COVID~19 Resources

During this difficult time, we remain dedicated to keeping you up to date on the latest resources and information available to help you navigate through this COVID-19 pandemic.  We are here for you, advocating for your business at the state and federal levels.
Please do not hesitate to call or email us if there is anything we can do for you or your business.   RoseMarie M. Treml, Executive Director, Sycamore Chamber, cell  815-761-7504, email rtreml@sycamorechamber.com 

We continue to partner with the DeKalb County UNITES Committee.  This grassroots movement focuses on helping small businesses remain viable during this period of mandated restrictions and economic uncertainty.

Updated May 27, 2020

The County will waive First Installment late penalties up until September 3, 2020. The waiver application must accompany the taxpayer’s first installment payment. The waiver application should not be sent separately from the payment. Click here for the waiver.


May 26
The City of Sycamore has worked to accommodate outdoor dining options for all restaurants, broken into two categories:

  1. Restaurants and Bars with Private Parking Lots or Existing Outdoor Seating (not located on sidewalks):
  1. Restaurants without Private Outdoor Space Options

The City of Sycamore will create two outdoor dining areas for restaurant patrons which will open at 3:00 PM on Friday, May 29th.  The first area is located on Somonauk Street between Route 64 and Joe Bussone Blvd (the Alley), and the second is located in Parking Lot 4 (located between 7-Eleven and the State Theatre).

  • Patrons can order take-out from various restaurants and utilize these areas to eat at.
  • Patrons must follow the posted guidelines at the areas, including sanitizing eating area. (Cleaning solution will be provided).
  • Restaurants must continue to follow the Outdoor Dining Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce.
  • There will be no liquor served or consumed at these areas.
  • There is no application or fee to utilize the areas.
  • Patrons will be limited to 45 minutes at a table, and no more than 6 people to a table.
  • Restaurants must provide restrooms accessible to patrons.
  • There will be hand-sanitizer stations and refuse cans available in these areas.


MAY 22
We move into Phase Three of the Governor’s “Restore Illinois” plan on Friday May 29!! In this phase  retail stores may open their doors with social distancing guidelines and occupy limits.  Please visit www.sycamorechamber.com/COVID-19   to view our Business Reopen Toolkit. This toolkit was created to will help you navigate the new normal and ensure the safety of our community, providing guidance to safely serve your customers and accommodate your employees.

May 21
The DeKalb County Board approved an ordinance allowing waiver of late fees for first installment property taxes.  The waiver applies as long as full payment of taxes is made by the second installment due date and a form available from the county treasurer attesting to current or potential financial need is submitted with the payment.  The County will waive First Installment late penalties up until September 3, 2020. The waiver application must accompany the taxpayer’s first installment payment. The waiver application should not be sent separately from the payment.

Applications for the waiver will soon be available on the County website, www.dekalbcounty.org.

May 20
PLEXIGLASS SAFETY SHIELDS – The City Council has approved a program to provide a plexiglass safety shield to each of our businesses. The shields, made at Upstaging, Inc. right here in Sycamore, will help businesses as they operate with limitations or prepare for reopening under the phased-in Restore Illinois Plan. The program will also help protect residents who visit our businesses. The program provides one shield per business that has a physical operating location in the City of Sycamore and interacts with customers.

The shields are 37 inches tall and 31 inches wide with a cut out at the bottom for business transactions and has legs to stand on their own.  To request their shield, businesses should CLICK HERE to complete the application. Please send completed applications to SAFETYSHIELDPROGRAM@CITYOFSYCAMORE.COM.


May 18
PPP Forgiveness Application – The SBA has released the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application. This document includes a worksheet to calculate your PPP Loan usage, and information on on how to calculate your FTE total.

May 13
Great news for the small-business community! The Treasury announced today that PPP borrowers with less than $2 million in loans are automatically deemed to have made the financial-necessity certification on the loan application in good faith. Treasury also somewhat softened its rhetoric towards those businesses that have borrowed more than $2 million, noting that while they will not automatically be deemed to have made the certification like the under $2m loans, they can show an “adequate basis” for making the certification under prior SBA guidance based on their individual facts and circumstances. The announcements were issued via FAQ No. 46 https://www.sba.gov/document/support–faq-lenders-borrowers

May 10
GoFundMe is offering $500 matching grants. To qualify for a matching grant from the Small Business Relief Fund, the GoFundMe fundraiser must raise at least $500 and verify that your small business has been negatively impacted by a government mandate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your small business must be independently owned and operated and must not be nationally dominant in your field of operation. Each recipient of the matching grant must intend on using the funds to help care for your employees or pay ongoing business expenses.

PUA Unemployment is now available for Sole Proprietors and Independent Contractors. You must apply for regular unemployment first, if you have not already done so. Read more information about PUA.

Sam’s Club is teaming up with LISC to offer small business grants. The next round of grants opens on May 14. This program focuses on historically underserved communities – especially enterprises owned by women, minorities, and veterans.

May 7
~ Last night the DeKalb County Board Finance Committee met and approved an ordinance for waiving late fees on first installment property tax bills for people impacted by the Covid-19 crisis.  There will be no penalty if payment for the full amount of taxes is made by the second installment deadline of September 3.  The late fee waiver is not automatic; it will require a signed certification confirming Covid-19 impact using a form from the County Treasurer’s office.

~ The ordinance now goes to the full County Board for action on May 20. The Agenda will be posted on May 15th at  https://dekalbcounty.org/government/county-boards-commissions/county-board-meetings/ .  This meeting will be virtual and as with all County meetings there will be a public comment item on the agenda with a three minute time limit per person.

~ The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public;  hotline is 800-889-3931  and email is dph.sick@illinois.gov.

May 5
Governor Pritzker Announces Restore Illinois: A Public Health Approach To Safely Reopen Our State.  Restore Illinois is a Five-Phase, Regional Plan for Saving Lives, Livelihoods, and Safely Reopening Illinois. Click here to view Restore Illinois One Pager.   And click here to view the Full Restore Illinois – A Public Health Approach To Safely Reopen Our State



May 4
Agricultural businesses including businesses engaged in the legal production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)) are now eligible for the EIDL and EIDL advance. These businesses would still need to meet the criteria of having 500 or fewer employees. Click here for details about the program.

May 2
Click here for guidance to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 from the CDC.

April 30
Click here for Governor’s Updated Proclamation.  Visit J.B. Pritzker’s CORONAVIRUS.ILLINOIS.GOV, a website dedicated COVID-19 with news, prevention tactics, and more.

April 29
We have compiled best practices and resources to assist owners and employees as you prepare to reopen your businesses. Business-Reopen-Tool-Kit-May-1 2020

April 27
What is the Employee Retention Credit?

The Employee Retention Credit is a fully refundable tax credit for employers equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including allowable qualified health plan expenses) that Eligible Employers pay their employees. This Employee Retention Credit applies to qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021. The maximum amount of qualified wages taken into account with respect to each employee for all calendar quarters is $10,000, so that the maximum credit for an Eligible Employer for qualified wages paid to any employee is $5,000.  Frequently asked questions click here.

April 26
Click here to review Constant Contact Small Business Support Kit

April 24
Click here to view the  DeKalb County PTAX-761 form. This form is a request for reduction of assessment of property taxes due to destruction. This may give some relief because destruction includes a denial of customary use. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Doug at 815-895-7142 or email Djohnson@DeKalbCounty.org.

April 23
Click here to read Gov. Pritzker’s Announcement on the Modified Stay at Home Order
Starting May 1:
~ Non-essential retail businesses may reopen for online orders and curbside pick-up
~ Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may reopen as essential businesses, but must adhere to social distancing guidelines.
~ State Parks can reopen
~ Golf permitted under strict safety guidelines.
~ Hospitals can begin scheduling elective surgeries.

To view current social distancing guidelines refer to section 15 of Executive Order Number 8 click here.

April 17
Programs for specific business types:
~ Samuel Adams Restaurant Strong Fund
About: https://www.restaurantstrong.org/about/index.html
Application: https://thegreghillfoundation.submittable.com/submit/163383/restaurant-strong-grant-application

~ Arts for Relief Fund

~ Beauty Professionals

~ Tax Relief

~ NEW! Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief
Click here to view the new Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief. We encourage you to share this new guide with your members.

In addition to the new Independent Contractor’s Guide to CARES Act Relief, we encourage you to continue utilizing and sharing the following items as you see fit:

April 16
For Illinois updates, click here
For Illinois businesses, click here
For national updates, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
For national business updates, click here
If you have other questions, please call CDPH’s general COVID-19 inquiry line at 312-746-4835, or email coronavirus@chicago.gov

US Chamber’s Corona virus Toolkit:

~ Guidance For Employers – Click here to download guidance for employers to plan and respond to the Corona virus.

~ Workplace Tips – For workplace tips and resources for employers to combat the virus, please click here.

~ Corporate Aid Tracker – Click here to view our corporate aid tracker for details on how businesses are helping nationwide.

~ Survey on Business Impact – To view business impact survey results from the American Chamber of Commerce in China, click here.

~ Resilience in a Box – If your business needs help putting a plan in place, click here to use the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s toolkit created in partnership with the UPS foundation.

~ More Resources – For more resources, including consolidated, business-specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), please click here.

April 9
As our community takes preventive measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, more of our businesses are allowing their employees to work remotely. It’s important to understand how this situation may affect your cyber security hygiene. As with most significant global events, cyber criminals will leverage the event against potential targets to advance or achieve a malicious goal. Please take a moment to read this information.

April 8
All employers should be implementing strategies to protect their workforce from the coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations.
Created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, these guides are based on information provided by the CDC, to help employers and employees prepare for and address the effects of the coronavirus.

April 7
This was just posted today from the Illinois Department of Employment Securities. The direct link to the IDES document Federal-Stimulus-FAQ
How will this affect Illinois unemployment benefits?  
For weeks of unemployment beginning March 29, 2020, and ending July 31, 2020, individuals receiving unemployment benefits will receive $600 more than they would receive in their weekly  benefit amount. In many cases, individuals will also be eligible for more weeks of unemployment above the 26 weeks provided under regular unemployment rules. Both of these benefits will be applied automatically if you qualify.

April 6
COVID-19 Response Grant – Organizations are invited to apply for DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Grants. This process is for distributing grants that address preparedness, response, recovery, and/or rebuilding efforts. Grant requests will be due by Wednesday, April 8 at noon. The DeKalb County COVID-19 Response Fund (DCCRF), a component pass through fund within  DeKalb County. Community Foundation (DCCF), was created in collaboration with various local funding partners. The Fund’s purpose is to be a depository for contributions intended to respond to the effects of COVID-19 in DeKalb County by distributing grants that address preparedness, response, recovery, and/or rebuilding efforts. Click here for  Grant_Guidelines and here for  an Application

April 4
Sycamore and Genoa businesses may apply for the Downstate Small Business Stabilization. It has been established to provide working capital funds to community’s businesses economically impacted by the COVID-19 virus.  For a list of Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program FAQs.

The program component makes funds available for 60 days of verifiable working capital up to a grant ceiling of $25,000 and is available for businesses that employ 50 people or less.  Number of employees includes the business owner(s).  These funds may be used to assist private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely.  Click here for details.

April 3
~ Please see the Paycheck Protection Program Guidance (PPP Memo from DCEO 040220) that we received from the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College this morning.

~ The banks listed below are our members that have informed us that they are SBA Approved Lenders. Please contact one of them for more information on the CARES Act/Paycheck Protection Program.
Resource Bank — visit resourcebank.com 

First National Bank — visit FNBO for details

First Midwest Bank — visit First Midwest Bank for details.

First State Bank — visit First State Bank for details

Heartland Bank and Trust Co — visit Heartland Bank  for details. 

~ Paycheck Protection Program Application

April 2
~ A spreadsheet that compares SBA Coronavirus Pandemic Disaster Loans  click here.

~ A guide to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans

~ U.S. Dept. of Treasury re: payroll tax credits: Employment Retention Credit 

March 31
~ What you need to know about the IRS Economic Impact Payments: Click on link below:

March 30

National list of COVID-19 Relief Resources for SMBs 

~ The SBA Disaster Loan application is now back to an online application form, and they have significantly streamlined the application. You can now also request an advance. If you haven’t already submitted an application, you can do it here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

~ SBA lenders are getting set up to handle applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. We have reached out to our local banks and am waiting to hear back to  see if they are taking applications.

~ Here are a few FAQ links that we have found helpful:
US Chamber

Small Business Committee

US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

~ The City of Sycamore is extending payment dates for hotel/motel taxes, along with several other taxes and licenses, for 60 days to provide some relief to all of our businesses. Please visit the City’s website for updated information regarding COVID-19.

Our elected representatives came together in a powerful way to provide the much needed relief that American workers and businesses need and deserve during this unprecedented time.  Please click here for the loan guide provided by the US Chamber:  USChamber Small Business ELA Loan Guide

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program

To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) launched the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes. Grant funds are available to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery.

Hotels and food and beverage businesses can fill out the grant application between March 25th and April 1st. The grants sizes are $10,000, $25,000, or $50,000 and grant winners will be notified on April 4th.

Apply now: https://us.accion.org/news/covid-19-hospitality-business-grant-program/?fbclid=IwAR1eYlUfaIHiUvv2Bm3PoquIBgKpzDUifyppbQqjoChNLjlPoRXXqseQO18

State of Illinois Treasurer Office – COVID-19 Relief Program


COVID-19 Stimulus passed in the Senate last night. Phase_3_Bipart_Summary_-_Revised

Continue to check links below as they will also be updated on a regular basis.

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Illinois Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

SBA Schedule-Of-Liabilities–2202

We are currently working with a team of business, municipal, community, and university leaders from throughout the county, DeKalb County UNITES.  This grassroots movement focuses on helping small businesses remain viable during this period of mandated restrictions and economic uncertainty.

We have formed Action Teams to address specific areas of challenge and opportunity for small business:

  • A marketing/communications team is working to aggregate, amplify and add to the many excellent communications underway from area Chambers of Commerce, DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation, the DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and many other area organizations.
  • Local restaurateurs are looking at ways to help connect their capacities with the needs of the essential businesses that continue to operate.   We will work with restaurateurs to assist in any way possible to keep restaurants afloat, restaurant workers employed and essential employees fed.
  • Understanding the needs and capabilities of the larger small business community during this period will be an essential element of our work.   With an inventory of small business capabilities, an action team will reach out to larger businesses and institutions to determine how they might direct their purchasing power to smaller, more vulnerable businesses.
  • While small businesses try to figure out how to move forward in this new environment, they continue to worry about their people, their payroll, cash flow, debt obligations, taxes and other elements of running their businesses.  A financial resources action team will help small businesses navigate financial support that is available to them.

Like everything related to this pandemic, our work is rapidly evolving.  As needs become apparent in the community, the team will reassess and develop new strategies for helping small businesses.  More information is available online at www.dekalbcountyunites.com

From the City of Sycamore -please visit the City’s website for updated information regarding COVID-19.


Class B and C liquor license holders (Bars and Clubs) are permitted to sell packaged liquor for off premises consumption in accordance with the City Code. Any Class A liquor license holder (Restaurant) wishing to be temporarily allowed to sell packaged liquor for off premises consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis should contact the City at 815-895-4853 for permission.

The City is planning to extend restaurant and bar tax payments for at least 60 days to provide some assistance to impacted businesses. As more information becomes available it will be distributed or please check the City’s website for periodic updates.

We are continuing to explore ways we can provide some level of assistance or relief to our business community.

March 22


MARCH 20 –  SBA low-interest disaster loans now available

All Illinois small businesses (according to SBA’s size standards) and private non-profits can now apply for loans of up to $2 million through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. If your business has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, this program offers working capital to meet needs including payroll, accounts payable, and fixed debt payments until the situation improves. Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Apply now at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

If you have questions, the Illinois District Office is hosting twice daily webinars on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program Friday, March . Businesses and other stakeholders can register for these  trainings at www.sba.gov/il. These trainings will cover:

  • Program eligibility
  • Use of proceeds
  • Terms
  • Filing requirements
  • Additional small business resources

Additional Resources

  • Information for small businesses affected by coronavirus at sba.gov/coronavirus
  • Follow @SBA_Illinois on Twitter.
  • Subscribe to email updates at ly/SubscribeIL to stay up to date on SBA news and events.
  • SBA resource partners (Illinois Small Business Development Centers, WBDC, SCORE, Veterans Business Outreach Center) stand ready to help. Go to sba.gov/local-assistance to find a counselor or mentor.

You can also email Illinois.do@sba.gov or call (312) 353-4528 (Chicago office) or 217-(217) 747-8249 (Springfield office) to talk to a Small Business Administration team member directly.



~ Wednesday, March 17, the Senate passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  This bill provides, among other things, provisions to address Paid Sick Leave, Paid Family and Medical Leave, and Unemployment Insurance for workers displaced by the ongoing outbreak.  Furthermore, it includes provisions to provide diagnostic testing for coronavirus, and bolsters Medicaid and nutrition programs for at risk populations.  Click here to see the U.S. Chamber’s summary.


We will keep you informed and to assist in the ways you need most.

Please let us know if there is anything specific you require and we will do our best to get you the information, resources, or contacts that will help you the most. Contact us via phone 815-895-3456 or email at rtreml@sycamorechamber.com

Stay healthy and keep us in mind as your network, your resource, and your advocate.


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