Chambers Ensure Business Community Considered In Reopening


Governor JB Pritzker recently released industry-specific guidelines to assist with the safe re-opening of businesses as the state progresses into the next phase of the Restore Illinois plan. Statewide, chambers of commerce collaborated on task forces and solicited information from their hundreds of thousands of business members to provide input on these guidelines.

In fact, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) consulted with over 200 businesses, industry leaders, chambers of commerce, industry associations and trade representatives to consider unique aspects and operations. With thousands of people returning to work in the following industries: retail, offices, manufacturing, barbershops and salons, summer programs, various outdoor recreation activities and bars and restaurants for outdoor dining, it was imperative that all voices in Illinois were heard.

“We appreciate that the results of our task forces were able to influence these vital state-level decisions. Those task forces, comprising chief executives from chambers across Illinois, were created to address needed state-wide solutions,” said Lisa Weitzel, President of the Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (IACCE). “Chambers are the local experts on their business community and are in a frontline effort to understand how best to safely and responsibly re-open their community’s businesses.”

“It is imperative that we find a way to get our businesses back to work AND keep our communities safe,” said Highland Chamber of Commerce Executive Nancie Zobrist, “which is why we tirelessly advocate for all businesses in our area. I’m proud to have collaborated with other leaders in our State and will continue to do so.”

For more than one 100 years, chambers of commerce have been advocates for the business community. Chambers tackle issues and trends taking place in their communities, offering resources and services to help businesses succeed. During these unprecedented times when the economy was hit hard as a result of an international health crisis, chambers came together to present solutions and offer guidance on the simultaneous economic crisis.

In addition to industry-specific guidelines, DCEO and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) developed a common set of standards all businesses must follow. Those standards include the required use of face coverings, social distancing, and informational signage on site, among other preventative measures. Many chambers are now working on effective ways for businesses to share with consumers their safety measures. Contact your local chamber for more information.

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