As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we are sharing important information with you.Recent Updates
- Small Business Resiliency Loan Fund deadline is Friday, April 24 at 5 p.m. As of April 17th, 8000 loan applications had been received by the City and many are still in the processing phase. If you are yet to apply, please do so immediately by clicking here.
- Where is My Stimulus Check? Many individuals have yet to receive their stimulus check from the Treasury Department. While the federal government is working diligently to distribute these checks, a good amount of eligible individuals have not yet received their checks. The IRS has created a helpful tool to check the status of your check. To check your status, click here.
- 4th Ward Food Pantries Our office has compiled a list of all food pantries located in the 4th Ward. To access this list, click here. In addition, the Greater Chicago Food Depository is working extensively to support individuals dealing with food insecurity. If access to local food banks is an issue, please contact the depository here for information on alternative options.
- 2020 Census is currently underway. The Census takes place every ten years and is used to determine how federal tax dollars and resources are distributed. Therefore, it is imperative that individuals complete their Census forms to ensure that our city receives adequate funding and representation in Congress. Currently, 43.3 percent of households in the 4th Ward has completed their Census information, slightly below the total city’s amount of 44.8 percent. If you need more information regarding the census, click here.
- Small Business Resource Navigators To provide additional individualized support to our neighborhood businesses, Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection has created Small Business Resource Navigators. These navigators consist of ten business service organizations that are prepared to provide 1:1 counseling and support to help business owners navigate the financial and support resources available to them. These groups have been trained by the SBA to help business owners access federal funding dollars as they become available.
- Provident Hospital Has re-opened its emergency department. This hospital, which serves many of the ward’s residents, briefly suspended services to three departments: surgery, intensive care, and emergency. As of Monday, April 20, emergency services are once again being accepted at this facility.
- Expansion of Testing at UChicago Medicine The University of Chicago Medicine health system, including Ingalls Memorial, will expand COVID-19 testing for up to 1,000 symptomatic people each day, a roughly fivefold increase over the average 200 daily tests that were performed since onsite screenings began on March 15. Testing had previously been limited to employees and eligible symptomatic patients because of a critical shortage of necessary testing supplies, particularly nasal and nasopharyngeal swabs. But an increase in supplies has allowed the four-hospital UChicago Medicine system to expand community screening services to Chicago’s South Side and suburban Harvey. To date, the academic health system has performed more than 7,000 tests. Roughly 20% of patients have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
- Sara Blakely Foundation and Global Giving Grant have launched The Red Backpack Fund. GlobalGiving will award at least 1K emergency assistance grants of $5,000 to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. They will award at least 200 grants, once per month, for the next five months from May to September 2020. Majority women-owned businesses and nonprofits with annual revenues less than $5M, at least one additional paid employee, and fewer than 50 individuals on staff. Sole proprietors are not currently eligible to apply. GlobalGiving will begin accepting applications at noon ET on April 6. Businesses must be in good standing and incorporated as a legal entity and be able to demonstrate that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing hardship. Click here for more info.
- Reported Illinois Cases Currently, there are 33,059 confirmed cases of COVID-19 identified in Illinois. As this outbreak has spread globally, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is tracking it closely and is using data to guide its response.
- Mental Health Emotional reactions to this emerging health crisis are expected. Remind yourself, your family, and your friends that feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed, or having other symptoms of distress such as trouble sleeping is normal. If symptoms become worse, encourage them, and yourself, to reach out for support and help. Call 311 or NAMI Chicago Helpline 833-626-4244 for a mental health counselor. Bright Star Community Outreach also has a helpline at 833-TURN-123. For after-hours, there is the Crisis Text Line which serves anyone, in any type of crisis, 24-hours a day. Instructions: Text HELLO to 741741 to access a trained crisis counselor.
- Individuals and Communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from contracting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
- McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility is now accepting intake requests for COVID-19 cases. COVID-19 patients stable for transfer from the hospital meeting the criteria outlined below, who have not completed the minimum isolation period and cannot return home due to the risks of that home setting (any congregate setting, or immunocompromised/elderly family members from which they cannot remain isolated) will be considered for McCormick Place Alternate Care Facility (MPACF) transfer by calling 312-791-6620. Criteria for isolation facility transfer will change over time and up to date admission/exclusion criteria will be posted at www.chicagohan.org/COVID-19. Patients with complex medical/psychiatric/wrap-around support services may qualify for other CDPH isolation facilities and discharge planners may be instructed to complete an online Quarantine/Isolation Facility Intake Form if they do not meet current MPACF criteria.
- Older People and People with Severe Chronic Conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing COVID-19.
- Hotel Utilization Individuals who do not require hospital-level care can be transferred to downtown hotels rented by the City of Chicago to quarantine affected individuals to help reduce the strain on local hospitals. For more information, call 312-746-4835.
- Rental Assistance The City of Chicago has an emergency rental assistance program. This program provides financial assistance to Chicago residents, to prevent homelessness, to eligible individuals and families who are in danger of eviction in order to stabilize individuals and families in their existing rental unit. For more information about this program, please click here.
- Property Tax Sale The Cook County Property Tax Sale, scheduled for May 8, 2020, has been canceled indefinitely.
- Property Taxes The Cook County Assessor’s Office has announced the temporary suspension of assessment notice mailings and appeal deadlines. This suspension will remain in place until further notice while the office remains closed to the public.
- Mortgage Relief for Apartment Owners: The Federal Housing Finance Agency has announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will grant mortgage forbearance to owners of multifamily properties in exchange for suspending evictions. The move applies to all Fannie and Freddie-backed mortgages in situations where renters can’t afford to make their monthly payments due to Coronavirus. For more information, please visit the FHFA website here.
- 4th Ward Food Establishments The 4th Ward is home to many fantastic small businesses and food establishments, some of which have remained open during these times for delivery or takeout. Our office has been compiling a list of these establishments, which can be found here. If we missed a business, or their hours of operation has since changed, please let us know.
- Unemployment Insurance The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the United States economy, leading to an unprecedented number of unemployment claims. Through the five weeks from March 1 to April 4, Illinois received 513,173 initial unemployment claims. That is greater than the total number of initial claims for the entirety of 2019 (489,831) and five times greater than the claims filed in the first five weeks of the 2008 great recession. The state is taking steps to increase the capacity of the system as well as expanding the pool of individuals who can be covered by unemployment insurance. For more information, click here.
- Adjustment to the SBA EIDL/EIDL Advance Program Please note federal guidance surrounding the SBA’s EIDL & EIDL Advance Program has since changed. Previously, the Acting Director of the U.S. SBA stated that if you applied for the EIDL loan program before the $10,000 cash advance became available on March 29th, you would be contacted by the SBA to assist with changing your application. This has changed, and the SBA has now stated that businesses will need to go back into the system and apply for the cash advance.
- PayCheck Protection Program The SBA launched its Paycheck Protection Program which is a loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus crisis. Although the program’s funding has currently dried up, Congress is expecting to pass a bill with additional funding in the immediate future. To learn more, visit the SBA’s website.
- Restaurants and Bars All bars and restaurants have been closed for in-person dining since Monday, March 16, 2020. Currently, the closures are scheduled to last through April 30, 2020. The state is working closely with restaurant owners and food delivery services to ensure kitchens can safely remain open to continue food delivery and put in place drive-thru and curbside pickup options. For more information, please click here.
- 4th Ward Business Meeting On Friday, March 27, our office hosted a webinar focused on providing valuable information about resources available for businesses that have been adversely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar featured other local elected officials, representatives from the City’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection as well as individuals from the lending community. To view the webinar, click here.
- Resiliency Fund As a direct response to COVID-19 and the strain it is placing on our city’s small businesses, The City of Chicago established a $100 million Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund which will help to provide small businesses with emergency cash flow during this immediate health crisis. To apply, click here.
- Businesses and Employers Mayor Lightfoot announced a $100 Million Relief Package for Chicago Small Businesses. The new fund will provide more than $100 million in low-interest loans to severely impacted small businesses over the coming month, targeting historically under-resourced communities with an emphasis on minimizing hardship for those businesses and their employees. For more information and to fill out the application, please click here. The State of Illinois has also announced some relief programs for businesses in the state. For that information, please click here.
- Community- and faith-based organizations should review existing emergency operations plans, including strategies for social distancing and modifying large gatherings. Community-based organizations should take steps to protect both the clients they serve and their employees. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Community- and Faith-based Organizations.
- Stimulus Check for Non-Filers To help millions of people, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for those who don’t normally file a tax return.
- 4th Ward Virtual Cornavirus Town Hall On Thursday, April 2, our office hosted a virtual Cornavirus Town Hall. We are joined by Senator Dick Durbin, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, State Representatives Kam Buckner, Sonya Harper, & Lamont Robinson, Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry, Dr. Emily Landon, and several others who each brought valuable information to the table in regards to COVID-19. To view the webinar, click here.
- Chicago Public Schools Food Pickup Families may pick up grab-and-go meals at one of the 136 school sites across the city from Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Meal sites will not be open on Friday, April 10 to give staff members a day off for Good Friday. Please plan accordingly. For the full list of meal sites open during spring break, families can visit www.cps.edu/mealsites and use the CPS Grab and Go Meal Site Locator or call 773-553-KIDS (5437).
- Chicago Public Schools Remote Learning On March 30, CPS announced a Pre-K-12 remote learning plan. Remote learning plans will begin April 13, after Spring Break. To assist, CPS will be distributing 100,000 devices to students who are in need of a digital device capable of supporting the e-learning format. To learn more about this announcement, visit CPS’s website here. All CPS families will be able to pick up meals outside of their nearest CPS, with exception of several schools, between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Monday-Friday throughout the closure.
- Stay at Home Order To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Governor Pritzker has extended his State Order requiring all residents to remain at home unless absolutely essential, which started on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at 5 pm and will now be in force until April 30. For more information about this order, please click here.
- Parks & Libraries Mayor Lightfoot also announced the closure of Park District facilities and Libraries. For more information, please click here.
- Ticketing Enforcement There has been some confusion regarding the issuance of parking tickets in the city. While the number of enforcement agents has been decreased, tickets will still be issued for the following violations: bus lane, bicycle path, rush hour parking, parking in the fire lane, fire lane blockage, alley blockage, driveway blockage, double parking, standing zone violations, parking in a disabled parking spot, and expired meters.
- Lake Front Closed As a necessary precaution, Chicago’s lakefront has been closed to the public. The closure includes all trails, parks, and beaches. This order has been put in place to assure residents are practicing responsible social distancing that is imperative to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. The Chicago Police Department and the Chicago Park District will be enforcing this measure.
- CARES ACT On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Federal Government authorized the CARES Act, a comprehensive federal government stimulus plan which will support citizens, businesses, and industries during these times. For a brief overview of the stimulus plan click here. For a small business specific overview, click here. The act in its entirety can be found here.
- Debt Relief Programs Mayor Lightfoot announced the temporary suspension of debt collection, ticketing and towing practices to provide relief in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information on this policy, please click here.
- Fight Stigma and Fear by understanding the facts about COVID-19 and taking the effective precautionary steps recommended by health professionals. Support people returning from COVID-19 quarantine and help reduce the spread of rumors by letting people know that viruses cannot target people from specific populations, ethnicities, or racial backgrounds.
- Tax Filing Information Governor Pritzker has announced he will delay the Illinois state income tax filing deadline until July 15. This aligns with the new filing deadline for federal taxes, which is also July 15.
- #Solidarityat8 This daily event calls on everyone to come together at 8 p.m. on balconies and porches to cheer, sing, and make noise in support of our health care workers, first responders, and essential workers. We encourage individuals and families to show your support and upload a video of you cheering at 8 with the hashtag #Solidarityat8 and #4thWardStrong.
- The Greater Chicago Food Depository responds to food insecurity in our community every single day. Anyone in need of food assistance can turn to the Food Depository’s network of agencies and programs. With some exceptions, their network of 700 partner agencies and programs remains open. These sites are modifying their distributions to promote social distancing, including offering pre-packaged boxes of groceries. To locate a site, click here.
- One Summer Chicago Applications are now being accepted for the city’s One Summer Chicago Program, which connects over 30,000 of our city’s young residents with summer employment and internship opportunities. For more information, click here.
- Price Gouging To report price gouging, click here.
- Event Organizers Stay informed on the latest developments and public health guidance. We strongly encourage groups to consider canceling or postponing planned events.
- Childcare Facilities and Colleges/Universities Closure of childcare facilities is still voluntary. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Childcare Programs. Many institutions of higher learning are voluntarily closing their campuses and moving instruction online. See CDPH’s COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Institutions of Higher Education.
- If you have been in a country with widespread sustained transmission (any country with a Travel Alert Level 3) or have been exposed to someone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days, you will face some limitations on your movement and activity. Please follow instructions during this time. Your cooperation is integral to the ongoing public health response to try to slow the spread of this virus..
The 4th Ward Service Office is closed during this time. However, our office is operating remotely. We kindly ask that any business you may have with our office be conducted via phone or email.
We can be reached at (773) 536 8103 or Ward04@cityofchicago.org.
Visit our new website at King4thWard.com