Quick hits: Illinois news in brief for Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020

More than a third of small businesses are closed

More than one-third of small businesses in Illinois aren’t open, compared to January of this year.

That’s according to data from TrackTheRecovery.org, an effort from Harvard and Brown universities and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The report shows in Illinois, as of Nov. 16, the number of small businesses that are open decreased by 35.4% compared to January 2020.

Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission to meet

The Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission will hold its first public hearing today to focus on state grants for businesses impacted by COVID-19 mitigation orders. The commission of state lawmakers was created this summer, but had several false starts and canceled meetings.

Republicans criticized the lack of collaboration with Pritzker administration officials.

The group will be disbanded at the end of the month, by law.

Welch isolates after getting COVID-19

The chairman of the Illinois Special House Investigating Committee looking into the conduct of House Speaker Michael Madigan is in isolation after testing COVID-19 positive.

State Rep. Chris Welch Sunday announced he tested positive for the virus and has an elevated temperature.

It’s unclear what that means for the Dec. 14 scheduled hearing where Republicans are looking to subpoena Madigan and others in the ComEd bribery scheme.

Vaccine lands in Chicago before heading to Kenosha

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said despite reports of a COVID-19 vaccine transport landing in Chicago on Monday, it will still be a bit longer before the vaccine will be distributed to those first in line.

Pritzker said he was told Pfizer has a warehouse south of Kenosha with ultra-cold storage, but the vaccine has yet to be given emergency use authorization.

Additional testing comes to central Illinois

Central Illinois residents will have a variety of chances to get a COVID-19 test collected by state government teams.

The Illinois Department of Public health announced representatives will be at the Edgar County Health Department and the Astoria City Square on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a mobile team will be available at Eastern Illinois University and Western Illinois University.

On Thursday, a collection lab will be at WIU and the Lawrence County Health Department. Anyone can be tested.

Giving Tuesday gives nonprofits a chance to raise money in year of canceled fundraisers

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday are followed up with Giving Tuesday. Nonprofit organizations are out soliciting donations from those who can donate during the holidays.

Throughout the pandemic, many such groups had to cancel fundraising events. Experts recommend using a nonprofit grading website such as Charity Navigator.

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