Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District

 

Dear Friend,

As you may have heard, increased mitigation measures are taking effect in a number of regions across the state, including the Chicago area, to curb the spread of COVID-19.

These additional mitigations are being introduced to preserve the health and safety of our residents. COVID-19 positivity rates, both locally and statewide, have climbed to dangerous levels, increasing pressure on our health care workers and putting us all at heightened risk of contracting this deadly illness.

For these reasons, it’s critical that we follow the guidelines set forth by the City of Chicago, which are outlined below.

I’m aware these restrictions won’t be easy on our small business community, which is why I have also included information on available assistance for those struggling.

By taking the appropriate precautions to keep ourselves and each other safe, we can bring down our positivity rates and get our region back on track—please continue to wear masks, wash your hands and practice social distancing, and encourage your family members and friends to do the same.

And don’t forget to get a flu shot to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 and flu patients. You can find information on the availability of shots here.

If my office can be of assistance to you during this time, please don’t hesitate to contact us at my website here.

Stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

Mitigation Q&A

What will change under the new mitigation measures?

The Illinois Department of Public Health has imposed stricter rules on bars and restaurants, including:

  • Bars and restaurants must close at 11 p.m. and may not serve patrons indoors.
  • Patrons may not stand or congregate while waiting for a table or exiting.
  • All tables should be 6 feet apart, and different parties may not be seated at the same table.
  • Reservations are required for each party to assist with contact tracing in case of an outbreak.

Find the full list of resurgence mitigations here.

The City of Chicago has imposed stricter rules to limit the spread of COVID-19, including:

  • Non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants, must close at 10 p.m.
  • Bars, breweries and taverns without a food license may not serve patrons indoors.
  • The last call for liquor service is 9 p.m.
  • Gatherings of more than six non-household members are not permitted.

Find the full list of resurgence mitigations here.

Where can struggling businesses and employees find assistance?

The State of Illinois has launched a number of programs to provide aid to businesses and restaurants facing pandemic-related losses:

  • The Business Interruption Grant program will distribute $220 million to small businesses, with priority given to those in regions under increased mitigations, to use for payroll and other operational costs. Apply now.
  • The Illinois Department of Employment Security has instructional videos, FAQs and other resources to help out-of-work Illinoisans apply for unemployment benefits. Learn more.
  • Visit an Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) for advising and other free resources to help you start, grow and maintain your business. Find an SBDC near you to discuss your options.
  • Cook County is offering free webinars and one-on-one advising to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore available resources.
  • Will County has earmarked more than $24 million for a Small Business Assistance Grant Program. Selected businesses may receive up to $15,000 in grant assistance. Find out whether your business is eligible and how to apply.

What will happen to bars and restaurants who don’t follow the rules?

Restaurants and bars are among the highest-risk locations for the spread of COVID-19, according to a recent report by the CDC, especially when mask wearing and social distancing are not observed. Establishments who fail to follow these rules are slowing down our recovery, not to mention endangering their customers, their employees and the community at large.

If a restaurant or bar is found to be in violation of COVID-19 prevention guidelines, they may have their operating or liquor licenses revoked by local government officials. Additionally, the Illinois State Police have now been alerted to be on patrol in regions with heightened COVID-19 restrictions and may issue citations; in extreme cases, the state may revoke a business’ liquor license. I encourage business owners to follow the guidelines set forth by the state, and I urge residents to support those businesses trying their best to keep us safe.

COVID19 Updates

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Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607