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LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois responds to COVID-19
2020-03-23

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In the wake of COVID-19, we find our business community facing unprecedented situations. In times such as this, it's even more important that we lean in to support each other, shop local, and support our local community organizations. With so many changing conditions around us, we want to be sure that you are informed about our operations and events, and that you have access to the latest resources and tips to continue supporting your business. Most importantly, we're hoping that you will share feedback on the impact COVID-19 is having on your business.

Please respond to our COVID-19 Impact survey at docs.google.com/forms/d/1HM1dNxKQgwmdvs7j6t0tRe8rIY4RNZaK5hh-DkV-Ex4/viewform .

Chamber Business Operations: Effective immediately, all LGBT Chamber of Commerce ( LGBTCC ) March and April events have been cancelled or postponed. The LGBTCC staff are working remotely and will continue to respond to your needs throughout the day.

Just as we know that many minorities, women, and LGBTQ+ folks can't afford to miss a day of work, we know that many also can't afford to shut down business for a day. To show your support, we share these suggestions below:

Encourage LGBTQ+ owned businesses to seek LGBT Business Enterprise Certification. More than ever, once our corporate partners are back to business, they will be looking to spend with Minority, Women, LGBQ+ and other diverse owned businesses. As a plus, $400 certification fees are waived for Chamber members. Begin the application here.

Support LGBTQ+ Owned Businesses:

-Visit the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois Directory business.lgbtcc.com/directory to identify local LGBTQ+ owned businesses to support.

-Encourage LGBTQ+ owned businesses to seek LGBT Business Enterprise Certification. More than ever, once our corporate partners are back to business, they will be looking to spend with Minority, Women, LGBQ+ and other diverse owned businesses. As a plus, $400 certification fees are waived for Chamber members. Begin the application here.

-Complete the 2020 U.S. Census which ensure that resources and dollars support local small businesses and nonprofits.

-Follow the LGBTCC on Facebook. We will begin to post daily activities and videos to engage and educate our community.

Business Resources:

-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: disasterloan.sba.gov

-Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot has announced a new $100 million economic relief package to support Chicago's small businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The new fund will provide more than $100 million in low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses over the coming months, targeting historically under-resourced communities with an emphasis on minimizing hardship for those businesses and their employees. The fund received $1million in support from Fifth Third Bank. See more details and apply here.

-Employers should be reminded of the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance that mandates all Chicago businesses provide paid sick leave.

-Stay current with the latest updates from the Business Affairs www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bacp/supp_info/covid19resources.html and Consumer Protection, Centers for Disease Control, Chicago Department of Public Health, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Illinois Department of Public Health

Families & Individuals:

Emergency Rental Assistance is available for people suffering financial hardship due to a crisis such as a loss of job, home fire, or illness. The program is intended to allow families to maintain housing during the time it takes to regain stability. For more information about Emergency Rental Assistance, visit your local Community Service Center www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/bacp/supp_info/covid19resources.html or call 3-1-1.

Apply for Unemployment Insurance if you're without access to paid sick leave or unable to work because of COVID-19. Call IDES at 1-800-244-5631 or visit www2.illinois.gov/ides .

COVID-19 Updates and Resources from The LGBTCC:

lgbtcc.com/covid19/ .

—From a press release


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