COVID-19 Business/Employee Resources

Contact Steven Mitchell with any questions, concerns, ideas or suggestions.


Financial Assistance

  • Local: Most banks in the region have begun to make accommodations for their commercial customers on a case by case basis.  If you have outstanding business loans with a local bank or financial institution, reach out to your primary contact to learn if assistance is available for your specific situation.
  • Federal: The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.
    • The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as: 
      • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made; and
      • Employee and compensation levels are maintained.
    • Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs. 
    • Loan payments will be deferred for 6 months.
    • When can I apply?
      • Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders.
      • Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders. 
      • Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans as soon as they are approved and enrolled in the program.
    • Where can I apply? You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. 
      • Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. 
      • You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating. Visit for a list of SBA lenders.
    • For more information:
      • Click here for a complete overview of the program
      • Click here for a copy of the application
  • Federal: Assistance is available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) if your business has suffered substantial economic injury and fits in one of the following types of businesses located in Illinois, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):

•    Small Business 

•    Small agricultural cooperative 

•    Most private nonprofit organizations

The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred.

This assistance is available only to small businesses when SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

Your loan amount will be based on your actual economic injury and your company’s financial needs, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

The interest rate on EIDLs will not exceed 3.75 percent per year. The term of these loans will not exceed 30 years. The repayment term will be determined by your ability to repay the loan.

Follow this link to apply online:

Make sure you have the following information in place before attempting to complete the application:

  • Loan application (SBA Form 5), completed and signed
  • List of all COVID-related losses
  • Number of employees laid off
  • List of contract obligations that were cancelled
  • IRS Form 4506-T
  • Personal Financial Statement
  • Current year-to-date profit & loss statement
  • Most recent business federal income tax returns
  • List of work/contracts that were scheduled
  • Schedule of liabilities listing all fixed debts

Important NOTE: The website is experiencing high volumes of traffic and the site might be slow. Non-peak hours are 7:00PM-7:00AM EDT.


On Sunday, March 15, 2020, Governor Pritzker announced that all bars and restaurants in the state of Illinois will be closed to the public, beginning at close of business Monday, March 16th through Monday, March 30th.  This "Stay at Home" order has been extended through April 30, 2020.

The Executive Order prohibits gatherings of 50 people or more in places including fitness centers/health clubs, bowling alleys, private clubs, and theaters. However, it does not impact establishments that provide essential goods and services, including grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, gas stations, banks/credit unions, shelters, and other establishments that provide essential services.

See this link for a flowchart to help determine if your business is "essential"

Visit the State of Illinois’ website for the complete Q & A.

Jackson County Licensed Facilities Recommendations per Governor’s Mandatory Closure for Restaurants and Bars

  • No seating for on-site consumption of food or beverage is allowed.
  • Licensed facilities within Jackson County can provide food orders by drive-thru, delivery, curbside pick-up or take-out. When offering these options please ensure patrons are practicing social distancing (minimum 6 foot separation). Facilities must ensure staff are free from symptoms, such as fever & cough. Management should notify their staff not to report to work if they have symptoms.
  • Licensed facilities that offer liquor for on-site consumption must close.
  • All licensed facilities that offer video gaming must cease this portion of their operation
  • If you have you questions please contact the Jackson County Health Department’s Environmental Health Division at 618-684-3143, ext. 128.

Liquor License Holders 

    The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has a Q & A for all licensed liquor establishments:


Most utility providers have made accommodations for their commercial customers.  

  • Mediacom
    • Mediacom is increasing the speed of the Mediacom Connect2Compete low-cost internet program to 25 megabits per second (Mbps) down by 3 Mbps up (currently 10 Mbps down by 1 Mbps up).
    • Qualifying families who subscribe before May 15, 2020, will receive 60 days of complimentary Mediacom Connect2Compete service.
    • Extending the pricing of Mediacom’s Access Internet 60 broadband service to new customers at $19.99 per month for the next 12 months (currently retails for $29.99 per month).
    • Pausing monthly data allowances across all Mediacom broadband service tiers through May 15, 2020;
    • Providing complementary access to all Mediacom Xtream Wi-Fi Hotspots for 60 days, and
    • Will not disconnect service or assess late fees to any customer that calls and informs the company that it cannot pay its bills during this period.
  • Clearwave
    • In an effort to help ease the financial burden and provide continued connectivity for customers impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19), Clearwave Communications announced on Friday, March 13, 2020 that effective immediately, it will be waiving late fees and offering payment deferrals for its customers for the next 30 days. The company plans to reassess after 30 days based on the continued impact and evolving nature of the virus.
    • Customers can call 877-552-9283 for more information.
  • Frontier Communications
    • Companies will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 
    • Waive any late fees that residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic. 
    • Open existing Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
    • Contact Frontier Communications Business Support: 1.800.921.8102, and have either your phone number or account number available and explain to the customer service representative that your business has been impacted by COVID-19.
  • Electricity
    • Effective immediately, Ameren is forgiving any late payment fees for residential and business customers. Normal billing for customers’ usage will continue as usual but if you are having difficulty paying your bill, please contact our Customer Care team or go to our Illinois payment assistance page to learn about your options.
  • Water 
    • The City of Carbondale will suspend all disconnections for non-payment and waive late fees for those customers that have difficulty making payments in this uncertain time.  City Hall remains closed to the public, but payment can made either online, via regular mail, at participating banks, or your payment can be placed in the dropbox on the west side drive at City Hall. The Revenue Office will continue to assist customers with billing questions at 618-457-3265.

Be Cautious of Scams

Please be aware of scams using fear, misinformation, and possibly intimidation related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) to attempt to steal your personal and account information. Be mindful of strange calls, emails, or texts that may look like they are from legitimate businesses or government agencies asking for information like social security numbers, user names, passwords, account numbers credit or debit card numbers, PIN, etc.

As a reminder, no legitimate businesses or government agencies will request such information through phone calls, emails, or texts.


Unemployment Insurance

  • Unemployment benefits may be available to some individuals whose unemployment is attributable to COVID-19. The Illinois Department of Employment Security recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible.
  • For more information, read the FAQ
  • To file your claim, click here.


Establishment of new rules for child care centers and homes operating during the emergency: 

Early education programs in public and private schools are required to remain closed while K-12 schools are closed. 

  • As of March 20, 2020, licensed and license-exempt child care centers and licensed and license-exempt homes are required to close their existing programs for the duration of the Governor’s disaster proclamation. 
  • Effective March 21, 2020 and for as long as the public health emergency continues, child care homes (including licensed homes that have closed their existing program) may serve up to six children of essential workers as a legally license-exempt home. No application or registration is required.
  • On March 23, 2020, Governor Pritzker amended the “Stay at Home” Executive Order to allow certain license-exempt child care centers to provide care for the children of essential workers without needing to apply for an Emergency Child Care License during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. 
  • Licensed child care centers seeking to re-open as Emergency Child Care Centers are required to go through an application process through the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).  

See the full child care notice here