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  • Jul 10, 2020, 14:09 PM

Gurnee Business Partners Letter, July 10, 2020

Gurnee Business Partner:

The health and safety of Gurnee’s residents, our business’ employees and customers, and our millions of visitors is of paramount importance in all we do.  Their continued confidence is central to our economic viability.

With that guiding principle in mind, the Village of Gurnee continues to abide by the operating standards established by the Governor’s executive orders, the Restore Illinois plan and Phase 4 Guidelines, and public health guidance issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Lake County Health Department and federal agencies.   The Village is mirroring these guidelines, exercising local flexibility in ways that support our businesses, such as allowing temporary outdoor dining and liquor “to go” for current licensees.  Some businesses have chosen to pursue additional measures beyond the published guidance in order to protect their guests and employees, and we are fully supportive of those efforts as well.   As a reminder, if a customer or guest is noncompliant with safety measures and refuses to leave a business premises, this can be handled as a trespassing charge by calling 9-1-1 to reach the Gurnee Police Department.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) hotline is available for clarification on how State guidelines apply to your business:  1-800-252-2923 or, and the DCEO website consolidates information on financial and informational resources for small, midsize, and larger businesses.  Additionally, the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation has information and guidance for industries regulated by that office; its website can be accessed here.


One of the newest financial resources available to Gurnee businesses is the Lake County Small Business Recovery Grant program, funded by the CARES ActThrough July 20, Lake County small businesses (< $2.5 million annual revenue) can apply online for a grant of up to $30,000 to fund up to four months of occupancy costs and COVID-19 related expenses.    Webinars on this new grant program will be offered July 14 and 20; links available at  

Round One of applications for the Illinois Business Interruption Grant program has now closed; however, a total of $540 million has been allocated for this program, so please check back here for updates on future rounds, eligibility criteria and applications.

The last day the SBA can accept Paycheck Protection Program applications from lenders is August 8. Interested participants should work with their local lending institutions on pursuing this opportunity. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) can provide assistance.

The SBA is still accepting new online applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), with advances of up to $10,000 available.

If businesses have PPE that they are interested in selling to the State of Illinois,  please contact the State of Illinois' COVID-19 PPE Procurement Team ( indicating the type of PPE for sale; quantity; price; and location.

On July 15, 10:00-11:00am, the State of Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) is hosting an open online conversation with constituents (racial/ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran owned businesses). Registration available HERE.

Community News

Work is underway to erect steel beams for the new Union Pacific Railroad bridge, resulting in the temporary closure of Grand Avenue east of Route 41 announced earlier this week.   Traffic is being detoured this weekend to Route 41, Washington Street, and Green Bay Road; traffic updates can be found here.  Work is expected to be completed by 5:00AM on Monday, July 13.

Hurricane Harbor Chicago at Six Flags opens July 20 for members and season pass holders!   We are excited to welcome back our summer visitors to Gurnee and look forward to the theme park fully reopening soon.  Six Flags’ top priority is keeping you and your family safe while visiting, and the Park is introducing an impressive number of new social distancing and sanitization protocols as part of its DoTheSix Safety Plan.

  • All guests 3 and over must wear masks
  • Non-invasive temperature checks upon entry
  • Sanitization teams throughout the park
  • Reduced park capacity
  • Hand sanitizer and hand washing stations
  • Park reservation system
  • Continuously sanitized restrooms
  • 6ft separations in ride and food lines
  • New touch free pre-screen procedures
  • Food area reconfiguration
  • No waves in wave pool

This pandemic has laid bare the truth that our actions, or inaction, impact others; I am so incredibly proud of our community’s response.   Our businesses and residents are diligent and determined.   Our economy is open and revitalizing!   We are #BackTogether again – safely and socially.  Gurnee’s Got It! 




Mayor Kristina M. Kovarik     
Village of Gurnee

Region 9 continues to operate under Phase 4 mitigation measures. The State has recently updated its Phase 4 FAQ document to include information that’s currently applicable to our region. (updated 11/12/20)


Open Application for $220 Million in Business Interruption Grants (BIG) (updated 09/23/20)


Applications for a second round of BIG funding are now being accepted: Program information and Application instructions can be found here. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois. Grants will be awarded and funded on a rolling basis until funding is depleted. The grant size will be equivalent to two months of expenses, and funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs. The BIG program is open to all eligible businesses (for profit and nonprofit) with $20 million or less in 2019 annual revenue and losses due to COVID-19. Of the total funding, $70 million will be invested in Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs) and $60 million in heavily impacted industries. Heavily impacted industries are defined as having annual revenues of $10 million or less; having been closed or operating at a very diminished capacity since mid-March; and likely to continue to do so until Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan. These industries include the following:

  • Event spaces
  • Music venues
  • Performing arts venues
  • Indoor recreation
  • Amusement parks
  • Movie theaters
  • Museums
  • Charter/shuttle buses

A series of webinars is available to assist with understanding the application criteria and process:




Small Business Assistance Grant Available to Help Lake County Companies (updated 07/08/20)

Lake County has launched an important new small business assistance grant fund to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19 reopen and adjust to the new operating environment. The intent of the grant is to cover occupancy and some operating costs for up to four months.


The grants cover 4.5-times average monthly rent, capped at $30,000, and can be used for payroll, business rent/mortgage, utilities, inventory, and incremental COVID-19 related business expenses.


A business must be located in Lake County, have less than $2.5 million in annual revenue and be incorporated - LLC, LLP, S Corporation, Sole Proprietor, etc. Currently, independent contractors are not eligible.

The application window will be open through 11:59 p.m. on Monday, July 20, 2020. For more information go to



Small Business COVID-19 Assistance Information 

U.S. Department of the Treasury Assistance for Small Businesses

U.S. Senate Committee & Small Business Entrepreneurship Guide to the CARES Act

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources 



  • SBA Debt Relief: Under this program, the SBA will pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020, or cover principal and interest on current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loan: This pilot program (Guide here) allows small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with a fast turnaround.

Federal Government Response to COVID-19
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Guidance for Businesses and Employers
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Illinois Small Business Administration


Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

For Manufacturers:

Illinois Department of Revenue

  • Details on short-term relief from late sales tax payments due to COVID-19 here.

Illinois Department of Public Health

Illinois Small Business Development & International Trade Center, College of Lake County

  • Contact business advisors for inquiries or assistance: 847-543-2033,


Lake County Health Department


 Lake County Partners Covid-19 Informational Resources
Job Center of Lake County

View the Center’s Job Opportunities page

  • Employers: Complete this form to submit your job opportunities to the Job Center Business Service team
  • Jobseekers: Complete this form to submit your resume for consideration for a work experience (internship) or employment referral.