• Sep 3, 2020, 15:51 PM

Gurnee Business Partners Letter: September 3, 2020

Gurnee Business Partner:

As we look back on a ‘different’ summer and settle into new fall ‘routines’, we have much to celebrate in Gurnee!

To keep abreast of the latest Gurnee news and projects, please check out:

Gurnee made the national stage last week with the announcement by Abbott Laboratories of its new facility at 605 Tri-State Parkway, Gurnee, for the production and assembly of COVID-19 rapid testing kits.   Gurnee’s is one of two plants nationwide that will be producing this new groundbreaking $5 test that will provide results in 15 minutes.  Recruitment is ongoing to fill 2,000 new positions - $15+/hour, 1st and 2nd shifts; application may be made at or 

The Job Center of Lake County regularly assists Lake County employers, like Abbott, with recruitment and hiring needs (Contact:  Demar Harris, Director of Programs and EEO Officer,  as well as providing assistance, including these upcoming virtual workshops, to job seekers.   

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that it has submitted its application to FEMA for the new federal Lost Wage Assistance Funds; under this program, individuals unemployed as a result of COVID-19 maybe eligible to receive an additional $300 per week to their benefit amount. 

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association recently launched Makers Hiring, a new public education campaign aimed at matching job seekers with open positions in the manufacturing sector.  Manufacturing companies with open jobs can register at to be showcased as part of this campaign.

A new Get Hired Illinois portal blends IDES and DCEO resources to provide a one-stop-shop for both job seekers and employers posting open positions – providing information on job opportunities as well as unemployment resources. 

The Illinois WorkNet Center recently initiated a Virtual Job Fair; view Employer Booths and/or add your own.  

Revised guidelines regarding the wearing of face masks when interacting with staff in bars and restaurants in Illinois went into effect on August 25; the new guidelines can be found here.  Full Restore Illinois guidelines may be found here.

As a reminder, the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) COVID-19 Resources for Business page can be found here

The Illinois District Office of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering several, free upcoming webinar opportunities, including:

The U.S. SBA is still offering low-interest federal disaster loans.  While the EIDL Advance is no longer available, businesses can still apply for the EIDL loan.  These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.

Mobile COVID-19 Testing Site open Labor Day weekend:  Open Saturday and Sunday, September 5 & 6, 9am-5pm, North Chicago High School, 1717 17th Street, North Chicago.  Information about state-operated testing locations, times, and requirements can be found at

View the Lake County, IL Coronavirus Data Hub to keep up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 data metrics. 

The first round of the Illinois Business Interruption Grant program recently released $46 million in small business grants to 2,655 small businesses – see the full list of recipients - located in over 400 cities and 78 counties.  Future rounds of funding are planned but details have not yet been released; check back here for updates

City of Chicago winter dining challenge:  The City of Chicago, in cooperation with the Illinois Restaurant Association and BMO Harris Bank, is soliciting ideas through September 7 for encouraging winter dining in-person.   Here in Gurnee, we are watching closely and are always open to ideas from our local business owners!  #ShopDineGurnee

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at College of Lake County is providing virtual training programs focused on recovery and growth, including upcoming sessions on:

Businesses may also schedule one-on-one advising consultations with experienced business practitioners to solve problems and leverage growth opportunities.

Check out the SBDC’s comprehensive list of tools and resources here.

Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!   



Ellen K. Dean
Economic Development Director