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Update March 20 - Shelter in Place, Legal Network Available

Friday, March 20, 2020  
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The Illinois Restaurant Association continues to engage with local, state, and federal officials to help our employers and employees address concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please see the below resources and information for your business - updated as of 5:15 p.m. on Friday, March 20.



Shelter in Place - Restaurant Carry Out, Delivery Still Permitted


This afternoon, Governor Pritzker issued a shelter in place order for all Illinois residents starting this weekend through April 7.

When the IRA was informed that a shelter-in-place mandate statewide was essential to public health, we worked hard to ensure that restaurants could continue to operate delivery, curbside pickup, drive-thru and carry-out services. Any opportunity for revenue generation during this period is critical.

Click here to read the Executive Order.

Click here to read the FAQ.



IRA Pro Bono Legal Network Now Open to Restaurant Operators


The Illinois Restaurant Association team continues to work around the clock to provide all forms of necessary relief and guidance to Illinois restaurants and their team members during this crisis. 

We are pleased to report that several IRA member lawyers have agreed to donate their time to speak with restaurant owners and operators about COVID-19 legal issues and developments, and to assist in pointing members in the right direction during these unfolding times.  

Depending on the nature of your needs, the lawyers may have to conduct a conflict search and enter into a formal engagement with you, but they have committed to at least provide general guidance and issue spotting pro bono. Please be patient in your correspondence during this unprecedented time.

The IRA makes no representations or guarantees about the legal advice provided to the members. Because the IRA is merely facilitating contact with these lawyers, you will have an attorney client relationship solely with the lawyer. The IRA is receiving no referral or other fee in connection with offering this information.

Click here to visit the IRA Legal Network webpage and list of participating attorneys.



Go Online and Apply Today for SBA Loans Now Available


As of this morning, the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan website now lists all 102 countries in Illinois as areas eligible for loans for small businesses facing financial hardship.

Eligible businesses can apply for up to $2 million in low-interest loans at:

Click here to read more.



James Beard Foundation Launches Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund


The James Beard Foundation recognizes the dire situation the food and beverage community is in due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To help bring swift economic relief to these essential businesses, the Foundation is launching a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund that will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need.

Click here to donate.

Click here to inquire about criteria in the application process for the JBF Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The James Beard Foundation is working on application materials at this time and will send out information when it is ready.



100,000 Messages and Counting! Tell Congress to Pass Restaurant Relief Now!


Congress is looking to pass a broad economic rescue package that the Trump administration estimates will be around $1.3 trillion. We need your help to ensure restaurant relief is properly addressed in this package.   

Economic forecasts indicate restaurants and the foodservice industry could sustain $225 billion in losses and eliminate 5-7 million jobs over the next three months. By taking action, you will tell your personalized story about how this has negatively impacted you, your employees, and your industry and call on President Trump and Congress for their support of the National Restaurant Association restaurant recovery plan. This plan provides direct and targeted relief designed to benefit restaurant and foodservice businesses of every size in every corner of the country.  

It will provide:

  • direct relief from a new restaurant recovery fund

  • community grants for disaster relief assistance

  • guaranteed loans and business interruption insurance

  • lost revenue coverage from the government

  • expand access to efficient and affordable loans

  • special disaster unemployment assistance for workers

  • tax breaks to help your cash flow

  • a fix to the QIP tax glitch

  • and more.


Please take a few moments to participate in this vital grassroots mobilization effort. We need Congress to act—and act fast.

Click here to take action. Anyone can take action on their phone by texting “Recovery” to 52886.

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