As Illinoisans face increasing challenges as a result of the coronavirus, Governor JB Pritzker announced a series of new measures to relieve pressure on small businesses, increase safe opportunities for vulnerable populations to purchase essentials and expand health care services for patients and providers.
“Our social distancing efforts are the most important thing we can do to protect our seniors and support our health care workers,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “The fight against COVID-19 is a scientific one: it requires the best that medicine, innovation and statistics have to offer. But as we do all that we can to find a cure, find treatments, and support our medical infrastructure, we can’t forget the exceptional human costs of these mitigating measures. We must do all that we can to address them.”
SBA APPROVES SMALL BUSINESS LOANS IN ILLINOIS
Two days after submitting documentation demonstrating the impact of COVID-19 on more than 3,000 businesses across the state, Gov. Pritzker announced today that the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved the state’s eligibility for disaster assistance loans for small businesses facing financial hardship in all 102 counties due to COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov
SALES TAX DEFERRAL FOR BARS AND RESTAURANTS
To help alleviate some of the unprecedented challenges facing bars and restaurants due to COVID-19, Gov. Pritzker has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants — accounting for nearly 80% of all such entities statewide.
Under the directive, eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May made late. The Department of Revenue estimates this will give relief to nearly 80% of bars and restaurants in Illinois.
Penalties and interest will be automatically waived; however, qualified taxpayers must still file their sales tax return even if they are unable to make a payment. Any taxpayers taking advantage of this relief will be required to pay their sales tax liabilities due in March, April and May in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20. For more information, please view IDOR’s informational bulletin available at tax.illinois.gov.
NEW GROCERY STORE HOURS FOR OLDER RESIDENTS
After convening the largest grocers and food manufacturers in the state with the help of Illinois Retail Merchants Association, Gov. Pritzker announced today that a growing coalition of grocery stores statewide will set aside one or more hours of operation for older residents to shop, before stores open to the general public.