At this time of unprecedented difficulties for all of our Village businesses, we want to assure you that the Village continues to look at our relationship with local businesses as a partnership. We are a firm believer that we are all in this together, and that the best way to traverse these strange and difficult times is together. As such, we want you to know that we understand you have many fears and concerns regarding when and how business will return to normal, and we share those concerns. We all need each other’s assistance and compassion as we move forward. Both our business residents and those residents who make their home in Lincolnwood are the lifeblood of the Village.
With the goal of supporting local businesses and attempting to help where we can, the Village recently sent out to all operating restaurants (those providing carry-out, delivery, and curbside-pickup) Health department guidance regarding best practices, as well as information on the relaxing of Village Code requirements for signage to allow previously-prohibited banners so restaurants can let the public know they’re open and how to go about placing an order. The Village will also act as a clearinghouse for business-related information generated locally, as well as the information we receive from the State and Federal Government. Together we will do all we can to weather the bumps in the road ahead and provide you with timely information. Following is information that may be helpful to you:
Cook County COVID-19 Recovery: Small Business Assistance Program
Cook County recently unveiled a program that offers business advising and recovery grants up to $10,000 for eligible businesses in suburban Cook County, to help deal with the impacts of COVID-19 on the business community. Specifically, businesses with 20 employees or fewer who have experienced a 20% reduction in revenue in any month from March to July 2020 may qualify for a recovery grant. As part of the grant award, the businesses will receive one-on-one technical assistance to address needs. Applications may be submitted between September 16 and October 6. More information, including how to determine eligibility, can be found at on the Cook County website, linked here.
Temporary Outdoor Advertising Guidelines
The Mayor and Board of Trustees have relaxed certain code regulations related to outdoor advertising, in an effort to assist the Lincolnwood business community in this unique and challenging time, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Village regulations that have been relaxed include those related to temporary sign banners, feather signs, display of pennant flags, outdoor displays of products, and sidewalk sales. Specific guidelines for the relaxed codes can be found here. These temporary guidelines currently last through the end of November 2020 and will be re-evaluated by the Village Board at their November 17 meeting. Please feel free to contact Mike Brumm, Code Enforcement Officer, at (847) 745-4811 or at MBrumm@lwd.org.
Business Interruption Grant Program
Governor Pritzker announced the opening of the second round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program. These grants will be available to all small businesses statewide that experienced losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The application is available, as of September 17, on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity website for review. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted. Funding for this round is approximately $200 Million. The BIG Program is open to all eligible businesses (for-profit and non-profit) with $20 Million or less in annual revenue in 2019 and who experienced losses due to COVID-19. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses.
New Guidelines for Face-Coverings at Restaurants
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has issued additional safety guidelines related to the responsibilities of patrons visiting restaurants. In short, patrons should wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when interacting with restaurant employees. Whether it is to order food, pick-up food, food delivery to a table, tables are serviced, etc. All contact and interactions with restaurant employees should occur only with both employee and patron wearing face coverings. Please see a full summary of State guidelines from the IDPH here.
Lincolnwood Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Lincolnwood Chamber of Commerce and Industry has prepared a Back to Business Tool Kit to aid businesses by providing the information and resources they need to safely re-open in Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois Plan (effective May 29th), and beyond, please click here for the tool kit. For additional information on business resources, please visit the Lincolnwood Chamber of Commerce website located here.
Comprehensive List of Business Resources
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s office has provided a list linked here, of recently-updated (early July) information for local businesses and non-profits navigating the various financial assistance resources intended to support business during the COVID-19 crisis.
Small Business Administration – Support
Please click here for SBA information on disaster loans.
In addition, we recommend businesses visit SBA’s website here regularly for important information, including webinars related to issues associated with COVID-19.
Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund
The State of Illinois has low-interest loans available, up to $50,000, for small businesses that employ less than 50 workers and generated less than $3 Million in revenue in 2019. Information related to this program can be found on the State’s website linked here.
The following are specific links to COVID-19 related webpages for local utilities:
The Village periodically receives inquiries related to making custom non-medical masks that could include a business’s logo or slogan. While the Village does not endorse specific businesses for these resources, a sample list of some businesses that provide this resource is located below. The Village does not endorse the companies nor the masks that they produce but is providing this for informational purposes only, to help organizations begin their research on this topic. Interested parties should do their own research and due diligence prior to purchasing masks from these or other companies related to custom masks.
Another resource is to use your preferred search engine and look for “custom face masks” to begin your search process for the perfect masks for your business.
Village Alcohol Sales Authorization for Restaurants
Consistent with directives from the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, Lincolnwood’s Liquor Control Commissioner will issue a Rider to each eligible restaurant liquor license holder to authorize the sale of bottles of wine and beer along with a meal prepared on the licensed premise for carry-out and curbside pickup orders. This Rider is required to sell alcohol in this manner, will be issued at no cost, and will remain in effect until restaurants are able to resume normal operations as authorized by the State. Please see attached document here for important information describing this authorization, and providing a Rider that must be completed and submitted to authorize such liquor sales.
Sales Tax Payment
Find important information from the Illinois Department of Revenue regarding relief from penalties for late sales tax payments due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak on this linked document here. Please note there are specific requirements for eligibility.
Restaurants Open for Business – MAP
A graphic map, showing the restaurants that are open for business (carry-out, curbside pick-up and/or delivery) can be found here (please be aware the map may load slowly).
Assistance for Small Businesses
The Small Business Administration, webpage linked here and Small Business Development Center Network, webpage linked here who work together in partnership to help America’s small businesses, provided a series of slides detailing loan and grant programs that are available during the COVID-19 pandemic. These slides provide some very basic information on assistance that is available. Local businesses are strongly encouraged to visit either one of these websites, as soon as possible, to determine your eligibility for these small business assistance programs. The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a good place to start if you are not sure which assistance program makes the most sense for your business. Please review the information linked here and follow-up with SBA or SBDC to see what you’re eligible for and sign-up right away.
Help Needed – Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If your business has manufacturing capabilities and you are willing to join in the fight and help produce masks or other protective equipment for first responders and front-line medical personnel, please contact the following resource to see how you can help:
If you have a supply of PPE’s that you are willing to donate to the cause, please contact Serve Illinois, a resource and advocate within the Illinois Department of Public Health, visit their webpage here.
Please check our website regularly for updated information.