Durbin Discusses Coronavirus Relief Efforts With Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today joined a conference call with more 650 members of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce to discuss Congressional economic and small business relief efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic.  Yesterday, the Senate passed the second coronavirus stimulus package, which includes free coronavirus testing, sick leave, enhanced unemployment benefits, and food assistance for those impacted by the pandemic.

“This pandemic is testing all of us and it will have a lasting impact on businesses and entrepreneurs in Illinois. The Chicagoland Chamber and its members are an important backbone of our economy. The Senate must ensure we protect our small businesses, their employees, and entrepreneurs through federal Small Business Administration loans, strengthened unemployment insurance, and paid sick leave throughout this pandemic,” Durbin said.

Durbin joined some of his Senate colleagues to introduce the PAID Leave Act (Providing Americans Insured Days of Leave Act), which is a comprehensive emergency paid sick days and paid family and medical leave bill—fully funded by the federal government during the coronavirus emergency—to provide additional support to workers and businesses during the coronavirus outbreak and future public health emergencies.

For all employees and independent contractors, the PAID Leave Act would:

  • Provide 14 emergency paid sick days in the event of a public health emergency, including the current coronavirus crisis, reimbursed in full by the federal government.
  • Provide workers with 12 weeks emergency paid family and medical leave, fully reimbursed by the federal government.
  • Permanently ensure workers can accrue seven paid sick days.
  • Permanently enact a paid family and medical leave program

This week, Durbin led the Illinois Congressional Delegation in supporting Governor JB Pritzker’s request for a Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Declaration (EID).  An SBA EID would provide low-interest federal loans of up to $2 million to small businesses and non-profit organizations, which may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.  SBA is currently reviewing the Governor’s request.