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  • Sector Updates: Restaurant & Retail

    A personal message from our Board - Anne Pezzalla, Lively Athletics

    "I think small retail (and restaurants/cafes) were hit hard and hit fast by this whole disaster. We had to manage staff on Friday and closed our doors on Monday.  Fingers crossed for a short quarantine.

    I'm worrying about my bills, my staff, and my family.

    Hope everyone is making it through ok."

    Lively remains available to on-line orders of products or gift cards and loves to deliver orders to their curbside. To contact Anne about getting some yoga pants stat or just to commiserate, please reach out to her at anne@livelyathletics.com.


    The OPEDC has launched a centralized website that lists restaurants & retailers who are open for business  This is an open-source list of restaurants and retailers in Oak Park that are open and how to order from them - CLICK HERE to go directly to the list and to submit your business information.




    Hospitality Emergency Grants Program - Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) have announced a grant to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. CLICK HERE to apply NOW. Deadline is April 1, 2020 at 5pm.

    To help hospitality businesses make ends meet in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCEO is launching the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program with $14 million drawn from funds originally budgeted for job training, tourism promotion, and other purposes. Grant funds are available to support working capital like payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, like increased pick-up and delivery. Bars and restaurants that generated between $500K and $1M in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $25,000, and bars and restaurants that generated less than $500K in revenue in 2019 are eligible for up to $10,000. 
    Who is eligible?
    Bars and restaurants with a valid license to serve food or liquor and who generated revenues of less than $1 million in 2019.
    How do businesses apply?
    Businesses can submit an application online. See link below. Applications for awards will be accepted until 5:00pm on April 1st, and winners will be chosen via a lottery, therefore, there is no benefit to submitting an application first as long as a valid, complete application is received by the deadline.

    Covid-19 Restaurant Support - Great tips and resources! CLICK HERE

    Sales tax relief for bars and restaurants Gov. Pritzker has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for eating and drinking establishments that incurred less than $75,000 in sales tax liabilities last year. CLICK HERE for more information.

    The Illinois Restaurant Association has lots of information and resources on their web site - https://www.illinoisrestaurants.org/

    State Guidance and National Relief for Restaurants - CLICK HERE (March 18 update) 

    Alcohol Sale Guidance for Take-out - CLICK HERE (March 17 update)



    Close Dine-in Customers - Governor J. B. Pritzker has ordered that all restaurants across the state close to dine-in customers starting at the end of business day on Monday, March 16 through March 30. CLICK HERE for the CBS announcement. CLICK HERE to read the official order from the Village of Oak Park.



    Moses Valdez and his team at Selleria Vanetta have decided to start Online Facebook LIVE Viewing Parties. They are calling it the #shopandship series. Visit them at https://www.facebook.com/events/801014237057532/