Chicago has met the metrics set by the State of Illinois to move to Phase Four COVID-19 regulations. The City also announced a roadmap for Chicago to continue to cautiously ease regulations on businesses as COVID-19 metrics improve.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been working with health care and community partners to increase the ability to quickly distribute a large amount of COVID-19 vaccine, as it becomes available.

Chicago has moved into Phase 1B, where residents over 65 and essential workers can get vaccinated. Here is a useful infographic for vaccine rollout and answers to your frequently asked questions.

Effective Friday, January 15, 2021, the Emergency Travel Order has been modified. Under the new system, states are categorized as Yellow or Orange. Requirements for visitors and Chicago residents who travel to or from each state are listed here.

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. 

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.

Please contact President@TheMagnificentMile.com with questions, concerns and tips. Stay safe and we will get through this together!

 

Chicago is in Phase Four
  • Phase Four

    Restaurants and Bars

    • Indoor capacity remains restricted to the lesser of 25% or 50 people per room or space
    • Food must be available at all times in order to offer indoor service. This means that bars, taverns or breweries without a food license can operate indoors as long as they partner with a food establishment so that food is available to patrons at all times (e.g., making menus available and allowing delivery, allowing patrons to order from third-party delivery services).
    • Maximum of six patrons at indoor or outdoor tables
    • Patrons can sit at bars, with six feet of social distancing between parties
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times, except when patrons are seated and actively eating or drinking
    • Patrons must be seated whenever they are eating or drinking
    • Tables must be six feet apart
    • Reservations are encouraged
    • Two-hour time limit no longer required
    • The sale of alcohol must end at 11pm, including alcohol sold for on-site consumption, delivery or carry out
    • Establishments must close for on-site service at 12am

    Retail Stores

    • No limits on operating hours (non-essential business curfew repealed)
    • Grocery stores and pharmacies can operate at 50% capacity, all other stores at 40% capacity
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times
    • Alcohol sales from establishments with a Package Goods license must end at 9pm

    Museums

    • No limits on operating hours (non-essential business curfew repealed)
    • Can operate indoors at 25% capacity
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times

    Personal Services

    • No limits on operating hours (non-essential business curfew repealed)
    • 40% capacity, with no more than 50 people in any one space
    • Face coverings can be removed only for services that require their removal

    Event Venues

    • Indoor capacity remains restricted to the lesser of 25% or 25 people per room or space
    • Indoor events can serve food or drinks, but indoor service guidelines must be followed:
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times, except when patrons are seated and actively eating or drinking
    • Six people per table
    • Patrons must be seated whenever they are eating or drinking
    • Tables must be six feet apart
    • Alcohol service must end at 11pm, and patrons must be off-premises by 12am

    Health and Fitness Centers

    • No limits on operating hours (non-essential business curfew repealed)
    • 40% capacity, with no more than 50 people in any one space
    • Group classes of 15 or fewer can resume under the 40% capacity restriction
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times

    Indoor Recreation

    • No limits on operating hours (non-essential business curfew repealed)
    • 40% capacity, with no more than 50 people in any one space
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times

    Movie Theaters and Performance Venues

    • No limits on operating hours (non-essential business curfew repealed).
    • 40% capacity, with no more than 50 people in any one space
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times

    Places of Worship

    • 40% capacity, with no more than 50 people in any one space
    • Special events capped at no more than 25% capacity or 25 people, while following indoor dining regulations
    • Face coverings must be worn at all times
    More Information for Businesses
Latest Updates

From our city, state and federal partners.

Citywide Assistance:
Extending Critical Regulatory Relief Measures for Businesses

In a recent City Council meeting, aldermen passed legislation expanding regulatory relief for businesses that continue to be impacted by COVID-19.

This ordinance extends a number of measures that were implemented in 2020:

  • Extension of License Expiration Dates: All licenses that expire between March 15, 2020 and June 15, 2021 will be considered active until July 15, 2021 and those businesses can operate during that time without renewing their license.
  • Extension of Sidewalk Café Permit Expiration Dates and Reforms: All current Sidewalk Café Permits will be considered active through May 31, 2021. Additionally, all Sidewalk Café Permits issued for the 2021 season will benefit from the temporary reforms implemented earlier this year, which include:
    • 75 percent reduction in the permit fee
    • The ability to extend the Sidewalk Cafe in front of neighboring property
    • An expedited permit issuance process
  • Extension of Expanded Outdoor Dining Program: The Expanded Outdoor Dining (EOD) Program, through which bars and restaurants can operate outside on private property or closed streets, has been extended to last through the end of 2021. Businesses that are interested in extending their EOD permit past the end of 2020 must submit a request including the DOT number of their Permit and submit insurance covering the extended dates to SEPermits@cityofchicago.org

In addition to the introduction of the regulatory relief package, City Council passed an emergency measure to cap the fees that third party-delivery companies can charge restaurants for their service. Under this legislation, fees that third-party delivery companies can charge for their delivery services will be capped at 10 percent of the purchasing price, and total fees charged to participating restaurants, which include the delivery fees, will be capped at 15 percent. This ordinance will be in effect until indoor dining is allowed in Chicago at 40% capacity for 60 days.

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.

Federal Relief Efforts

Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020

Congress passed legislation in December 2020 that provides critical funding and relief as well as extending several provisions of the CARES Act, which is outlined below.

Review details of the legislative package and read the bill in full. Key provisions include:

  • $325B for small businesses, including:
    • $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions. 
    • $284 billion for first and second forgivable PPP loans, dedicated set-asides for very small businesses and lending through community-based lenders, expanded PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofits
    • $20 billion is included for new EIDL Grants for businesses in low-income communities$2B for airports and concessionaires
  • $45B for transportation:
    • $14B for transit. 
    • $10B for state highways
  • $25B for rental assistance via “first-ever emergency federal rental assistance program to be distributed by state and local government”
    • Includes an extension of the existing CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021.

Part of this omnibus statute, known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act), reauthorizes and modifies the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL), as enacted under the CARES ACT.

  • The Act revives the PPP by appropriating $284.45 billion to the program, which is a significant portion of the $325 billion allocated specifically for small business aid in the legislation.
  • The new application deadline to apply for the PPP is March 31, 2021, and the SBA is required to issue regulations to carry out the new provisions of the revitalized program no later than January 6, 2021.

Read more >>

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 United States 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.


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.

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.

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. Tier 1 mitigations are in effect in Region 11, which includes the City of Chicago.

To move from Tier 1 to Phase 4 (with no mitigations), a region must meet these criteria:

  • A test positivity rate below 6.5% for three consecutive days, as measured by the seven-day rolling average.
  • Greater than or equal to 20% available staffed ICU and medical/surgical hospital beds for three consecutive days, on a three-day rolling average.  
  • No sustained increase in the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 for seven out of 10 days, on a seven-day average.

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 for 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
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 >>

 

Past Webinars.
Advocating for Our District

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