As we all try to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of the COVID-19 virus, we want to assure you that we at the AGHL Law are keeping abreast of the changes that could affect you and your businesses. Even though a shelter in place order has been issued, our office will remain open and we will remain available by phone and e-mail to respond to your needs and we have full access to your files.
The following are some highlights of recent happenings. These are for general information only and are not intended to state the law as to your particular circumstance as each news item has its own restrictions and limitations. If you need more information in how these new measures apply to you or to your business, please call us.
Some general things that you should know:
All Civil Court cases have been placed on hold. If you have a case pending, it will likely not be back in court before early summer. New cases may be filed, but action will not be able to be taken on those claims before the courts resume regular function.
The Tax filing deadline for individuals and businesses has been extended from April 15th to July 15th. No interest or penalties will apply.
The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has also authorized businesses with premises only liquor licenses to sell package goods IF THE LOCAL LIQUOR COMMISSION ALLOWS IT.
Congress has just passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act into law. This Act requires employers to provide eighty (80) hours of paid sick leave (or the equivalent of two weeks’ for part-time employees), affected by the coronavirus (if they are subject to quarantine, ill or caring for an ill family member), and extends the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide for twelve weeks of job-protected leave for caring for parents or children with the disease. The first ten (10) days of this leave is without pay and the remaining time is at 2/3 the employees’ regular rate. There are restrictions on the amounts to be paid.
For Small Businesses
To help alleviate some of the unprecedented challenges facing bars and restaurants due to COVID-19, Gov. Pritzker has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants — accounting for nearly 80% of all such entities statewide. Under the directive, eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year will not be charged penalties or interest on payments due in March, April or May made late. Penalties and interest will be automatically waived; however, qualified taxpayers must still file their sales tax returns even if they are unable to make a payment. Any taxpayers taking advantage of this relief will be required to pay their sales tax liabilities due in March, April and May in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20. For more information, please view IDOR’s informational bulletin available at tax.illinois.gov.
Gov. Pritzker announced 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 https://disasterloan.sba.gov
We are also monitoring proposed legislation in the U.S. Senate that, in addition to proposing direct payments to Americans of certain income levels, would expand the eligibility for certain small businesses (those under 500 employees) to receive a loan of up to $10 million under the Small Business Act. Loans could be used for payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leaves, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits; employee salaries; mortgage payments and rent; utilities; and other debts. Loans used to cover payroll could be forgiven if businesses retain employees through June 30, 2020. Funds used to pay tipped employees, such as bars and restaurants, may be eligible for loan forgiveness if they are used to provide additional wages. We will update you as we know more.
We will send updates to you as the situation continues to unfold. We encourage all of you to follow the CDC’s advice on social distancing and handwashing and wish you and your employees the best of health.
The AGHL Law
6735 Vistagreen Way, Suite 210
Rockford, IL 61107
Main: (815) 265-6464