by OSF Healthcare and a release from Regional Daily news that will allow businesses the ability to get the word out on their opening and closings notices. Please click on the links to access them.


Healthcare, First Responders and Service Personnel

Shoe Sensation is closed to the public but wants to make sure that the Healthcare Workers, First Responders and Service personnel have access to shoes in case they blow out a shoe helping patients. Shoe Sensation will start offering curbside pick up for those essential workers.

Essential workers can call the store at 309-761-8063 between 9am and 7pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm to 4pm on Sunday, to talk to the managers to place orders for any shoe they need for work and set up a time to pick them up.

Curbside pick up is not available to the general public.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact:
Loren Gates
Store Manager
Shoe Sensation Store 884
137 D W South St
Kewanee, IL 61443
309-761-8063


We still feel the best information can be found at the websites below as they are updated regularly with official information.

Also go to the Kewanee Chamber of Commerce Facebook page and check out the list of local restaurants and post a picture.

We continue to assemble resources and information for the business community regarding COVID-19.

Illinois DCEO is tracking the impact of this crisis on business and is asking businesses to complete a short survey.  Answers to these questions will help inform state policy makers on shaping responses.

Hope you find the quick guide of Kewanee Restaurants useful.  Remember they may not all be open for service at this time.

Kewanee Restaurants