Illinois and the City of Chicago are currently in Phase 4: Gradually Resume.

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, in partnership with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), industry leaders, labor leaders, and public officials from around Chicago, released industry-specific guidelines for businesses, employees, and customers to follow as the city continues to safely re-open this summer.

The City of Chicago has released updates to current Phase Four guidelines pertaining to eating and drinking establishments, fitness centers, and personal services beginning October 1.

In addition, an Emergency Travel Order directs travelers entering or returning to Chicago from states experiencing a surge in new COVID-19 cases to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state. This includes both Chicago residents returning from travel to a designated state, and travelers arriving in Chicago from a designated state. The list is updated weekly. 

As always, please reach out to me at President@TheMagnificentMile.com with questions, concerns and tips. Stay safe. Together, we will get through this.

Your partner,

Kimberly Bares
President and CEO

A Phased Re-opening

Restore Illinois

Restore Illinois Phases

Restore Illinois is a five-phase regional plan to reopen the state’s economy on a regional basis in accordance with key public health metrics.

Governor Pritzer announced that the state will be further divided from four into 11 separate regions to allow health officials to apply a more focused approach to each area's coronavirus response as the pandemic continues. The City of Chicago is its own region under this plan.

The new plan outlines three tiers of general and industry-specific mitigations that can be put in place to prevent a resurgence in cases, officials said.

The metrics used to determine when an area needs additional mitigations will include:

  • Sustained increase in 7-day rolling average (7 out of 10 days) in the positivity rate AND one of the following severity indicators:
    • Sustained 7-day increase in hospital admissions for a COVID-19 like illness
    • Reduction in hospital capacity threatening surge capabilities (ICU capacity or medical/surgical beds < 20%)
  • OR three consecutive days averaging ≥ 8% positivity rate
Additional Local Framework

Protecting Chicago

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, alongside the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), announced the “Protecting Chicago” framework that the City will be using to guide Chicago’s reopening process amid COVID-19.

The framework – organized into five phases in alignment with the State of Illinois’ “Restore Illinois” plan – will advise Chicagoans on how to safely exit from shelter-in-place while continuing to prioritize the health of our most vulnerable residents.

Chicago is monitoring answers to these four questions in order to help determine when and how the transition between phases takes place:

1. Is the rate of disease spread across the city and surrounding counties decreasing?

2. Does the city have the testing and contact-tracing capacity to track the disease and limit spread?

3. Are there enough support systems in place for vulnerable residents?

4. Can the healthcare system handle a potential future surge (including beds, ventilators and PPE)?

Statewide Guidance

Changes to Stay at Home Order that Impact Businesses

  • Requirement to Wear Face Coverings

    All individuals over the age of two who can medically tolerate face covering will be required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are:

    • In any indoor public space
    • In a public space and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance
  • New Requirements for all Businesses to Protect Employees and Consumers

    All businesses are required to take the following steps to the greatest extent possible:

    • Provide employees with face coverings
    • Require that employees wear face coverings in circumstances where they are unable to maintain a six-foot distance at all times
    • Where work circumstances require it, provide additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Evaluate whether employees are able to work from home

    This applies to all essential and non-essential businesses that are engaged in minimum basic operations. These requirements are in addition to existing requirements to:

    • Designate six-foot distances
    • Have hand sanitizer and sanitizing products available
    • Designate separate operating hours for vulnerable populations
    • Post online whether a facility is open and how best to reach the facility.
  • New Requirements for Retail Businesses to Protect Employees and Consumers

    In addition to the requirements outlined above, all retail businesses are required to take the following steps to the greatest extent possible:

    • Cap occupancy at 50 percent of store capacity or occupancy limits
    • Set up store aisles to be one-way where practicable
    • Communicate with customers through in-store signage, public service announcements, and advertisements about the social distancing requirements
    • Discontinue use of reusable bags
  • New Requirements for Manufacturers to Protect Employees

    In addition to the requirements outlined above, all manufacturing businesses are required to take the following steps to the greatest extent possible:

    • Stagger shifts
    • Reduce line speeds
    • Operate only essential lines, while shutting down non-essential lines
    • Ensure that all spaces where employees may gather, including locker rooms and lunchrooms, allow for social distancing
    • Downsize to the extent necessary to allow for social distancing
Latest Updates

From our city, state and federal partners.

Federal Relief Efforts

The Payroll Protection Flexibility Act enacts the following changes retroactively, except as stated in item No. 1, as if included in the CARES Act originally:

  • Extends the minimum maturity of PPP loans to five years. This would take effect on the date of the bill’s enactment and apply to any PPP loan made on or after such a date; however, lenders and borrowers would not be prohibited from mutually agreeing to modify the maturity terms of prior-disbursed PPP loans.
  • Extends the covered period for using PPP loan proceeds from June 30, 2020, to Dec. 31
  • Extends the covered period for PPP loan forgiveness from eight weeks from the date of origination to the earlier of 24 weeks from the origination date or Dec. 31, 2020. A borrower who received a loan before the bill’s enactment could elect to continue using the eight-week covered period set forth in the CARES Act.
  • Extends the deadline for the rehire exception to forgiveness reduction in the loan forgiveness provisions from June 30, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020
  • Provides that the amount of loan forgiveness will not be reduced by a reduction in the number of full-time equivalent employees, if, with respect to the period February 15, 2020, to December 31, 2020, the borrower is able to document in good faith (A) an inability to rehire employees who had been employed on February 15, 2020, and an inability to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions by December 31, 2020, or (B) an inability to return to the same level of business activity at which the borrower was operating before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with federal governmental requirements or guidance set forth between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020, relating to standards of sanitation, social distancing, or other worker or customer safety requirements due to COVID-19.

Under the CARES Act, your business may be eligible for aid from the federal government.
Review your eligibility with resources from the U.S. Travel Association, including a guide to the Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of 2020.

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan – The program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Borrowers can request an emergency advance of $10,000 within 3 days of submitting the application and do not have to repay the advance if they are denied a loan. Reference Guide >>
  • Subsidy for Current Loan Payments – The SBA will cover up to 6 months of principal and interest payments that are owed on most existing SBA loans. Learn More>>
  • Aid to Midsize Businesses and Nonprofits – $454 billion will be available from the U.S. Treasury to provide financial assistance through loan programs established by the Federal Reserve. As part of that, a special fund is dedicated to midsize businesses and nonprofits with 500-10,000 employees to provide financing to banks and other lenders to make direct loans to these entities. The interest rate on those loans would be capped at 2%, with no payments due for the first six months. These loans cannot be forgiven.

    Significant restrictions will be placed on the midsize business and nonprofit assistance, such as prohibiting paying out dividends while the loan is outstanding. More guidance will be forthcoming from the U.S. Treasury on additional criteria and funding access.

    Read more about economic assistance and financial relief in a Resource Guide for Local Business Owners and Leaders from Congresswoman Robin Kelly.

The US Chamber of Commerce announced the Save Small Business Fund.

This grant-making initiative issues $5,000 grants to small businesses who:

  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Are located in an economically vulnerable community
  • Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic

Eligibility is based on ZIP Code and you can check your eligibility on the Save Small Business website. Applications will go live on Monday, April 20, and you can sign up to be notified when they're ready.


Additional Assistance:

Together Now Grant Fund

The City is now taking applications for the $15 million Together Now grant fund which will help small businesses and not-for-profits in Chicago that have experienced economic distress and significant operational losses due to COVID-19, or have experienced damage from events of the weekend of May 29 and beyond.

Learn more about the fund and apply before June 29.

To mitigate economic fall-out:

  • Governor Pritzker said Illinois will move its state income tax deadline back three months to July 15, aligning it with the extended federal tax deadline.

Protecting Immigrant and Refugee Communities:

  • Mayor Lightfoot signed an executive order explicitly ensuring that all benefits, opportunities, and services provided or administered by the City of Chicago are accessible to all residents, regardless of birth country or current citizenship status.

How you can help:

Medical Assistants and Nurses are encouraged to apply for temporary positions.

  • If you have any questions about the positions or the application process, you may email johnson@sunbeltstaffing.com or call 813-261-2706.

Governor Pritzker has launched a website to update the public on the state's evolving response to COVID-19 and how you can help:

  • Governor Pritzker is directing healthy citizens to a state website to match their skills with organizations that work with the homeless or seniors, or deliver meals.
  • Governor Pritzker started the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofits and other groups that work with "those hit hardest by COVID-19," providing emergency food and basic supplies, interim housing, health care services, assisting with utility costs and supporting children and families. To date, the fund has distributed more than $5.5 million to 30 nonprofit organizations across the state. Donate now >>
  • Governor Pritzker outlined supply concerns across the state. He said ventilators, masks, hospital gowns, hand sanitizer and other supplies are badly needed. Have items to donate? Email PPE.donations@illinois.gov.

Chicago's Office of Emergency Management and Communications has provided a social media toolkit from the City of Chicago about the state-wide Stay At Home Order, which is now in effect.


Stay informed.

The City of Chicago launched 'Chi COVID Coach,' a mobile-friendly, web-based application to support residents during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
This forward-thinking app will allow the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) to communicate directly with Chicago residents who may be COVID-19 positive or experiencing symptoms, providing them important information and guidance.

Learn more >>

We salute our district's first responders.

The Magnificent Mile Association is committed to providing the latest resources.

We are here to help!

Businesses

Review resources for businesses, consumers and employees from Business Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Individuals
  • Get answers to your questions around unemployment benefits.
    • Unemployment Insurance claims can be filed with the Illinois Department of Employment Security by phone (800)-244-5631 or online
    • Web-based orientations, tutorials, digital literacy courses, and one-on-one career counseling are available for jobseekers from the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership. Access those services here
    • Similarly, consultative services for employers including hiring, lay off aversion, rapid response (layoff support) and training resources remain available through the Business Services Teams.  Access these services here.
  • Take care of yourself and your family.
    • Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined the Department of Housing (DOH) and Chicago’s leading housing lenders and landlord associations to announce the Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge. Chicago’s landlords affirm they may provide one or more of the following for eligible renters who demonstrate a significant financial impact resulting from COVID-19:
      • Grace Period for Rent Payments: Offer deferred payments with repayment terms that avoid repayment at the end of the deferral period.
      • Written Repayment Plan: Permit renters with a missed rent payment to amortize the payments over time.
      • No Late Fees for Missed Payments: Provide relief from rent-related late fees.
    • Learn about Emergency Rental Assistance from the City of Chicago.
    • Apply for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, from the Illinois Department of Human Services, which provides financial assistance to expectant mothers and families with one or more children.
    • Apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, from the Illinois Department of Human Services, which helps low-income people and families buy the food they need for good health.
  • The State of Illinois launched a new way residents can request assistance. Text the following words to 552020 for help with these needs:  
    • Text "FOOD"
    • Text "UNEMPLOYMENT"
    • Text "SHELTER"
    • Text "TALK" (mental health)
Medical Information
Chicago Help Initiative (CHI)
  • CHI staff will be on hand every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday outside the entrance of Catholic Charities from 10:00 am - 10:30 am to receive your meal donations. Ideally, each meal should contain one sandwich; a piece of fruit; a bag of chips or other snack; one single-serving drink, preferably juice; and a sweet treat, such as a cookie or candy bar
  • You can also donate socks, bar soap and/or hand sanitizer.
  • If you are able to help, please email Doug at dfraser@chicagohelpinitiative.org, visit chicagohelpinitiative.org or call Jacqueline at (312) 861-1700

Learn more >>

Greater Chicago Food Depository
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Chicago Food Depository is hard at work responding to the increased need for food. Support their work by making a monetary donation.
  • Individuals who are healthy and meet all other volunteering requirements are needed at the food bank and training center to help prepare food for distribution. This is considered an essential activity at this time.
  • Commercial businesses: Need help adjusting your business' energy usage needs? If business operations at your location(s) are changing significantly in response to COVID-19 with impacts to your energy usage, please let your rep at Constellation Energy know right away so they can adjust load forecasts and/or schedule appropriately to avoid additional costs or penalties.
    Learn more >>
  • If you are looking to keep your customers informed with signage, banners, boards and more, we highly recommend Bannerville USA.
    Learn more >>

 

Stay informed.

Upcoming Webinars

Association members and national partners are hosting free webinars on a variety of topics to support businesses through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.

Read more about Register now
Sep 22
Webinar

Delivering on Demand: Safety First

10:45A (CDT)

As retailers race to get products to consumers as quickly as possible, more are looking to some form of home delivery. Whether direct or through third-party delivery providers, home delivery can present new risks related to profitability, injury and brand reputation.

Register now
Read more about Register now
Sep 22
Webinar

De-escalation: New Challenges

12:30 P (CDT)

Join us as experts discuss how to protect your employees and customers from volatile situations is a challenge in today's world.

Register now
Read more about Register now
Sep 23
Webinar

Managing Store Operations in the Face of Crisis and Critical Incidents

10:00A (CDT)

Collaboration is the most effective strategy when retailers are faced with operational security challenges. With world issues demanding new in-store procedures to assure safety, it is more imperative than ever for the store operations and LP/AP executives to be allies.

Register now
Read more about Register now
Sep 23
Webinar

The Quest for Racial Justice

12:30P (CDT)

A critical reflection and candid conversation between two of the nation's senior loss prevention leaders. Hear how these executives ensure a larger investment in policies, practices and beliefs to combat structural disadvantages and deter systemic racism.

Register now
Past Webinars.
Sharing best practice

In the Press

  • August 5, 2020

    Kimberly Bares and Rich Gamble met with Mayor Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown regarding issues of public safety, around the time of a shooting on Oak Street.

    City officials promised a large increase in resources devoted to the area, which the Association hopes will act as a deterrent and begin to bring down this current wave of violent crime in the district.

    Read More
  • July 7, 2020

    Rainbow Queertopia Art Installation Calls Michigan Avenue Home | NBC Chicago
     
     

    Learn More
  • June 5, 2020
    Magnificent Mile Association Talks Rebuilding, Reaching Out to Other Communities

    Kimberly Bares on NBC Chicago Today

    Magnificent Mile Association President & CEO, Kimberly Bares, visited ‘Chicago Today’ to talk about rebuilding the iconic Magnificent Mile along with reaching out to smaller businesses in harder hit communities.

    Watch Now
  • May 28, 2020

    Premier Shopping Districts Are Particularly Vulnerable To Pandemic And May Need A Reset

    “We’ve got some of the most recognized brands in the country, the world, really, and these brands are frequently well-capitalized."

    -Kimberly Bares, President & CEO

    IMG 2977

    Sephora, at 605 North Michigan Ave., getting ready for early June reopening.

    Read More
  • May 14, 2020

    Chicago’s iconic DuSable Bridge opened to the public 100 years ago in the wake of another pandemic, the Spanish Flu.

    NBC 5 Chicago's LeeAnn Trotter reports.

    Read More
  • April 24, 2020
    Retailers like clothing stores and book stores will begin the slow process of calling some workers back and partially reopening beginning on May 1, 2020.
    "This would be perfect for the stores at Water Tower, 900 North, The Shops at North Bridge, where they especially have the ability to set aside a loading zone, a pick-up area," said Kimberly Bares, President and CEO of The Magnificent Mile Association.

    Read more
  • March 31, 2020

    Retailers Take Proactive Approach to Prevent Looting During Shutdown

    ”This is a global pandemic and we are seeing the same as other cities: retailers’ responses vary from boarded windows to empty storefronts and showrooms. Some have painted or branded their boards, which we appreciate. And we will be looking for ways to encourage other property owners and store managers to do the same,” Kimberly Bares said.

    Read more on Women's Wear Daily.

    Burberry Prepares for Stay at Home Order in response to COVID19

    Full article
  • March 22, 2020

    The Magnificent Mile Association is working to ensure businesses downtown along North Michigan Avenue remain safe and secure as residents “shelter in place.”

    Kimberly Bares, President & CEO, shares the latest on FOX 32 Chicago.

    View More