Tuesday, March 31, 2020

SCORE COVID-19 Pandemic Resources

SCORE is committed to helping businesses through the unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus outbreak. More than ever, challenging times call for trusted business guidance and resources. SCORE offers practical advice and insightful tips based on years of experience. In addition to free mentoring and online workshops, SCORE is collecting resources to answer your critical questions during the COVID-19 pandemic?and afterward.

SCORE Coronavirus Small Business Resource Hub (https://www.score.org/coronavirus)

City of Pekin Press Release

In light of the Governor Pritzker’s Executive Orders 2020-07 and 2020-08 and the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s authorization for temporary delivery of alcoholic liquor, the Local Liquor Commissioner is authorizing the following:

A. All retail licensees in the City of Pekin, including Class A on premise only licenses, to conduct the following:
  1. Packaged liquor sales, “to go” sales, curbside deliveries, home residential deliveries, and any other sale or delivery intended to promote social distancing as authorized by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
  2. Retailers and Temporary Delivery Licensees may use third party delivery services to make Temporary Deliveries.
  3. Including all sales of beer pursuant to 235 ILCS 5/6-6.5 (growlers/crowlers), all Temporary Deliveries shall be made in the original container. Licensees are not authorized to sell or deliver pre-mixed cocktails normally intended for on- premises consumption (e.g. pre-mix margaritas, sangrias).
  4. All Temporary Deliveries made to a residence or to a curbside vehicle shall require the delivery representative to observe the appearance of the delivery recipient at a safe social distance, and if necessary, require the examination of the recipient identification to ensure the recipient is over twenty-one. If such observation of the recipient or recipient identification cannot be accomplished while respecting safe social distancing, the alcoholic liquor shall be returned with a full refund.
Alcoholic liquor deliveries made under the conditions set forth herein are temporary and are not generally authorized by the Local Liquor Commissioner or the City Municipal Code. All Temporary Delivery authorizations are for the purpose of promoting safe social distancing and shall be rescinded upon the termination of COVID-19 emergency restrictions.

B. Liquor licenses expire April 30, 2020. Due to the hardships on liquor licenses holders as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, all licenses are extended until July 31, 2020. Unless otherwise directed, all license holders will be required to renew licenses no later than July 31, 2020. Late fees will not be accessed for license holders as long as the license is renewed on or before July 31, 2020.

C. To help alleviate some of the challenges facing bars and restaurants, all eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year can have their March, April, and May sales taxes deferred and due in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20, 2020. Bars and restaurants will not be charged penalties or interest on these payments when due. However, qualified taxpayers must still file their Food and Beverage Tax Return even if they are unable to make a payment.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Gateway Updates


We are excited to announce the virtualization of our outpatient centers.  Gateway had been moving to offer these services in addition to our current in-person outpatient programs, and have accelerated our timeline to serve our patients and meet state directives.  For this reason, we are moving to virtual outpatient services starting Thursday, until further notice. The federal and state authorities have been providing daily guidance and best practices for the use of telehealth and virtual digital mediums to provide treatment. 

Providing services and remaining open to new clients who need life-saving treatment is critical right now. The global situation we are in is even more dangerous from a mental health perspective for people with substance use disorder and other mental health conditions.  

As an essential health service provider, we are keeping all our locations open and will be using virtual mediums any time we can. 

As a valued partner, we wanted to inform you of the changes we are making to our intake and assessment process. Our 24-hour call-center remains fully operational and will continue to take calls for new admissions to our residential and outpatient programs. While we are making some modifications and instituting additional screening questions and steps to ensure safety, please know that we intend to maintain our current level of support. We have invested in technology that will allow us to conduct virtual assessments with potential new clients and will refer to the local sites for further screening upon arrival. We can also engage with you, using virtual means.  

If you are serving patients or clients that you believe need our treatment, please continue to use your usual channels to make those referrals. We ask that you be patient as we launch this new way of processing screenings and intakes – we are confident that if we work together we can make sure that people receive the treatment they need when they are ready and able to do so.

We want to thank you for being our partner as we help people engage in a life of recovery. We will get through this together. If you have questions, please reach out to one of our outpatient locations below or call our main number 877-505-HOPE (4673).


Gateway Foundations Outpatient Programs

Aurora
855.944.3595

Carbondale
855.944.3805

Chicago Independence
855.944.3846

Chicago River North
855.944.3511

Gurnee
855.944.3537
Jacksonville
855.945.3735

Joliet
855.944.3620

Lake Villa
855.944.3789

Pekin
855.945.3751

Springfield Outpatient
855.914.3896

Swansea
855.945.3736


Monday, March 23, 2020

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard is OPEN for Over the Counter & Curbside Sales

We are glad to let you know you can come out to the vineyard and purchase our wines to enjoy in the comfort of your home!

Over the counter wine sales or curbside service sales are permitted through April 7, 2020 per our Governor's Executive order regarding Covid-19:

OPEN HOURS: Over the counter bottle sales from 12-5 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays through April 7th. There is no inside seating or tasting available.

Outside of the open hours: call 309-359-9463 or 309-645-5054 to call in your order and to schedule pickup. We are glad to offer these two options. 

Our family has also decided to donate 10% of our over the counter and curbside sales to the Midwest Food Bank through April 7, 2020 to help them with the increased need during this difficult time. We encourage you to help the Midwest Food Bank if you are able and also support other organizations in our community assisting those most impacted by the shutdowns.
We look forward to being open again and welcoming you at the vineyard once things have returned to normal. 
Please stay well, be well, do well- best wishes from The Hahn Family

UNITED WAY: Emotional Support Volunteer - Virtual/Remote Opportunity

Description

Volunteers are needed to provide emotional support to families and residents as the community moves through this crisis.  In response to keeping everyone's physical health safe, many of seniors and families are vulnerable to loneliness and helplessness.
The Emotional Phone Support Service is available to link volunteers to anyone requesting emotional support services.  These volunteers will call daily and provide warm responses, self-care resources and a listening ear.  Each call will last about 15 minutes, at the most, but can be conducted daily to assure there is a human connection for everyone.
Volunteers will need to complete the attached COVID 19 Emotional Support Volunteer Form if you are interested in providing that calm voice to our residents. 
Your volunteer contact is:
  • Kim Keenan, LCSW, PhD
  • Tazewell County Health Department
  • 309-929-0240
  • kkeenan@tchd.net

Guidelines for Emotional Support Volunteers:
  • Please be sure to review the roles and responsibilities for volunteers. You will be receiving possible people to contact daily.  When receiving this information, let me know if you are available to provide services.
  • Be sure to inform your contacts in the first call that you are there as a listening ear, a supportive voice and will do what you can to connect to resources, when possible.  You cannot deliver mental health counseling, make house calls, do deliveries or make guarantees that resources can be met.
  • Introduce yourself as a volunteer through United Way and are working with the Tazewell County Health Department to be sure we offer well-being services through these challenging days.  We are all in this together!
  • Determine what time of the day and or time they prefer to be contacted.  Limit times available for call between 8-4, if possible.
  • Be sure to block your number as we do not want for your personal phone to be contacted directly between callee to caller.
  • Each call should be limited to 15 minutes for the benefit of energy for both caller and callee.

Illinois Liquor Control Commission's Authorization for Temporary Delivery

In light of the Governor Pritzker’s Executive Orders 2020-07 and 2020-08 and the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s authorization for temporary delivery of alcoholic liquor, the Local Liquor Commissioner is authorizing the following:
A. All retail licensees in the City of Pekin, including Class A on premise only licenses, to conduct the following:
  1. Packaged liquor sales, “to go” sales, curbside deliveries, home residential deliveries, and any other sale or delivery intended to promote social distancing as authorized by the Illinois Liquor Control Commission.
  2. Retailers and Temporary Delivery Licensees may use third party delivery services to make Temporary Deliveries.
  3. Including all sales of beer pursuant to 235 ILCS 5/6-6.5 (growlers/crowlers), all Temporary Deliveries shall be made in the original container. Licensees are not authorized to sell or deliver pre-mixed cocktails normally intended for on- premises consumption (e.g. pre-mix margaritas, sangrias).
  4. All Temporary Deliveries made to a residence or to a curbside vehicle shall require the delivery representative to observe the appearance of the delivery recipient at a safe social distance, and if necessary, require the examination of the recipient identification to ensure the recipient is over twenty-one. If such observation of the recipient or recipient identification cannot be accomplished while respecting safe social distancing, the alcoholic liquor shall be returned with a full refund.
Alcoholic liquor deliveries made under the conditions set forth herein are temporary and are not generally authorized by the Local Liquor Commissioner or the City Municipal Code. All Temporary Delivery authorizations are for the purpose of promoting safe social distancing and shall be rescinded upon the termination of COVID-19 emergency restrictions.
B. Liquor licenses expire April 30, 2020. Due to the hardships on liquor licenses holders as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, all licenses are extended until July 31, 2020. Unless otherwise directed, all license holders will be required to renew licenses no later than July 31, 2020. Late fees will not be accessed for license holders as long as the license is renewed on or before July 31, 2020.

C. To help alleviate some of the challenges facing bars and restaurants, all eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year can have their March, April, and May sales taxes deferred and due in four installments starting on May 20 and extending through August 20, 2020. Bars and restaurants will not be charged penalties or interest on these payments when due. However, qualified taxpayers must still file their Food and Beverage Tax Return even if they are unable to make a payment.

Respectfully,
Mark A. Luft Mayor
City of Pekin

Better Business Bureau: We Want To Hear From YOU!

We know that this is a hard time for many businesses. We keep hearing bits an pieces of some creative and wonderful things businesses are doing for their employee, customers, and communities. At the Better Business Bureau, we want to support your efforts by sharing the Good things you are doing during this time! We will also share a summary of the efforts back to all of you so you can take advantage of these ideas and help spread the good.

Gateway Foundation's Chief Medical Officer Board Certified Psychiatrist Specializing in Addiction Medicine

It's hard to believe that just a few months ago, many of us had never even heard of COVID19 and its impact on all of us. Today is a very different day, and one that requires us to band together to make sure that we stop this pandemic that is spreading throughout the world. As one of the leading healthcare providers of substance use disorder treatment in the country, we have taken this pandemic very seriously from the beginning. Our priority has been the health and safety of our patients and staff.  To achieve this we have been following the directives and recommendations of the CDC and our public health leaders for all personnel and patients as well as community partners. While this terrible pandemic continues to spread across our nation we must also remember that approximately 130 people die of an overdose every day in the United States. As our health system becomes increasingly stressed with new patients, we cannot forget that our services are needed now more than ever.
We are prepared to continue providing our life-saving addiction medicine treatment and have taken the following steps to do so:
  • Our medical and nursing staff have been screening and monitoring every patient in our care.

  • Any new referrals are screened prior to admission and at the time of arrival at the facility.

  • We have instituted "stay- at-home" policies across our entire workforce for any staff that is ill or has had either direct or indirect contact.
  • We are virtualizing all of our outpatient services starting this week.?
  • All of our alumni have been offered daily virtual meetings and our "GatewayConnect app" to engage in alumni activities and on-going support.

  • Within our residential treatment programs, we are providing treatment in smaller groups and making other modifications to reduce the size of gatherings.

  • All Gateway Foundation facilities have been deep cleaned and stocked with needed supplies.

  • Visits from families and all outside partners have been suspended until further notice.

  • If we find a patient with fever, we have the capability to test for COVID19 with our local lab. As of today we have no positive cases of COVID19 among our clients or staff
Please Remember to Follow the Instructions of Our Public Health Leaders

  • If you are sick in any way, please do not leave your home.

  • If you have a health conditions that can make you vulnerable or are elderly please do not leave your home.

  • If you must go out for essential activities, please wash your hands, do not touch your face and maintain social distancing when you are out of your home.

Remember that this situation is likely to increase stress, anxiety and trauma among those we serve; we need to ensure that this is not a time to ignore the vulnerability of those with the disease of addiction. Please know that we are considered an essential health service and it is our intent to remain operational to meet the needs of our patients and continue supporting those struggling with the disease of addiction. I remind everyone that social distancing doesn't have to mean isolation! Please stay connected to your family and friends, your support network and anyone that you rely on, we are fortunate to have social media outlets to help us do this.

All your healthcare providers at Gateway Foundation remain steadfast in our mission to continue our life-saving addiction medicine treatment.

Thank you and be safe.

Sincerely
Dr. Roueen Rafeyan
Chief Medical Officer

Peoria Journal Star Advertising Opportunity

For local businesses/organizations that are really trying to get a message out to the public in this strange time, the Journal Star is offering to 2 FREE eighth page ads and 20,000 digital impressions on PJStar.com (also for FREE).

They would need to have a 5-10 minute chat with the business owner about the messaging that they should focus on, sizing of the ads, etc.

If any businesses in the chamber would be interested in this, please contact:  

Parker Gibbs
Multi-Media Sales Executive

Mobile: 309.415.0489
Office: 309.686.3184

Friday, March 20, 2020

CBP Temporarily Closes Trusted Traveler Program Enrollment Centers


Peoria International Airport Starts a Strong 2020 - Now Preparing for Covid-19 Changes



CEFCU IL MEMBER CENTER LOBBIES TO CLOSE TEMPORARILY


CONTACT                         Martha Kamp                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                             CEFCU                                                               TO ALL MEDIA:
                                             5401 W. Dirksen Pkwy.                              March 19, 2020            
                                             Peoria IL 61607
                                             (309) 633-3675


ALL CEFCU ILLINOIS MEMBER CENTER LOBBIES CLOSED EFFECTIVE
MARCH 20

Peoria, IL – In order to comply with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation of social distancing, CEFCU is temporarily closing the lobbies of all Illinois Member Centers effective Friday, March 20 until further notice.  Member Center drive-ups will continue to be available for member transactions during normal business hours.  Lobby access to Illinois Member Centers is by appointment only; however, many restrictions apply in order to limit in-person transactions.  Please call 800.633.7077 or visit cefcu.com for more information regarding in-person appointments.  Vestibule ATMs remain available with 24/7 member access.  Staff assisting with drive-up transaction processing has been increased to meet member demand. In addition, during the same timeframe, the Downtown Peoria Member Center will be closed for appointments in order to redeploy staff to other locations.

CEFCU President/CEO, Mark Spenny, said, “During this time of uncertainty, the well-being of CEFCU members and staff continues to be our highest concern. We believe it is crucially important to do our part to slow the spread of Coronavirus while also maintaining essential banking access.” 

With assets currently totaling over $6.3 billion, CEFCU serves nearly 350,000 members through
22 central Illinois Member Centers and 5 California Member Centers; the CEFCU Financial Center; the Money Center 24 ATM Network; CEFCU’s website, cefcu.com; the surcharge-free CO-OP ATM Network; and the CU Service Center Shared Branch Network.   

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

From our friends at Heyl Royster...

Employers need to be aware of the changes to federal employment law effective April 2, 2020 concerning new paid sick leave requirements and expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This Act, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act affects all employers with fewer than 500 employees (FFCRA) and most public employees.

Employer Eligibility

At present, the FFCRA applies to private employers with fewer than 500 employees, and most public employers.

For many smaller employers, the FFCRA could introduce FMLA coverage into your workplace for the first time. Prior to this law, FMLA only applied to employers with more than 50 employees. FFCRA does not limit its coverage to employers with more than 50 employees so all employees may be subject to FMLA through the new FFCRA. The FFCRA allows the U.S. Department of Labor to issue regulations to exclude emergency responders and/or businesses with less than 50 employees where the requirements "would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern." However, at this time, The U.S. Department of Labor has not issued any exclusions. We will continue to update any changes to employer eligibility under the FFCRA.

Cost Mitigation: Tax Credits

To help offset the cost of this required paid leave, the Act provides for credits against quarterly payroll taxes imposed on the employer in an amount equal to 100 percent of the qualified family leave wages and paid sick leave wages paid by an employer, subject to the requirements of forthcoming Treasury Department regulations.

Two Main Provisions Under the FFCRA: Child Care/FMLA and Emergency Leave

Employers are required to give employees two types of paid leave when employees must miss work because of the COVID-19 outbreak: (1) FMLA related to an employee’s care of a child, and (2) emergency sick leave for employees who cannot work because the employee meets one of the six separate categories described below.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion

Employee Eligibility: The Act will apply to any employee who has worked for the employer for at least 30 days prior to the designated leave.

Reasons for Emergency Leave: Any individual employed by the employer for at least 30 days may take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to allow an employee, who is unable to work or telework, to care for the employee’s child (under 18 years of age) if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency.

Paid Leave: The first ten days of such leave are unpaid under the Act, though an employee may elect to use existing accrued paid leave (like vacation or sick leave) to cover some or all of the 10-day unpaid period.

After the 10-day period, the employer generally must pay full-time employees at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate for the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled. The FFCRA does not require employers to exceed a rate of pay equal to $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate per employee. Nothing in the FFCRA prohibits employers from going beyond these limits in compensating their employees, but the employer may not be eligible for tax deductions under the FFCRA beyond the limits.

Calculating Pay for Non-Full Time Employees: Employees who work a part-time or irregular schedule are entitled to be paid based on the average number of hours the employee worked for the six months prior to taking Emergency FMLA. Employees who have worked for less than six months prior to leave are entitled to the employee’s reasonable expectation at hiring of the average number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work.

Job Restoration: Employers with 25 or more employees will have the obligation to return any employee who has taken Emergency FMLA to the same or equivalent position upon the return to work. However, employers with fewer than 25 employees are generally excluded from this requirement if the employee’s position no longer exists following the Emergency FMLA leave, due to an economic downturn or other circumstances caused by a public health emergency during the period of Emergency FMLA.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

An employer must allow an eligible employee to take paid sick leave when the employee is:
  1. subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  3. experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking medical diagnosis;
  4. caring for an individual subject to a Federal, State or local quarantine or isolation order or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns;
  5. caring for the employee’s child if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions; or
  6. experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

Employee Eligibility: This provision requires employers to provide full-time employees (regardless of the employee’s duration of employment prior to leave) with 80 hours of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate when the employee is subject to any of the qualifying reasons contained in 1, 2 or 3 above (i.e., the employee is the individual subject to quarantine or isolation). The employer is required to provide 80 hours of sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate to care for others as set forth in qualifying reasons 4, 5, or 6 listed above.

Cap on Paid Sick Leave Wages: Another significant change in this Act is that employers are only required to pay an employee $511 per day, up to $5,110 total per employee when the employee is the affected individual, and $200 per day up, to $2,000 total to care for others and if they are experiencing any other substantially similar condition. Nothing prohibits an employer from paying an employee at a higher rate for paid sick leave, but the FFCRA does not require employers to pay higher rates and there could be a limit on the tax deduction available under the FFCRA.

Notice RequirementsWe expect that the Department of Labor will shortly issue notices for the new Act which will have to be posted in your workplace and distributed to employees. We will provide updates on these developments, as well.

Important Compliance Guidelines
This is a federal law and it will also be important for employers to monitor whether state or local governments issue new workplace laws/regulations.

Likewise, in this rapidly-changing environment, employers ought to pay close attention to, and follow, any new directives or mandatory instructions from Federal, State or local authorities related to COVID-19.

For further assistance with your implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, contact any of the following Heyl Royster attorneys: