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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

City Should Launch Emergency Fund To Support Workers, Businesses During Coronavirus Outbreak, Aldermen Say

"During this crisis, people need to know that they can count on having a roof over their head, food on the table and dependable utilities,” Ald. Matt Martin said.

Ald. Matt Martin, left, and Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez are proposing a resolution to help workers and businesses impacted by the COVID19 pandemic.
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PILSEN — As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, a group of aldermen are calling on Mayor Lori Lightfoot to launch an emergency fund to help impacted workers and businesses across the city. 

On Wednesday morning, Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) and Ald. Matt Martin (47th) announced plans to submit a resolution that would create an emergency fund to provide economic assistance to employees and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Under the plan, businesses would be eligible for a zero-interest loan and payments to cover payroll costs during the state-mandated closing of bars and restaurants.

The proposed resolution also:

  • calls on the Cook County Board of Commissioners to delay property taxes for at least 120 days after businesses are allowed to reopen. 
  • aims to temporarily block foreclosures and evictions.
  • aims to stop the turn offs of utility services because of late payments.
  • aims to add meal delivery services to the elderly most at risk of coronavirus.
  • calls on the Chicago Board of Education to continue paying all CPS teachers and staff while schools are closed.

The plan is supported by Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st), Ald. Sue Sadlowski Garza (10th), Ald. Jeanette Taylor (20th), Ald. Michael Rodriguez (22nd), Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd), Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th), Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) and Ald. Maria Hadden (49th). 

“During this crisis, people need to know that they can count on having a roof over their head, food on the table and dependable utilities,” Martin said in a statement. “City leaders must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one another, as well as with our county, state, and federal colleagues, to protect our most vulnerable residents.”

“We need bold, collaborative solutions that protect our residents and small businesses during this uncertain time with unprecedented ramifications on our local economy,” Sigcho-Lopez said in a press statement. 

On the state level,  the aldermen are calling Gov. J.B. Pritzker to cut the payroll tax, cease collection of all license fees and taxes businesses pay to remain operational. 

On the federal level, the aldermen are calling President Donald Trump to end all immigration arrests and deportation of undocumented immigrants

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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