Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
News: IRA News

Imminent PPP Vote, Expanded Outdoor Dining in Chicago, Spanish Language Reopening Guidelines

Monday, June 1, 2020  
Share |

The Illinois Restaurant Association continues to engage with local, state, and federal officials to help our employers and employees address concerns about COVID-19.

Please see the below resources and information for your business - updated as of 6:30 p.m. on Monday June 1.



Senate Vote on PPP Fixes Imminent, Send Messages to the Senate Now


On Thursday morning, the IRA spoke with Senator Dick Durbin about the need to pass legislation to make necessary changes to the PPP program for restaurants. We will be meeting with Senator Tammy Duckworth in the coming days to discuss this issue as well.

Last week, our voices were heard and the House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill fixing the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The Senate is poised to act on this bill, possibly as soon as tomorrow. But, if a single Senator objects, the Senate will have to spend days debating it before a roll call vote is allowed. That delay is too much for many of our nation’s restaurants struggling to make their PPP loans work for them.  

This bill makes critical fixes to the PPP program including:

  • greater flexibility in how a restaurant can use a PPP loan

  • longer time for a restaurant to use a PPP loan

  • improvements to the rehiring deadline to allow a PPP loan to be forgiven

We hope that with prompt fixes to PPP, our industry can emerge from these growing challenges and provide support for the country…one neighborhood at a time.

Our nation is in turmoil, and cities across the country are suffering. Our ask for your action today is not made lightly – we appreciate that many restaurants are the cornerstones of communities in conflict. We appreciate your actions, and the Illinois Restaurant Association stands with the calls for equality and justice. 

Click here to contact your Senators so that your voice can be heard.


State of Illinois Reopening Guidance in Spanish



The state of Illinois has published guidelines in Spanish for the reopening of outdoor dining across the state during Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.

The document specifies: the eating and drinking establishments who may operate in this capacity, party size limitations, operational procedures for seating, menus and service standards, and – at the cornerstone – recommended enhanced health and safety measures to protect public well-being. Operators must also look to their local municipalities and health departments for further guidance.

Click here to read the guidance in Spanish.


City of Chicago 2020 Expanded Outdoor Dining Application, FAQ 


This evening, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events released a new Expanded Outdoor Dining permit application has been created specifically for temporary Phase 3 (Cautiously Reopen) outdoor dining. Click here to learn more.

Existing, fully-licensed restaurants and food establishments may apply to temporarily use streets and private property to extend dining space, where proper social distancing and adherence to public health guidelines are observed.

Applications will be accepted from Chambers of Commerce, SSAs, Business Associations, or a minimum of three (3) establishments (on a contiguous city block) applying together for full-service restaurants, limited-service restaurants and nonalcoholic beverage bars to serve food, beverages and liquor for consumption. Applicant(s) may request full street closure (maintaining a 12-foot fire lane) or use of private property, as long as:

  • Establishments only allow outdoor dining and drinking;

  • Seating is for parties of 6 persons or fewer;

  • Food and drinks are prepared inside the licensed establishments;

  • The proper social distancing of six (6) feet between customers is observed; and

  • Health guidelines set by public health officials are followed.

Click here to start an application. There is no processing fee to submit the application. Click here to review the FAQ.


City of Chicago 9:00 p.m. Curfew for Restaurants Remains in Effect


The city of Chicago has provided the below updates to the IRA. Please review and take action accordingly for your business.

  • Yesterday, the city of Chicago announced that all restaurants in the city are required to close during the curfew hours of 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. until further notice. Take out, drive thru and carry out are not permitted during these times.

  • All patio furniture and anything on sidewalks must be brought inside restaurants.

  • If restaurants are utilizing private security, they can remain on the premises between 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. The city recommended that businesses should not leave one lone guard at any locations.

  • Streets and Sanitation is currently working to remove graffiti from businesses. Businesses can contact the city if they need assistance with graffiti removal.

  • It is up to individual businesses whether or not they want to board up their property if it has not been vandalized. Below is a list of companies that can provide this service:

  • Cook County Board Up 708-389-3889

  • Chicago Board Up Service. 773-338-2500

  • Rapid Board Up. 773-997-8770

  • A Quality Board Up Services. 773-202-8700

  • Triple A All County Board Up. 773-233-4900

  • Busy Bee Board Up. 773-501-7705

  • Tri-County Board Up. 708-800-6672

The IRA continues to have ongoing conversations with the local and state officials.

We do not yet know the impact of recent events on the status of restaurant reopenings in Chicago this week. We will keep you updated as information is made available.


Supply Chain Food Industry Coalition Letter to Congress


A food industry coalition comprised of Sysco, US Foods, PepsiCo, and Coca-Cola, and an array of other trade groups and companies is calling on Congress for aid again as efforts to pass another coronavirus relief bill drag on.

“We write to encourage Congress to work with the National Restaurant Association toward providing additional, targeted relief to help an essential American industry as it struggles to deal with the ongoing COVID crisis,” they wrote in a letter on Friday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, McConnell and Schumer.

The National Restaurant Association previously asked for a dedicated relief fund for the industry worth $240 billion.

Click here to read the letter. Click here to read the press release.


Thursday Webinar - Safety Considerations for Restaurants



Join the IRA and the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer & Environmental Sciences, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN)Thursday, June 4 at 10:00 a.m. (Central) for the second part of our Scaling UP webinar series focusing on safety considerations. This webinar will provide guidance on disinfecting and approaches for providing an exceptional customer experience under new operational practices.

Click here to register.


Tuesday BACP Webinar on Reopening Restaurants


Tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., BACP will host a webinar focused on reopening food service businesses in Chicago. This webinar will provide an overview of the industry guidance for Food Service establishments, such as restaurants and coffee shops as they prepare to reopen for outdoor dining in Phase Three. Click here to register.

Over the last two weeks, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) Office of Labor Standards (OLS) has hosted a number of webinars on Chicago’s landmark labor laws. To see recordings of those webinars, please visit the Office of Labor Standards Webinar Series page. This week, the Office will be hosting two webinars as part of this multi-week, ongoing educational series. Visit the Office of Labor Standards website for more information and to register.


City of Chicago Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Surcharges


The City of Chicago's Department of Finance has issued guidance to ensure restaurants and customers understand the proper treatment of the COVID related "surcharge" that some restaurants have started to collect during these unprecedented times.

The rate of the City’s restaurant tax is .50% of the "selling price" of all food and beverages sold. The term "selling price" means "the consideration for a sale" and "shall be determined without any deduction on account of the cost of the property sold, the cost of materials used, labor or service cost or any other expense whatsoever..."

Accordingly, any "surcharge" restaurant customers are required to pay for food or beverages is considered taxable and should be included in the basis upon which the restaurant tax is calculated.

In addition, it is important to note that any such "surcharge" is not a tax and should not be designated as such on any price list or invoice.

Please contact with any questions about this matter or other tax questions.

Click here to read the notice.

Platinum Sponsors


Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


      Quick Links

Hear From Us

Sign up for email updates from the
Illinois Restaurant Association.

Contact Us

33 W. Monroe, Ste 250
Chicago, IL 60603
Toll Free: 800-572-1086
Ph: 312-787-4000
Fax: 312-787-4792


Follow Us

  • Copyright © 2019 Illinois Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.
Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal