Elgin allows delivery, curbside pickup of alcohol
Establishments in Elgin with a liquor license are now allowed to sell alcohol via curbside pickup or delivery, and liquor license renewal fees, normally due by the end of March, will be waived for 2020-21 for businesses affected by the closure of dine-in services, officials said.
Amanda Harris, the city's cultural arts manager, discussed the measures Thursday during a virtual "town hall" organized by the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin.
The town hall featured state Rep. Anna Moeller and state Sen. Cristina Castro, both Democrats from Elgin, who answered questions about assistance available for small businesses and nonprofits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We (lawmakers) have been engaging regularly, seven days a week, since this happened to try to make the situation as painless as possible," Moeller said, "but we know that everyone is dealing with incredible stress right now."
• The state is offering $14 million in hospitality emergency grants. Bars and restaurants that generated less than $500,000 in annual revenues last year will be eligible for up to $10,000; those that generated between $500,000 and $1 million will be eligible for up to $25,000. Hotels that generated less than $8 million are eligible for up to $50,000.
• A small business emergency loan fund is open to businesses located outside Chicago -- the city has it own program -- with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenues. The loans can be repaid in five years and no payment is required in the first six months, Moeller said.
Applications for the grant program and loan program will be posted online Friday at illinois.gov/dceo. The lawmakers encouraged applying early because there will be short deadlines and turnaround.
• Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Thursday the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund, a new statewide fundraising effort to support nonprofits "serving people whose lives have been upended by this pandemic." The initiative has $23 million in initial donations and is in partnership with United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations. Visit ilcovidresponsefund.org.
• The Illinois Treasurer's Office is working on a relief program with $250 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero interest rates, to assist small businesses and nonprofits. Details haven't been worked out yet.
• Federal resources include a COVID-19 disaster loan assistance program from the U.S. Small Business Administration at disasterloan.sba.gov open to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private nonprofit organizations.
Nonprofits in Elgin can also inquire about emergency loans from the city on a case-by-case basis, Harris said. Food for Greater Elgin recently got a $150,000 loan.
It's too early to say whether Pritzker will extend the state's "stay at home" order beyond April 7, Castro said. "The idea is that by doing what we are doing is to hopefully stop it (the virus) on its tracks, so it doesn't continue to harm people," she said.