CHICAGO— The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a webinar with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin to provide Chicago’s business community with updates on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to offer insights how the business community can help limit its spread. Bo Steiner, the SBA District Director, also attended the webinar to answer questions related to funding available for small businesses.

Senator Durbin provided information on the overall federal response to the outbreak, including assistance to the business community, workers and their families. He also supplied details on efforts being discussed to bolster the supply of tools and resources healthcare workers need to care for sick patients. Further, he also discussed the type of relief that would be needed for companies both large and small.  

“We are in the midst of an emergency none of us have ever encountered, and it is vital that we all come together to support healthcare workers on the front lines, employees of all industries, their families and the businesses that serve them. Developing additional tests will allow us to understand the full scope of this pandemic and enable us to provide adequate assistance where it is needed. I am confident that we will get through this public health crisis, and I thank every business that has made the tough choices needed to further serve these efforts,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

The federal government has recently passed two pieces of legislation and are in discussions on a $1 trillion economic rescue package to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and aid businesses and workers as they deal with its impact. This includes:

  • Offering low interest loans to impacted businesses;
  • Expanding federal assistance to unemployment benefits;
  • Preventing the increase of businesses’ unemployment tax rate;
  • Providing Medicaid reimbursements back to the state;
  • Establishing paid leave for workers;
  • Providing food assistance to workers and families;
  • Injecting trillions of dollars back into the economy to help workers, their families and businesses.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous impact on our business community and its workers. We are thankful to Sen. Durbin for providing business owners with crucial updates on the federal relief efforts and how they aim to help our businesses and in turn protect and support their employees,” said Jack Lavin, president & CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is working tirelessly with elected officials, the State of Illinois, and City of Chicago to help businesses ranging from restaurants and bars to airlines maintain operations, make payroll and weather this difficult time. While the impact of COVID-19 is far-reaching, we are confident in our business community’s long-term success.”

The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce will continue to provide resources for Chicago’s business community, virtual webinars and events, as well as updates to aid employers and their employees. Resources can be found on the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s website.