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New COVID-19 restrictions on Alcohol sales begins Friday Oct. 23, 2020

Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania addresses the Cicero Chamber of Commerce at a panel discussion on Wednesday Feb. 26, 2020 featuring editors of the local community news media.

New COVID-19 restrictions on Alcohol sales begins Friday Oct. 23, 2020

New Executive Order that impacts bars and restaurants prohibits drinking of alcohol after 10 PM, or the sale of alcohol for consumption on site by 9 pm
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Effective Friday, October 23, 2020 at noon regarding serving liquor:
Cease indoor and outdoor consumption of alcohol at 10:00 p.m. Restaurants and food establishments may continue to serve food for indoor and outdoor dining after 10:00 p.m.
Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania addresses the Cicero Chamber of Commerce at a panel discussion on Wednesday Feb. 26, 2020 featuring editors of the local community news media.
Cicero spokesman Ray Hanania addresses the Cicero Chamber of Commerce at a panel discussion
All bars that serve alcohol for on-site consumption must end alcohol service at 9:00 p.m. before closing at 10:00 p.m.
Cease all sales of alcoholic liquor for off-premises consumption between 10:00 p.m. and the following day at the hour at which the licensee is permitted to resume.
Restaurants or establishments serving food may continue operating after 10:00 p.m. to serve food and provide curb-side pick-up or carry-out delivery of food.
Carry-out or delivery of alcohol after 10:00 p.m. is prohibited.
Prominently post signage, in a form prescribed by the Town’s Local Liquor Commissioner or Deputy Local Liquor Commissioner at each publicly accessible entrance to the establishment and in any area of the establishment where alcoholic liquor is sold, informing patrons of the 10:00 p.m. closure or cessation of alcoholic liquor for sale.
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The full order is printed below:
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COVID-19 EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2020-12
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation (the “Disaster Proclamation”) due to the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) and declared all counties in the State of Illinois as a disaster area, which has been continually renewed at least every thirty (30) days and on March 13, 2020 and President Donald Trump issued a proclamation declaring a national emergency concerning the COVID-19 outbreak; and
WHEREAS, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-43 on June 26, 2020, that affirmed a local government body may enact provisions that are stricter than those in the Executive Order; and
WHEREAS, recently there has been a rapid rise of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the past two weeks in the region; and
WHEREAS, it remains imperative to maintain social distancing and not permit groups of individuals across the Town of Cicero (the “Town”) to recklessly congregate and cluster at or near establishments that sell alcoholic liquor, in particular in the late evening, unacceptably placing their own health and the health of all residents in danger; and
WHEREAS, due to the lack of social distancing and crowds of people gathering at businesses and storefronts, in addition to stores not enforcing mask requirements, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 continues to rise in the community; and
WHEREAS, in order to stop the devasting spread of COVID-19, all individuals in the Town and visitors of the Town must practice a strict and disciplined adherence to social distancing guidelines; and
WHEREAS, in an effort to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the Town and its residents, it is necessary and appropriate to take immediate measures in response to stopping the spread of COVID-19;
NOW, THEREFORE, by the powers vested in me as the President of the Town of Cicero, and pursuant to Chapter 34 of the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Cicero, Illinois (the “Town Code”), I hereby declare that a state of emergency exists within the Town of Cicero and order the following:
SECTION 1: Effective Friday, October 23, 2020 at noon, any establishment operating in the Town as a restaurant, or bar that serves liquor, and/or maintains an outdoor patio license or sidewalk cafe permit issued in association with such license shall abide by the following:
(a) Cease indoor and outdoor consumption of alcohol at 10:00 p.m. Restaurants and food establishments may continue to serve food for indoor and outdoor dining after 10:00 p.m.
(b) All bars that serve alcohol for on-site consumption must end alcohol service at 9:00 p.m. before closing at 10:00 p.m.
(c) Cease all sales of alcoholic liquor for off-premises consumption between 10:00 p.m. and the following day at the hour at which the licensee is permitted to resume alcoholic liquor sales as provided by Chapter 10, Section 10-58 of the Town Code or as otherwise provided in the Town Code, ordinance, or executive order.
(d) All persons licensed to sell liquor for consumption off-premises including, but not limited to restaurants, bars, liquor stores, convenience stores, mini marts, and grocery stores, and any other establishment in which liquor is sold for consumption off­ premises shall cease all sales of alcoholic liquor at 10:00 p.m.
(e) Restaurants or establishments serving food may continue operating after 10:00 p.m. to serve food and provide curb-side pick-up or carry-out delivery of food. Carry-out or delivery of alcohol after 10:00 p.m. is prohibited.
(f) Prominently post signage, in a form prescribed by the Town’s Local Liquor Commissioner or Deputy Local Liquor Commissioner at each publicly accessible entrance to the establishment and in any area of the establishment where alcoholic liquor is sold, informing patrons of the 10:00 p.m. closure or cessation of alcoholic liquor for sale.
SECTION 2: Pursuant to Chapter 50, Section 50-37 and Chapter 10, Section 10-4, of the Town Code, in conjunction with enforcement authority granted in the Town Code to the following officers, this Executive Order may be enforced by the Town’s Police Department, and the Town’s Local Liquor Commissioner and Deputy Local Liquor Commissioner.
SECTION 3: In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any person who violates this Executive Order shall be subject to arrest pursuant to Chapter 50, Section 50-40 of the Town Code. Further, any business that violates this Executive Order shall be subject to sanctions, including but not limited to, closure pursuant to Chapter 10, Section 10-70 of the Town Code, and suspension or revocation of liquor license.
SECTION 4: All guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (the “CDC”) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (“IDPH”) shall continue to remain in effect for all businesses and establishments in the Town including, but not limited to, maintaining a social distance of at least six (6) feet, wearing proper face coverings as recommended by the CDC, and operating at the capacity limits established by IDPH.
SECTION 5: This Executive Order does not grant any licensee any privilege to sell liquor in contravention of, or less restrictively than allowed by any other applicable ordinance or Executive Order, or the license held by the licensee.
SECTION 6: This Executive Order shall remain in effect until a determination that the threat to public health posed by COVID-19 has diminished to the point that this Executive Order can be safely repealed, or until amended, superseded or rescinded.
SECTION 7: This Executive Order shall be distributed in accordance with the Town
Code.
SECTION 8: This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, except as specifically set forth herein, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the Town of Cicero, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person. This Executive Order shall be deposited and kept immediately available on file for inspection in the office of the Town Clerk.
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Cicero Chamber supports Effort to extend 2020 Census Deadline

Cicero Chamber supports extension of 2020 Census filing deadline from Oct. 6, 2020 to Oct. 31, 2020

Cicero Chamber supports Effort to extend 2020 Census Deadline

The Cicero Chamber of Commerce joined Chambers throughout Illinois and the country in advocating the extension of the deadline to complete the 2020 Census from Oct. 6 through October 31, 2020.

The extension is important to ensure that residents have enough time to complete the Census forms and strengthen their community claims to Federal funding and programs.

Our letter below was among many distributed by local officials to U.S. Census officials.

Here is the letter:

Cicero Chamber supports extension of 2020 Census filing deadline from Oct. 6, 2020 to Oct. 31, 2020

Oct. 4, 2020

The Honorable Frank Aguilar
Cook County Commissioner
Via email: Frank.Aguilar@cookcountyil.gov

Dear Commissioner Aguilar:

The Cicero Chamber of Commerce with more than 350 business members, is proud to support you in your effort to extend the deadline for the filing of the 2020 Census Form.

A complete count of the 2020 Census is important to all of the nation’s communities and especially to the Town of Cicero. A complete count ensures that the Town of Cicero receives the funding it needs to support not only its residents but also it’s business community.

The owners and employees of the businesses in the Town of Cicero which total more than 7,000 people urge the U.S. Census to extend the deadline for Americans to complete the 2020 Census Forms beyond the current anticipated deadline of Wednesday Oct. 6, 2020.

Thank you Commissioner Aguilar for conveying our concerns to the U.S. Census officials.

Very sincerely yours

RAY HANANIA

Ray Hanania
Acting Director, Cicero Chamber of Commerce
CiceroChamberofCommerce@gmail.com

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Cicero Chamber hosts online discussion: “Successful Practices by Cicero Businesses in the COVID-19 Pandemic”

Cicero Chamber to Host Online Discussion on

“Successful Practices by Cicero Businesses in the COVID-19 Pandemic”

11 AM on Thursday. November 5, 2020

Business Members of the Cicero Chamber of Commerce will share their experiences in surviving in this difficult environment of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic during an Online Zoom Webinar on Thursday Nov. 5, 2020 beginning at 11 AM.

If you are a Cicero Business, we want you to share your successful experiences during the pandemic to help other businesses survive this terrible economic challenge.

You must be a member of the Cicero Chamber of Commerce to Participate. Membership is free.

If you would like to present your experiences during this online program, you must contact the Cicero Chamber of Commerce with your details to register. (All Chamber members will be able to view the live Webinar or the video recording afterwards.)

Contact us by Email:

Ray Hanania, Town of Cicero Liaison:

CiceroChamberofCommerce@gmail.com

La Cámara de Comercio de Cicero Presenta Una conversación vía internet sobre

“Las prácticas exitosas utilizadas por las empresas de Cicero durante la pandemia de COVID-19”

El jueves 5 de noviembre del 2020 – a las 11 de la mañana

Los comerciantes y empresarios miembros de la ‘Cámara de Comercio de Cicero’ compartirán sus experiencias y lo que han hecho para sobrevivir en medio del difícil desafío que es la pandemia del coronavirus COVID-19. Esto se realizará durante un seminario virtual vía “Zoom”, el próximo jueves 5 de noviembre del 2020 a partir de las 11 a.m.

Si usted es dueño de alguna tienda o empresa de Cicero, le invitamos a compartir sus experiencias exitosas durante la pandemia, para así poder ayudar a otras empresas a sobrevivir este terrible reto económico.
Para participar debe ser miembro de la ‘Cámara de Comercio de Cicero’. La membresía es gratuita.

Si desea presentar sus experiencias durante este programa en línea, debe comunicarse con la ‘Cámara de Comercio de Cicero’ con todos sus datos para inscribirse. (Todos los miembros de la Cámara podrán ver el seminario web en vivo o  ver la grabación de video posteriormente).

Los interesados pueden ponerse en contacto por correo electrónico con:
Ray Hanania, Enlace del Municipio de Cicero:
CiceroChamberofCommerce@gmail.com

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Insurance Navy & the Town of Cicero Host a Food Drive October 8, 2020 at Community Park

Insurance Navy & the Town of Cicero Host a Food Drive October 8, 2020 at Community Park

Insurance Navy and the Town of Cicero is hosting a food drive in the Cicero Community Park on 3400 S Laramie Ave Cicero, IL. The food drive will be on October 8, 2020 from 9 am- 12 pm.
 
“It’s important to remember that donated food is most helpful if it is both safe and high quality,” says Barbara Ingham, food safety specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
 
Those attending will each receive 1 box containing non- perishables. The food drive will abide by the COVID-19 guidelines. Volunteers will hand over the boxes into participants’ vehicles as a way to avoid contact. Face masks will be worn at all times and social distancing will be enforced.
 
Insurance Navy has been a part of the Cicero community for over 9 years and knows it is important to take care of those who are in need. For more information, please visit our website:
 
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President Dominick announces Amazon to open two fulfillment centers in Cicero

Bridge Development rendering of properties located at 14th and Laramie in the Town of Cicero. Image courtesy of Bridge Development

President Dominick announces Amazon to open two fulfillment centers in Cicero

New warehouse will reduce tax burden on Cicero residents by generating business real estate tax revenues and create hundreds of new job opportunities for Cicero residents

The Town of Cicero has been selected as the newest location in the expansion of the mega-retailer Amazon following negotiations with Town President Larry Dominick.

Dominick said Amazon, which employs more than 23,000 full and part-time workers in Illinois, plans to hire 15,000 more workers to staff fulfillment centers in several planned new warehouse sites including two that will open in Cicero.

The Amazon fulfillment center, which processes online orders from its popular website, will be located in two 575,000 square feet warehouses operated by Bridgepoint 290 Partners (Bridge Development Partners) and located at 1400 S. Laramie Avenue.

Bridge Development rendering of properties located at 14th and Laramie in the Town of Cicero. Image courtesy of Bridge Development
Bridge Development rendering of properties located at 14th and Laramie in the Town of Cicero. Image courtesy of Bridge Development

 

Dominick negotiated the expansion of Bridgepoint to Cicero with the opening of their first location in 2017 and the inauguration of a second location that opened in 2018.

“Cicero has become one of the most popular destinations for the building of new businesses and new industries, and for the expansion of existing business chains,” President Dominick said Wednesday Aug. 19, 2020.

“We have welcomed many new major retail businesses to Cicero including Walmart, Menards, Break Through Beverage (formerly Wirtz Beverage), Bimbo Bakery, Sonic Restaurant, Fuller’s Car Wash and CubeSmart storage, to just name a few. They have all chosen Cicero because of the benefits that the Town’s location offers.”

Rendering of Bridge Development Partners property in Cicero
Rendering of Bridge Development Partners property in Cicero

 

Dominick said that since taking office in 2005, his priorities have included making Cicero one of the safest communities in the Chicagoland region, and converting abandoned industrial lands for business development.

Dominick said the new businesses will not only generate new real estate property tax revenues that will reduce the tax burden on residents, but will also create new jobs and employment opportunities for Cicero’s residents.

“I understand that Amazon is already advertising for the new jobs that their fulfillment warehouse locations will be creating,” Dominick said.

“The fact that these major national companies have selected Cicero as their new location is a testament to the success we are enjoying as a community in making the Town of Cicero a much sought-after destination.”

Dominick said he had several meetings with Amazon representatives during the past year. And while Cicero touted its many advantages, Dominick said no incentives were requested or given to seal Amazon’s site selection decision.

“The taxpayers are not paying to get these businesses. These businesses want to be here,” Dominick said.

Bridge Development Partners bought a 33-acre property in Cicero in 2018, with plans for its latest venture into the hot industrial market.

The Chicago-based developer bought the land at 1400 South Laramie Avenue for for $11.7 million from Meridian Rail Corporation. It plans to build two industrial buildings on the site, one about 343,000 square feet and the other about 233,000 square feet, according to Cook County documents.

The complex would be next to Bridge Development’s Bridge Point 290 facility at 1531 South 54th Avenue, a 323,000-square-foot industrial building, purchased in 2017.

 

El Presidente de Cicero Larry Dominick anuncia que El Almacén de Amazon abrirá dos Centros Logísticos en Cicero

Los nuevos almacenes reducirán la carga de impuestos para los residentes de Cicero, al generar ingresos fiscales sobre bienes raíces comerciales y creará cientos de nuevas oportunidades de trabajo para los residentes de Cicero

Cicero, IL, Agosto 19, 2020 –El municipio de Cicero ha sido seleccionado como la más nueva ubicación en los planes de expansión del mega almacén minorista Amazon, luego de las negociaciones con el presidente de Cicero, Larry Dominick.

Dominick dijo que Amazon, que emplea a más de 23.000 trabajadores a tiempo completo y parcial en Illinois, planea contratar a unos 15.000 trabajadores más en varios nuevos sitios de almacenamiento planificados, incluidos dos que se abrirán en Cicero.

El centro logístico de Amazon, que procesa pedidos en línea desde su popular sitio web, estará ubicado en dos almacenes de 575,000 pies cuadrados operados por el consorcio “Bridgepoint 290 Partners” sobre la avenida 1400 S. Laramie Avenue.

Dominick negoció la expansión de “Bridgepoint 290 Partners” en Cicero con la apertura de su primera ubicación en el año 2017 y la inauguración de una segunda ubicación que abrió en el 2018.

“Cicero se ha convertido en uno de los destinos más populares para la construcción de nuevos negocios y nuevas industrias, y para la expansión de las cadenas comerciales existentes”, dijo el presidente Dominick el miércoles 19 de agosto de 2020.

“Hemos dado la bienvenida en Cicero a muchos nuevos negocios minoristas importantes, incluidos ‘Walmart’, ‘Menards’, ‘ Through Beverage’ (antes Wirtz Beverage), ‘Bimbo Bakery’, ‘Sonic Restaurant’, ‘Fuller’s Car Wash’ y ‘CubeSmart Storage’, para nombrar solo algunos. Todos han elegido Cicero por los beneficios que ofrece la ubicación de nuestra ciudad”.

Dominick dijo que desde que asumió el cargo en el año 2005, sus prioridades han incluido hacer de Cicero una de las comunidades más seguras en el área de Chicago y transformar las propiedades  industriales abandonadas para impulsar el desarrollo comercial.

Dominick dijo que los nuevos negocios no solo generarán nuevos ingresos para impuestos a la propiedad inmobiliaria que reducirán la carga fiscal sobre los residentes, sino que también crearán nuevos puestos de trabajo y oportunidades de empleo para los residentes de Cicero.

“Entiendo que Amazon ya está anunciando los nuevos puestos de trabajo que crearán en las ubicaciones de sus almacenes”, dijo Dominick.

“El hecho de que estas importantes empresas nacionales hayan seleccionado a Cicero como su nueva ubicación, es un testimonio del éxito que estamos disfrutando como comunidad, al hacer de la ciudad de Cicero un destino muy solicitado”.

Dominick dijo que tuvo varias reuniones con representantes de Amazon a través del año pasado. Y aunque Cicero promocionó sus muchas ventajas, Dominick aseguró que no se solicitaron ni se otorgaron incentivos extras para sellar la decisión del sitio electo por Amazon.

“Los contribuyentes no están pagando absolutamente nada para conseguir estos negocios. Estas empresas quieren estar aquí”, dijo el Presidente Larry Dominick.

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Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)

Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)

Applications begin on June 26, 2020

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. The total program funding will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers and is funded by the CARES Act.

In the first wave of grants, priority will be given to small businesses that have been heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic. Additional priority will be given to businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), or low-income areas that have had high rates of COVID-19 cases. Businesses eligible for the program must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by experiencing eligible costs or losses in excess of the grant amount since March.

Specifically, the program includes support for:

  • Businesses located in DIAs Where There Was Recent Property Damage from Civil Unrest – $20 million for businesses that are located in a subset of DIAs that have recently experienced significant property damage, providing 1,000 grants of $20,000 each
  • Bars and Restaurants – $20 million for bars and restaurants unable to offer outside service, providing 1,000 grants of up to $20,000*
  • Barbershops and Salons – $10 million for barbershops and salons, providing 1,000 grants of $10,000 each*
  • Gyms and Fitness Centers – $10 million for gyms and fitness centers that have lost significant revenue due to COVID-19, providing 500 grants of $20,000 each*

Businesses must have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020 and must meet specific annual revenue criteria outlined in document below.

WHEN AND WHERE TO APPLY: 

DCEO will begin accepting applications on June 26th. The application submission portal will be posted on this webpage. Until the 26th, DCEO is posting the application questions and required documents for businesses and business support organizations to read, review and prepare.  *While a portion of funds are reserved for businesses located in DIAs, the following business types in non-DIA locations are also eligible to apply for assistance: bars and restaurants; barbershops and salons; gyms and fitness centers.

Questions? Submit a question in via the question submission form in English or Spanish. Submitting a question via the form ensures a timely response.

DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED AREAS
The map below shows all disproportionately impacted areas for the Business Interruption Grant program. To determine whether or not you are located in a DIA, enter your address in the search box.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK THIS LINK

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State allows restaurants & bars to resume indoor service

State allows restaurants & bars to resume indoor service

Letter from the Town of Cicero, Wednesday June 24, 2020

Notice to Restaurants (Indoor and Outdoor Dining) Effective June 26, 2020-1

Indoor Restaurant and Bar Establishment Guidelines (Eng/Span)

Attention Cicero Businesses:

We are happy to announce, by order of the Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois, all restaurants may now resume indoor dining operations for restaurants, and bar establishments. Groups of up to 10 people are allowed to be seated together for indoor dining beginning Friday, June 26th, 2020. The IDPH provides safety guidelines for restaurants, and bar establishments to prevent the exposure to and the spread of COVID-19. Seated areas should be arranged so that tables allow for 6ft. between parties; impermeable barriers may be installed between booths that are less than 6ft. apart.

All the safety guidelines can be found attached to this letter and can be found online by clicking this link.

Additional guidance may be needed as the COVID-19 outbreak conditions change including new information about the virus such as, its transmission and impacts.

In addition, all restaurants must continue to follow the Illinois Department of Commerce guidelines at all times. All guidelines can be found attached to this letter and can also be found online by clicking here.

All signs that need to be displayed at your establishment when you open for indoor person dining can also be found at said website.

Any businesses defying this order or the Illinois Department of Commerce guidelines will be shut down immediately and may be issued a ticket or ordinance violation and may have their business license suspended or revoked.

Our Town President Larry Dominick and Board of Trustees are working together to make our community a safe place for all of our residents and businesses. So we ask for your understanding so we can all work together in keeping our Town as safe as possible during these times. Should you have any additional questions or concerns please contact us at 708-656-3600 Ext. 165 and we will be more than happy to address your questions or concerns.

We know that together we will continue to move forward while keepings our residents safe.
_______________________________
Ismael Vargas, Town of Cicero Business License Director

Atención Negocios de la Cuidad de Cícero:

Estamos contentos de anunciar, por la orden de la Oficina del Gobernador del Estado de Illinois, que todos los restaurantes y bares podrán resumir las operaciones dentro de su localidad. Grupos no más de 10 personas será permitido sentarse juntos dentro de la localidad a partir de viernes, 26 de Junio de 2020. El IDPH proporciona reglamentos de seguridad para restaurantes y establecimientos de bares para evitar la exposición y la propagación de COVID-19.

Las áreas de asientos interiores deben estar dispuestas de modo que las mesas permitan 6 pies entre grupos. Restaurantes y bares podrán instalar barreras impermeables entre cabinas de menos de 6 pies aparte.

Toda la regulación de seguridad se puede encontrar adjuntas a esta carta y se pueden encontrar en línea en.

Es posible que se necesite orientación adicional a medida que cambian las condiciones del brote del COVID-19, incluso a medida que se dispone de nueva información sobre el virus, su transmisión e impactos.

Además, todos los restaurantes deben seguir las reglas del Departamento de Comercio de Illinois en todo momento. Todas las reglas se pueden encontrar adjuntas a esta carta y también se pueden encontrar en línea en.

Todos los letreros que necesitan ser mostrados en su establecimiento cuando usted abre para servir comida dentro de su localidad se pueden encontrar en dicho sitio web.

Los negocios que desafían esta orden o las reglas del Departamento de Comercio de Illinois serán cerrados inmediatamente y pueden recibir una multa o una infracción de la Ordenanza y pueden tener sus licencias de negocio suspendidas o revocadas.

El presidente de la ciudad, Larry Dominick y la Mesa de Directivos están trabajando juntos para hacer nuestra comunidad un lugar seguro para todos nuestros residentes y negocios. Así que pedimos su cooperación para que todos podamos trabajar juntos en mantener nuestra ciudad lo más segura posible durante estos tiempos. Si tiene cualquier pregunta adicional o preocupaciones por favor póngase en contacto con nosotros al 708-656-3600 Ext. 165.

_______________________________
Ismael Vargas, El Director de Licencias de Negocios

TOWN OF CICERO
Business License Department
4949 WEST CERMAK RD
CICERO, ILLINOIS 60804
2ND FLOOR
708.656.3600 ext. 250, 253, 205
FAX 708.656.0859

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State offers $85 million in grants to help business and communities recover

State offers $85 million in grants to help business and communities recover

New equity-driven programs through DCEO to provide a boost for communities and businesses hit hardest during COVID-19 crisis

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today released applications for the latest in a series of grant programs designed to offset the economic impact of COVID-19 for businesses and communities across Illinois. The new Business Interruption Grant (BIG) and the Rebuild Distressed Communities grants total $85 million and will provide relief for thousands of businesses affected by the ongoing pandemic. 

Applications for BIG grants and the Rebuild Distressed Communities NOFO are due on July 7th. For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit DCEO’s website.

“This virus has had devastating effects on the health and livelihoods of our residents, and we must take aggressive action to help our families and communities recover,” said Governor Pritzker. “As our small businesses reopen their doors, these grant programs will provide critical support to allow them to safely expand their operations. We can not recover without our small businesses leading the way, particularly in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by this virus, and this administration is committed to using all resources at our disposal to help them thrive.”

These programs administered by DCEO are part of over $900 million in new programs recently announced by Governor Pritzker, with a focus on restoring communities hit hardest by the pandemic. Both programs offer priority for small businesses whose operations were heavily restricted or completely shut down during the pandemic, for those located in disproportionately impacted areas (DIAs), as well as those in communities damaged by recent civil unrest. DIAs are low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our Illinois economy, which is why the Pritzker administration has continuously taken action to grant critical relief programs the duration of this unprecedented crisis,” said Acting Director of DCEO, Michael Negron. “With many businesses all across our state experiencing hardship from COVID-19, DCEO has worked to marshal funding in a way that reaches across all of our diverse community areas, and that assists those who need it the most. With the new BIG program, the state will ensure those businesses most greatly affected are not left behind as we move forward to a safe, phased reopening of our state and economy.”

Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)
The first round of the new business interruption grants program, known as “BIG,” will make $60 million available for 3,500 businesses that experienced losses or business interruption because they closed or severely restricted their operations as a result of COVID-19. Businesses eligible for BIG include restaurants and bars; barbershops and salons; health and fitness centers; as well as businesses located in DIAs which have had reports of recent property damage due to civil unrest.

Businesses prioritized for this first wave of funding must have experienced extreme hardship, demonstrated by losses in excess of the grant amount since March, caused by following the public health guidance to limit their operations. Businesses must also have been in operation for at least three months prior to March 2020.
Grants will be made available for small businesses in amounts ranging between $10,000-$20,000, depending on business type and other eligibility criteria. A full list of criteria as well as the application can be found on DCEO’s website. Businesses and community partners can assess their eligibility and gather any documents needed to complete the application before it opens for submission on Friday, June 26th at 9:00am. All applications must be submitted by Monday, July 7th at 5:00pm.

BIG grants give businesses access to funds that will help accelerate reopening or expanding capacity, including assisting with purchase of technology, PPE or other equipment necessary to comply with new public health guidelines related to COVID-19. Funds may be used to help businesses cover the costs payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time businesses have experienced interruptions due to COVID.

All grant categories feature dedicated set asides for businesses located in DIAs, based on a statutory mandate to release a minimum of 30 percent of BIG funds to DIAs throughout Illinois. Disproportionately impacted areas are low-income zip codes that have had a significant number of cases of COVID 19 among residents. For more information on determining eligibility or to see if your business is located in a DIA, visit DCEO’s website.

“With small businesses suffering because of the global health pandemic and recent looting from civil unrest in our country, it is critical that we step up and play a role in saving these mom and pop shops,” said State Representative Chris Welch, 7th District. “The Business Interruption Grants and Distressed Capital Program will play a critical role in helping minority owned businesses survive in this climate.”

“Working together, Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly made Business Interruption Grants a priority in this year’s state budget,” said State Senator Andy Manar, 48th District. “Making sure small business owners in all parts of Illinois have access to much needed financial assistance is imperative as we continue to fight the ongoing impact of COVID-19.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and we should do everything we can to support them.”

“To truly set the state on a path toward recovery, we have to extend the aid needed to help our small businesses survive these unprecedented times,” said State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., 17th District. “Budget negotiations were more difficult this year. I am pleased that we are providing desperately needed relief to many of the businesses who have been hardest hit, including those who can’t reopen until Phase 4 or 5.”

“The Governor has shown tremendous leadership throughout this pandemic by not only designing a broad range of programs that support those hit hardest, but by also going a step further to reach those in disproportionately impacted areas like our community,” said State Representative Lisa Hernandez, 24th District.“While small and minority-owned businesses already face longer odds for success, these programs will help them gain the footing they need to pull through this crisis.”

To ensure first round funds are disbursed quickly and carefully, DCEO will involve community-based financial institutions with experience administering grant programs throughout the state, especially in the communities designated as disproportionately impacted areas.  Similar to other COVID-19 emergency assistance programs, these CDFIs will review applications and administer funds, with funds targeted for release beginning in mid-July. Eligible businesses will be selected via a lottery process.

“Illinois small business owners are tough, but they need extra help to continue fighting through this pandemic,” said Brad McConnell, CEO of Accion Serving Illinois & Indiana. “Accion is thankful we are able to partner with the Governor to support the businesses that have been hit the hardest.”

This $60 million funding round represents the first wave of the BIG program, which in total will amount to at least $540 million in grants for small businesses, $270 million of which has been set aside for childcare providers. The Department will issue a NOFO at a later date to seek qualified partner(s) in assisting with administering future phases of the BIG program to small businesses. DCEO’s grants will complement ongoing efforts by DHS to administer BIG grants earmarked specifically for childcare centers.

“Governor Pritzker’s BIG program aims to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown communities, and combat the baked-in inequities of relief programs that have shut out over 80% of minority owned businesses and independent contractors,” said Rebecca Shi, Executive Director, Illinois Business Immigration Coalition. “IBIC and our 147 members commend the Governor and are ready to roll up our sleeves to assist our entrepreneur of color to not only survive but thrive through this pandemic.”

To ensure that businesses are prepared to take advantage of these resources, DCEO will leverage its statewide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) as well as other community partners to conduct outreach to business owners eligible for BIG assistance. This outreach to small businesses and communities will prioritize ensuring diversity and inclusion of minority owned businesses in this first round of funds, as well as future rounds of funding.

Distressed Capital Program
The second program, Rebuild Distressed Communities, is a $25 million economic recovery program to support Illinois businesses that have sustained property damage as a result of civil unrest during protest and demonstrations on or after May 25th, 2020. The Distressed Capital Program will reimburse the costs to repair structural damages, including repairs to storefronts and entrances, improving electrical systems, and restoring exterior work.

The Distressed Capital Program will specifically help businesses located in DIAs and will prioritize small businesses, women and minority-owned businesses, underinsured or uninsured businesses, businesses that have a high community impact – such as grocery stores – and businesses in communities that have experienced historic disinvestment. The Distressed Capital Program also includes provisions to encourage BEP contractors, including minority- and women-owned businesses, are the first in line to do the repair work.

DCEO is issuing a NOFO to identify an administrator or administrators to oversee the provision of funding to reimburse the costs of repairs already undertaken and cover future repairs for eligible businesses damaged as a result of civil unrest. More information about eligibility and documentation required to apply can be found in the NOFO posted on DCEO’s website.

BIG and Rebuild Distressed Communities programs build on steady action taken by Governor Pritzker throughout the COVID-19 crisis to support small businesses. With the addition of this first round of BIG and Rebuild Distressed Communities, more than $150 million in business assistance programs have been announced since March – including the downstate small business stabilization fund, the hospitality grants program, and the Fast Track Public Infrastructure Program. Collectively, these programs have helped provide vital assistance for thousands of unique businesses located in every corner across the state.

DCEO will conduct a series of webinars and outreach to businesses in the coming weeks. For a list of upcoming webinars and to receive regular updates on grants and business assistance programs, please visit DCEO’s website of follow us on social at @IllinoisDCEO.

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Cook County offers $10 million recovery fund for suburban small businesses, independent contractors

Toni Preckwinkle Cook County Board President Logo

Cook County offers $10 million recovery fund for suburban small businesses, independent contractors

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Announces Applications Open for $10M Recovery Fund for Suburban Cook County’s Small Businesses & Independent Contractors

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today that applications are now open for the Community Recovery Loan Fund.  Launched as part of the Bureau of Economic Development’s Community Recovery Initiative, the $10 million Community Recovery Fund offers one-time, zero-interest loans of up to $20,000 for small businesses and up to $10,000 for independent contractors.  

“Cook County is committed to having a meaningful impact in the communities that are facing tough economic challenges in the face of COVID-19,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “While we know the funds will go fast, through these investments in local small businesses and independent contractors, the County hopes to positively impact financially underserved communities while providing growth capital to help sustain operations and provide assistance to our most vulnerable businesses.”  

This program will serve suburban Cook County businesses with less than 25 employees and less than $3 million in annual revenue, or independent contractors with less than $100,000 in yearly income who earn at least 50 percent of their revenue from contracting work.  Self-employed, independent contractors such as rideshare drivers and other gig industry workers residing in South Suburban Cook County are eligible. 

Toni Preckwinkle Cook County Board President Logo

Since the announcement of the recovery fund in April, more than 8,000 small businesses, independent contractors, and non-profits have reached out to express need and interest in the County’s loan fund program and technical assistance resources.    

“While we understand $10M is not enough to help the thousands of small businesses that expressed a need in this program, we are hopeful that it will offer relief to some,” said Xochitl Flores Bureau Chief of Economic Development.  “Our efforts to identify more resources and ways to grow our support are ongoing, and we are hopeful that this is coming at a time when recovery is so critical.” 

The loan applications will be processed through a network of lending partners that include: the Chicago Community Loan Fund, SomerCor, Accion, Women’s Business Development Center, and Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives Micro Finance Group.

“As Cook County is entering phase three of the Restore Illinois Plan, many small businesses and self-employed entrepreneurs outside of Chicago have struggled to access capital to keep their operations moving forward and the Cook County Community Recovery Fund, at zero percent interest, will provide relief to many south and west suburbs,” stated Bob Tucker, COO and EVP of Programs for Chicago Community Loan Fund. 

The joint effort is the latest in a variety of resources offered through Cook County’s Community Recovery Initiative program, which features a technical assistance network that has helped more than 170 small businesses get access to educational resources and $3M in funding through the Paycheck Protection Program. 

Once launched, applications will be open for ten days. We will consider the following in our review of all the applications submitted:

  • Eligibility – Applicants must meet all the criteria identified in the form, submit all the requested materials, and submit them via the portal by June 8, 2020. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Geography: Loans will be awarded across all suburban Cook municipalities.
  • Priority will be given to applicants located in Economically Disconnected Areas or Disinvested Areas and businesses owned by women, minorities, persons with disabilities, or veterans. 

Online applications for the loans are now being accepted until June 17, 2020 and are available in English and Spanish. To apply and to find additional information, please visit www.cookcountyil.gov/recovery.

For more information visit our website.

Have a question? Read our FAQs 

Contact us at: ccrf@cclfchicago.org 

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State of Illinois announces nearly $1 million for Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

Rosa Gaytan, administrative assistant to State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, addresses attendees. Seated are (from left) Pedro Pineda from the Illinois Central Management Office (CMS)., Manuel Lopez, Regional Economic Development Manager of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, and Joe McKeown from “Team RED." Photo courtesy of the Town of Cicero

State of Illinois announces nearly $1 million for Procurement Technical Assistance Centers

Funds will Enable Businesses Throughout Illinois to Identify, Compete for, and Win Government Contracts – Deadline to Apply is July 10, 2020

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced a new grant opportunity for the renewal or establishment of new Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) – a statewide network focused on matching small business with governmental entities seeking goods and services that the businesses offer.

Through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) released today, the State will make up to $816,000 available in federal and state funds for new or existing community-based PTACs to offer continued support in helping small businesses become certified so they can identify and obtain contracts with local government and their contractors.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

“PTACs are another powerful tool we have to support the growth of Illinois’ small businesses by helping them bid on and land government contracts,” said Michael Negron, Assistant Director of DCEO. “Our PTACs are doing critical work in strengthening our communities and rebuilding the state by connecting hundreds of our small business to serve as vendors on state, local and federal contracts.”

The Illinois PTACs are the portal for small businesses looking to enter the world of government contracting. These centers provide one-on-one counseling, technical information, market research and training to existing businesses interested in selling their goods and services to local, state, and/or federal government agencies. The Illinois PTAC collaborates with Department of Defense (DoD) and other Federal, State, and local agencies working cooperatively with them to accomplish the mission of this program.

PTACs play a critical role in helping small businesses apply for lucrative government contracts. In fact, Illinois businesses won nearly 800 government contracts – worth over $1.1 billion in FY 2019, with the help of the Illinois PTAC program, while creating 489 and saving 693 jobs. The matching grant will allow current and proposed new centers to provide technical assistance through the employment of professional, experienced advisors and may cover costs associated with salary, fringe benefits, facility and indirect costs associated with the PTAC.

“Access to government contracts is very important for the growth of minority owned companies in our state. Having an Illinois PTAC at IHCC is crucial for the development of our business community,” said Angie Alonso, Director of Illinois PTAC at IL Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

The Illinois PTAC program has served as a statewide resource for businesses to obtain procurement technical assistance services for the over 35 years. There are currently cooperative agreements with 7 host organizations that serve the entire state. These local centers provide procurement technical assistance at 9 physical locations.

To help more minority- and women-owned businesses become certified for government work, PTACs provide one-on-one guidance and training on the local, state, and federal minority and women business certification programs.

“For firms interested in competing in the government market, Illinois PTACs provide the education, tools, research and support necessary for them to enhance their capacity and ability to successfully compete, “ said Emilia DiMenco, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Business Development Center, who operates an Illinois PTAC at their center.

In addition to guidance on certification, PTACs host focused outreach events and collaboration with other state and federal agency efforts targeting these special groups. PTACs make a concerted effort to seek out and assist small business concerns, Small Disadvantaged Businesses concerns (SDB), Women-Owned Small Businesses concerns (WOSB), HUBZone small business concerns, and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business concerns (SDVOSB), historically black colleges or universities and Minority Institutions (HCBCU/MIs).

Eligible applicants will include qualified Illinois universities, colleges, chambers of commerce and other non-profit business development related organizations that are interested in hosting and operating an Illinois PTAC. All eligible organizations interested in becoming an Illinois PTAC are invited to submit an application to the NOFO, found HERE.

For interested applicants, an optional Technical Assistance Informational meeting will take place on June 17, 2020 at 10 AM Please register by clicking the following link: Join meeting. The meeting number (access code) is: 285 495 267; meeting password: anHXKgFQ553; for call-in: 1-312-535-8110.