In an effort to further assist residents and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced an update to an expansive series of economic relief efforts announced last month.
Waiving a number of fines and fees and deferring the County’s collection of various tax types by an additional month to correspond with the recent extension of the Illinois stay-at-home order through the end of May has the potential to put nearly $45 million back in the hands of area businesses.
“Extending the period of time to pay these fines, fees and taxes is the right decision while businesses and residents continue to struggle with the economic fallout of the coronavirus,” Preckwinkle said. “During these tough times, pushing the deadlines on this economic package will provide additional relief to our businesses as hopefully a little breathing room to cover expenses.”
“We expect the economic impact of COVID-19 to be substantial and believe extending many deadlines to June 1 can help businesses weather this storm,” said Cook County Chief Financial Officer Ammar Rizki. “We hope extending deadlines can help our businesses with a path to recovery by providing much-needed cash flow during this pandemic.“
Under the relief package, due dates for Home Rule Taxes like the Alcoholic Beverage Tax, Amusement Tax, Tobacco Tax and Gasoline and Hotel Accommodations Tax will be pushed back as will numerous fines and fees under the jurisdictions of the Departments of Transportation and Highways, Environment and Sustainability, Revenue, Building and Zoning and Public Health. The relief measures have the potential to free up $45 million for Cook County businesses. A full list of the business-friendly efforts is available in English, Spanish and Polish.
Recently, President Preckwinkle also established the Community Recovery Initiative to provide relief for businesses and 1099 workers in suburban Cook County. The initiative includes a Technical Assistance Network to assist businesses and independent contractors in accessing the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as a community loan fund launching soon. The fund provides one-time, zero-interest loans to suburban Cook County small businesses with up to 25 employees and to suburban Cook County residents who make more than half their income in 1099 contract employment. The loans will be up to $20,000 for small businesses and $10,000 for individuals.
Visit our website for information on Cook County’s response to COVID-19.