UPDATED 6/22/2020


Governor JB Pritzker today released plans to safely continue reopening businesses and industries as Illinois moves into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Working with public health officials and business representatives, guidelines were developed to keep workers and customers safe as the economy recovers. All four regions of the state are currently on track to move into Phase 4 on June 26 as the state continues to make significant progress in reducing new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, with the average 7-day statewide case positivity rate falling to just 2.5 percent as of June 20. 


To prepare businesses and employers to implement new and updated safety guidelines in Phase 4, the state of Illinois has developed this business toolkit complete with signage, posters, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations.


Phase 4 guidelines include five new industry categories and updated recommendations for the existing categories from Phase 3. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines.


Phase 4 allows for the safe reopening or expansion of several key business segments – such as health and fitness, movies and theater, museums and zoos, as well as indoor dining at restaurants.Phase 4 also allows for expanded gathering sizes, increasing the limit from 10 in Phase 3, to 50 people or fewer (or 50% of room capacity, whichever is smaller). This expanded gathering limit extends to key activities like meetings, events, and funerals.



There is limited guidance on how to modify the built environment to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19, and to avoid recurring cycles of outbreak. AIA convened a virtual charrette with architects and experts in public health, engineering, and facilities management to develop guidance for building management professionals, design professionals, and federal, state, county, and local governments. Input from the charrette led to a new Risk Management Plan for Buildings worksheet, enhanced the Re-occupancy Assessment Tool, and expanded the ArchMap. In addition, the CDC just released sweeping new guidelines on the safest way to reopen office buildings. Need talking points to frame your conversations with clients? AIA's new Five Steps to Thrive will help you best position your value. Thanks to everyone who submitted a video or message to celebrate architecture's class of 2020! Watch them on Twitter or submit your own by tagging @AIANational and include the hashtag #ArchGrad20.

More than eight in 10 firms have applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan according to the April Architecture Billings Index, which was released on May 21. In case you missed it, the full report is here, along with a recording of the companion webinar (registration required) by AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker.


On May 28, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 by a vote of 417–1, which would extend the covered period (during which eligible expenses may be forgiven) from 8 weeks to 24 weeks. It would also change the percentage of the loan that must go to payroll expenses to qualify for loan forgiveness from 75% to 60%. The Senate debated a similar proposal last week and will return from recess this week. Earlier, the Small Business Administration released the "much-awaited" PPP loan forgiveness application and instructions. This summary by Hinckley Allen provides answers to critical questions, which will change if the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 becomes law.


A new article from WorkDesign Magazine shares practical lessons from the health care industry that can mitigate the spread of infectious disease and cross contamination. The CDC's guidelines on cleaning and disinfection for community facilities covers protocols for schools, institutions of higher education, offices, daycare centers, businesses, and community centers. Perkins+Will just updated their 2017 white paper "Healthy Environments: Understanding Antimicrobial Ingredients in Building Materials (PDF)" to reflect emerging research and data related to whether antimicrobial materials protect against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.


ArchiPrep®, AIA's newest ARE® prep resource, is free through August 31AIAU's Emerge series offers free courses that earn AXP experience hours to Associate AIA members. AIA is also offering new grads free membership, for up to 18 months, upon graduation. Have your résumé reviewed by an expert, for free, through the AIA Career Center. On your account overview page, scroll to the TopResume section at the bottom to submit your résumé. Are you recruiting for a workshare position? Post it for free on The AIA Career Center's new staff sharing portal, which connects firms that need additional workers but are unable to hire with firms that are short of work but want to retain their staff.


Sherwin Williams is offering a 25% discount on paints and stains and a 15% discount on related products. Reach out to your account executive for more details or find one here.


On July 13, a webinar by Housing and Community Development (HCD) will explore how project design can have a positive impact on urban planning and promote the emotional and social health of the community. Knowledge Communities provide a variety of ways to learn and connect with your peers—join one of the 21 KCs today!


From the Capital Development Board:

We recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and appreciate the essential construction services our contractors and design firms are providing to the State at this time.  During the COVID-19 crisis, CDB has been mindful that projects in active construction should continue without jeopardizing the health and safety of our staff, our vendors, and the public at large.  In furtherance of our ongoing safety measures, attached are a COVID-19 Jobsite Safety Procedures Fact Sheet and a sample COVID-19 Jobsite Safety Symptom Monitoring Form.  The safety procedures outlined in the Fact Sheet are minimum standards that went into effect May 20 at all CDB jobsites in active construction.  The Symptom Monitoring Form is an example that may be used by firms participating in a CDB project in active construction.


If you have questions on the application of these safety procedures to an active construction project, please contact your CDB Project Manager. 


The Chicago Community Loan Fund will host a webinar about PPP Loan Forgiveness. It will cover how to complete the application, how to figure the loan amount,  and processes and systems to improve the likelihood of forgiveness. 

Click here to register for the PPP Loan Forgiveness Webinar 

Click here for the latest updates from AIA National


Click here for the IDFPR Guide for Consumers Struggling to Repay their Debts during COVID-19



Following up from the AIA Illinois / AIA Chicago statewide town hall on May 6, Stephen Konkle from the US Small Business Administration will explain his agency’s Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources.



Most people spend 90% of their day indoors. University of Oregon studies have found ways to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in a built environment. See how the spread of COVID-19 can occur in the office and learn how to keep built environments safer and cleaner.


Learn more Here


Click here for RESTORE ILLINOIS: A Public Health Approach to Safely Reopen Our State


Speaker: Stephen Konkle holds a BA in Economics from Western Michigan University and an MBA in Finance from Illinois Institute of Technology/Roosevelt University. He also has done graduate study in economics at Western Michigan University. Prior to joining the SBA in 1985, Steve held a variety of treasury management and accounting positions in the manufacturing sector. He worked in the electronics components industry and the building materials industry. His last position was as a division controller for a Fortune 500 buildings materials manufacturer. Since joining the SBA, Steve has worked in the Liquidation Division, the Entrepreneurial Development Division, and the Finance Division. Currently, he is an Economic Development Specialist Also, he is the Veterans Business Development Officer and the International Trade Officer for the Illinois District Office (Chicago and Springfield).



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Validated protocols designed to prevent COVID-19 transmission don't yet exist, so hospitals are implementing spatial redesigns on the fly. MASS Design Group's case study on Mount Sinai Hospital (PDF) shares design hacks and important conclusions about hospital design and existing infection protocols. We just launched version 2.0 of AIA's Preparedness Assessment Tool (PDF), updated to include new research and to better meet the needs of frontline workers and healthcare providers. Hurricane season begins June 1.


AIA's Disaster Assistance Handbook can help you prepare and also support your efforts to respond to COVID-19. On May 12, AIA EVP/CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA, and 2020 AIA President Jane Frederick, FAIA, are hosting a Virtual Town Hall (registration required). 

On May 7, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, ConstructConnect, and AGC of America are hosting a webinar on the construction landscape and what to expect over the next 12 to 24 months (registration required). In case you missed it, this update on 2020 projections for the nonresidential construction industry was released ahead of the July Consensus Construction Forecast. 


The Senate is set to return to Capitol Hill this week, and the House of Representatives will likely return next Monday. In the interim, AIA is working to ensure your priorities are included in the next federal COVID-19 response legislation, including making 501(c)(6) entities eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. 


Several new resources from AIA Contract Documents can help minimize your risk during COVID-19. There's a short primer on negotiating construction contracts and two videos: One on mechanic's liens and other payment issues and another on delays, extensions of time, and force majeure clauses. If you're a government contractor, Deltek's Coronavirus Government Response Resource Center will keep you informed about the impact of response efforts on government contracting. On May 7, the National Institute of Building Sciences is hosting a virtual town hall on preparing to reenter buildings


A new tool from ConstructConnect will help you stay on top of delayed projects across the US and Canada (currently more than 6,000 projects). It's free and updated daily. MADCAD is offering a 5% discount on subscriptions to building codes and standards, including ICC, NFPA, ASHRAE, ASTM, USGBC, and more. Use this link, and the discount will be applied in your cart. MADCAD's FGI webinars are also 50% off. Looking for free resources for students or families? AIA's K–12 resources page has activities, videos, and more for everyone to enjoy.


Next month we're hosting two free live courses on the Living Building Challenge Affordable Housing Pilot program and how code changes may lead the way to Net-Zero Hospitals. Knowledge Community (KC) members are discussing the impact of COVID-19 on many community discussion boards. Be part of the conversation and connect with your peers—join one of the 21 KCs today!


How can workplaces prepare for the world after COVID-19? Cushman & Wakefield's 6 Feet Office concept can help clients and employees prepare for their eventual return to the office. On April 30, we're hosting our next webinar, Rapid Response Housing in Pandemic Environments. Projects keep coming on the ArchMap, which maps COVID-related projects. Of interest: RMF Engineering's collaboration with MUSC Health, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Guard on a tier 2 MASH-style facility and SmithGroup's semi-private, negative pressure rooms at a Boston-area hospital. 

The latest ABI shows firm billings are plummeting, and firms report that they expect to make changes through 2020. View the 4/22 webinar with AIA Chief Economist reviewing these latest numbers and the economic impact on and outlook for architects. McKinsey's April Executive Briefing shares their latest insights on where we are, where we might be heading, and restarting national economies. 


A pair of lesser-known provisions in the CARES Act may provide architecture firms organized as sole-proprietorships, partnerships, or S-Corps a big tax break at the end of the year. This article (PDF) has more details. Last week, $321 billion was added to the Paycheck Protection Program and $10 billion was added to the Emergency EIDL. We updated our FAQ on the CARES Act (PDF) to answer questions on how firms can apply for the new round of funding. Reminder: The Paycheck Protection Program replenishment funds are first come, first-serve and expected to go very quickly.


The post COVID-19 workplace will strengthen the connection between the physical environment and wellness more than ever before. This article by WorkDesign Magazine helps employers, property owners, and facility managers prepare for the new mindset.


Preparing for the Architect Registration Exam? AIA is offering free access to ArchiPrep®  for Associate AIA members through August. If you need experience hours, AIAU's Emerge series is also free for Associate AIA members. Deltek is offering free certification on Ajera, Vision, Vantagepoint, and Project Information Management through June 30. And, get 18 months of MasterSpec® for the price of 12 or save 15% on a standard subscription. All new subscriptions come with five free SpecBuilder Cloud seats so you can collaborate on specs from anywhere.  


Feel the need to get away? The Historic Resources Committee's April newsletter featured virtual tours of National Parks and other historic buildings (scroll down for links). On the Committee of Corporate Architects and Facility Management forum, members are discussing how COVID will impact the future of corporate space planning and usage. AIA Knowledge Communities cover 21 different areas of practice—find your community today.



Guidance on construction administration. Here are guidelines and protocols from three firms on construction administration and site visits.. The "legal" tab on our COVID-19 response page has more, including two popular resources, the architect's standard of care relative to site visits and how AIA contracts address issues related to COVID-19. Much of our focus has been on business resources and legislation. Last week we launched a survey to identify architecture projects related to COVID-19. The projects are still coming in, but you can see the more than 100 that have been submitted so far, including health systems, screening booths, temporary structures, alternative care sites, and more. 

One area we'll be spending more time on is resources for emerging professionals. This overview from AIA's advocacy team discusses student loan debt relief provisions in the CARES Act, including repayments, how your employer can help, and info for current students.

Unemployment claims have been dominating the news this past week. Each Wednesday, AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker hosts a weekly webinar to walk through the latest developments and economic data and discuss the impact it's having on firms. Watch last week's session and register for tomorrow's. This helpful resource from Brookings explains unemployment insurance, how it works, and what's changed as a result of the CARES Act.


We've been talking a lot about this webinar, which covers how the CARES Act benefits architects and firms. Our new companion FAQ collects the questions you submitted during the live event and provides detailed answers. AIA partner Deltek is hosting a webinar on 4/20 to address the business development impact of policy in four key areas. Even if you can't make it, sign up and you'll receive a link to the recording. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's website has Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications, affiliation rules, a tool to find eligible lenders, and more. Their PPP FAQ (PDF) is particularly helpful.


COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc in our global economy. Resources like Harvard Business Review's free new coronavirus and business e-book helps businesses understand what to do now to counter the current challenges. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can help protect your finances during the pandemic with financial resources for small businesses and consumers. The AIA Trust's newest article on 401(k) loans walks through the pros and cons of making a withdrawal. Houzz is hosting a webinar 4/15 on virtual design and diversified service offerings. This living resource from the team at Practice of Architecture has best practices by firm size, templates, and a collection of valuable resources. Last week, the Architect's Guide to Business Continuity was so popular that we're sharing it one more time, here.


Here are this week's free and discounted resources. ArchiPrep® is giving new and current subscribers free access to their ARE® prep software for the month of April (Associate AIA members only). If you're a current Houzz subscriber, you can get access to their new software, Houzz Pro. New subscribers receive 50% off. The AIA Career Center is offering expert résumé review for free. On your account overview page, scroll to the TopResume section at the bottom to submit your résumé. The Career Center is also offering employers a 60-day job posting at the 30-day rate (promo code SPRINGSALE2020). is offering a 5% discount on building codes and standards including ICC, NFPA, ASHRAE, ASTM, and USGBC. They're also offering a 50% discount on FGI webinars.


Which platforms are you using for remote work? The TAP discussion board has the latest conversations and tech best practices. Are you writing about the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare design? AAH is accepting submissions through May 29 for the 2020 Academy Journal. AIA Knowledge Communities are another way to stay connected with your peers and explore discussion boards, online events, and resources for practice. There are 21 professional communities—join one or more today!"

For Emerging Professionals navigating the challenges home and the workplace during COVID-19, click here for the newly compiled  AIA IL EP Network: Staying Connected During COVID-19.  


Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

To support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois, DCEO is repurposing $20 million in CDBG funds to stand up the Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. This Fund will offer small businesses of up to 50 employees the opportunity to partner with their local governments to obtain grants of up to $25,000 in working capital. These grants will be offered on a rolling basis.

Additional INFO on the program can be found here

Link to apply here.

Click here for the latest AIA National COVID-19 information and resources for architects, including white papers on Alternative Design and a COVID-19 Preparedness Assessment Tool


Visit the AIA Trust website and the Victor website for additional resources surrounding preparations and response to the coronavirus.

A message from Robert Ivy, FAIA

Click here to read an article by AIA Risk Management regarding the challenges faced by architecture firms working through the pandemic. 

Click here to read about the Illinois Small Business COVID-19 Relief Program. The program is an impact investment loan program under which the State Treasurer would make up to $250 million in deposits available to financial institutions throughout the state, at near-zero rates, to assist Illinois small business and non-profits negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Thank you AIA Chicago for curating the following list of best practices.

View the Coming Together / Working Apart Webinar, held originally on March 24. The webinar features experts in contract law, insurance, employee benefits and other matters that are affecting architects and firm leaders at this time.

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus a global health emergency. The virus, now known as COVID-19, was first identified in January in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Confirmed cases are concentrated in China but have spread throughout Asia and more recently into Europe and other regions, including a small number in the United States and Canada.

Concern for member health and safety, airline restrictions, and travel warnings are affecting association global operations and conferences. These resources are compiled here to help you stay informed on this rapidly evolving situation.

AIA has compiled a list of resources for you to refer to. This list will continue to grow as the situation evolves. 



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