Illinois Municipal Electric Agency

Information about COVID-19


Illinois Resources


COVID-19 TIMELINE

Governor Pritzker Executive Orders

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has released guidance on “essential businesses and operations” per the Governor’s Executive Order. The link to that information can be located by clicking here.

The Illinois State Treasurer has announced a newly created Small Business Loan Program that could be available to some of your local business and industry. The Business Invest - Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program (“Program”) is an impact investment loan program under which the State Treasurer has made up to $250 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero rates, to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of this funding is to provide vital economic support to small businesses and non-profits throughout Illinois to help overcome the loss of revenue they are experiencing. Information on the program can be found here.

IL Small Business Emergency Loan Fund: The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Department of Financial Professional Regulation (IDFPR) have established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest rates of up to $50,000. Businesses located outside the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Successful applicants will pay nothing for six months and then will begin making fixed payments at below market interest rate for the remainder of a five-year loan term. Loan funds must be used for working capital, and at least 50% of loan proceeds must be applied toward payroll or other eligible compensation. Application and FAQ’s here https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/SmallBizAssistance/Pages/IllinoisSmallBusinessEmergencyLoanFund.aspx

To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is re-purposing Community Development Block Grant funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. Applications must be submitted by a unit of local government and be able to support economic development activities on a sufficient scale. DCEO is allotting $20 million in funds to offer to small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis. Communities can learn more about the program, eligibility requirements, and Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) at this link https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CommunityServices/CommunityInfrastructure/Pages/DownstateSmBizStabilizaition.aspx


Federal


FEMA has published the attached COVID-19 Pandemic: Personal Protective Equipment Preservation Best Practices. This document summarizes government guidance and best practices currently being implemented across the United States for COVID-19 response has been released. While tailored to the Healthcare Sector, many of these strategies can be applied to other sectors with similar PPE requirements.

CDC website contains recently issued Interim Guidance for Conserving and Extending Filtering Facepiece Respirator Supply in Non-Healthcare Sectors. That document offers strategies to conserve, extend, and respond to shortages in the supply of NIOSH-approved filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) used in non-healthcare worksites such as manufacturing and construction. Employers should implement alternative controls to reduce, as much as possible, their reliance on PPE, particularly filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs).

The CDC has issued Interim Guidance on “Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19.” This should be helpful in making decisions for workers remaining at work after a potential exposure to COVID-19. See the Interim Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html

Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, & Emergency Response released a list of frequently-asked questions in regard to the current COVID-19 situation, in order to ensure unity of message across industry and government. These questions were gathered through requests for information submitted by industry, state and local officials, and through ESF-12 responders in the field. This link is the most recent update released April 1, 2020. https://www.energy.gov/ceser/articles/covid-19-energy-sector-response-efforts-and-frequently-asked-questions

DOE’s coronavirus hub https://www.energy.gov/coronavirus-hub

Electric Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) resource guide for the electric power industry is updated and available here. This document contains information on access considerations, generation operational continuity, supply chain considerations, and control center continuity. The ESCC, on which APPA also serves, is the principal liaison between the federal government and the electric power industry on certain high-level resilience and response issues such as pandemics. They have several tools available at ElectricitySubsector.org for utilities to utilize.

FERC, NERC Provide Industry Guidance to Ensure Grid Reliability Amid Potential Coronavirus Impacts https://www.ferc.gov/media/news-releases/2020/2020-1/03-18-20.asp#.XoZV7ohKjD5

Link to APPA webinar recordings https://www.publicpower.org/covid-19-webinar-recordings

Utility workforce safety guidance and resources https://www.publicpower.org/system/files/documents/APPA_COVID19_safety_review.pdf

The Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division has updated the temporary rule issued April 2 providing guidance on emergency paid sick leave and paid family leave required under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In addition to a technical correction issued on April 10, a webinar and webinar slides are now also available.

COVID-19 and the Family and Medical Leave Act: Questions and Answers

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers

Risk Management for Cyber (CISA) during coronavirus https://www.cisa.gov/insights

DHS CISA: Memorandum and Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

CDC Guidance for Energy Sector Personnel and Social Distancing Pandemic Influenza Resources and Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

Federal Disaster Assistance for Local Governments (March 31, 2020): The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is urging local officials to take appropriate actions necessary to protect public health and safety pursuant to public health guidance, conditions and capabilities. FEMA is authorized to reimburse local governments for costs associated with “emergency protective measures” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA recommends that local governments follow the guidelines for “Procurement Under Grants Conducted Under Exigent” or “Emergency Circumstances.” See a summary of eligibility expenses from FEMA.

Tips for accessing funding and managing through this time


The Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC)’s Responsible Reentry and Return to Workplace Team has released a new document, Contact Tracing Planning Considerations. This guidance was based on existing the existing policies and procedures at utilities including Association member public power utilities.

Financial recovery may be available through FEMA, HUD and other granting agencies. It is crucial to properly start tracking costs now at a level of detail to be used for recovery later. Ernst & Young LLP has issued a handy document specific to public utilities to provide information on what to track and when. Click here for the information.

The United States Treasury announced on April 9th that they have created a new loan program. The Main Street Business Lending Program and the Municipal Liquidity Facility use funds from the CARES Act to provide new financing options for businesses. CBIZ has developed a helpful link to understand these programs - Down Main Street: Overview of the New Main Street Lending Program.
In this resource, you will learn about: the terms of the Main Street Business Lending Program; the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF); and expansion of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF)

The Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program provides loans to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll. Loans will be forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for paying wages and other qualifying purposes, which includes utility payments. Details on accessing the Paycheck Protection Program are found here - https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Information on Paycheck Protection Program provided by Constellation from their April 8th Markets Webinar.

As your municipality reviews options for federal COVID-19 emergency funding, we wanted to share a pertinent article from our auditors, Baker & Tilley on helpful guidance to ensure you are able to receive appropriate funding - https://www.bakertilly.com/insights/covid-19-emergency-funding-programs-available

The Federal Reserve (Fed) announced steps to ensure that households, businesses, and governments have access to lending. For state and local governments, the Fed would facilitate the flow of credit to municipalities: 1) By expanding the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF) to include a wider range of securities, including municipal variable rate demand notes (VRDNs) and bank certificates of deposit; and 2) By expanding the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) to include high-quality, tax-exempt commercial paper as eligible securities. In addition, the pricing of the facility has been reduced.

Things are changing quickly regarding COVID-19. One thing that won’t change is the need to manage your business’ liquidity, and doing so is especially critical during these volatile times. To help you understand exactly what liquidity management is and how it can help you weather this storm, CBIZ has developed an overview, “Liquidity Management to Control COVID-19’s Impact.”

Defending against cyber scams: https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2020/03/06/defending-against-covid-19-cyber-scams