COVID-19

IL COVID-19 Update #22

By March 26, 2020 March 27th, 2020 No Comments

Governor JB Pritzker delivered his daily briefing accompanied by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin who delivered a report on the federal

GOVERNOR’S BRIEFING

A significant portion of the Governor’s briefing was Senator Durbin sharing the results of the third federal COVID relief bill. As it relates to retail, the most important take-away’s are:

  • all employers can delay payment of social security (6.2%) withholding on employee wages. Half of the 2020 liability would be due at the end of 2021 and the other have the end of 2022.
  • net-operating-loss carry-back will be for 5 taxable years.
  • the Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) technical correction was accomplished. Originally made in error two years ago, the fix allows businesses, particularly in the hospitality industry, to write-off costs immediately instead of over 39-years.

These are not the only provisions, by far, as the package is approximately $2 trillion in size. Additional updates will be forthcoming.

COOK COUNTY

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced the waiving of a number of fees as well as tax deferments. IRMA members can view the changes on this chart. IRMA would like to thank

FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE

Pursuant to the new Federal changes on paid family/medical leave, employers are required to display a new poster. You can access the poster here.

ILLINOIS UNEMPLOYMENT 

If you needed an example of how quickly COVID-19 changed the economic landscape, consider this. Today, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced that in February the unemployment rate fell -0.1 percentage point to 3.4 percent, a new record low. However, in March, the state is responding to a surge of unemployment claims due to the impacts of COVID-19. To this point, March unemployment claims total 133,763 compared to 27,493 over the same period in 2019.

As it relates to the Federal relief package, it included $360 million for the U.S. Department of Labor to invest in programs that provide training and supportive services for dislocated workers, seniors, migrant farm workers and homeless veterans. It also includes funding for implementing new paid leave and unemployment insurance benefits.

It expands unemployment insurance from three to four months, and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600 per week per individual, which is in addition to and the same time as regular state and federal UI benefits.

  • Part-time, self-employed and gig economy workers now have access to UI benefits.
  • Allows employers to receive an advance tax credit from the Treasury instead of having to be reimbursed on the back end.
  • $260 billion investment into the unemployment insurance program.
  • Creates regulatory authority to implement the tax credit advances.

E-WIC

Please note that the IL Department of Human Services is suspending outreach on the e-WIC program for the next two weeks.  Illinois is in the process of changing from paper vouchers to an electronic system for the WIC program.  Considering that current resources are being shifted both at the Department and internally with grocers to handle the current pandemic, the Department has agreed to suspend contact for the time being.

Illinois stores that are in the current e-WIC phase-in will not be contacted by Solutran (the state’s vendor) or any of its subcontractors to assess readiness for implementation of the e-WIC program with your current POS systems.  If you have any questions about the e-WIC transition, please let us know.

UTILITY/ENERGY SERVICES

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has formally adopted Governor Pritzker’s recommendation to suspend all utility disconnections and late payment fees until May 1st or the Governor removes his emergency declaration. Likewise, IRMA is working with electric and gas suppliers on behalf of members who have experienced a significant change in energy consumption. IRMA has prepared an informative piece covering these subjects and more that you can view here.

JOBS

Anyone looking for at least temporary employment can find employment possibilities at IRMA’s website. Additionally, retailers not listed who are hiring can email IRMA and we will add the link you provide to our resource page. Job seekers and retailers looking to hire should click here.

ILLINOIS UPDATE

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, MD, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 673 new cases  in Illinois, including seven deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 2,538 cases, including 26 deaths, in 37 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to 99 years. This information can be found here.