fire gear 111620PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) encourages fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services to apply for the State Fire Marshal’s Small Equipment Grant Program. The program provides $3.3 million in funding across the state for firefighting personal protection equipment (PPE), infection control items and other small equipment.

“Many fire departments and ambulance services are struggling to pay for things like masks, gloves and other PPE,” Joyce said. “They need this equipment to do their jobs safely, so I encourage them to apply for this grant program.”

The program awards grants of up to $26,000. Fire department, fire protection district and township fire department applicants are required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying. Ambulance services applying must be volunteer, non-profit, stand-alone emergency medical service providers not tied in any financial or legal manner to a fire department.

Applications for the Small Equipment Grant Program must be postmarked no later than Jan. 29, 2021. More information on the program can be found on the state fire marshal's website.

Category: Press Releases

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KANKAKEE – To help expand and improve public transportation, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced more than $262,000 in state grants for Kankakee and Grundy Counties Friday.

“Public transportation is always worth improving, because it’s something that serves everyone in our community,” said Joyce. “It’s important that we address the deficiencies in our system so that we can keep up with the needs of our residents.”

Grant funds in Grundy County will be used to replace three medium-duty buses that are beyond their useful life. In Kankakee County, grant funds will be used to replace mobile radios in the county’s fleet to ensure the safest and most efficient provision of services in the area. In addition, the funds will be put towards a new transit vehicle.

This is the first of three grant cycles for mass transit projects through the Rebuild Illinois plan, with the next two rounds set to be distributed in 2021 and 2023.

“Transit in our downstate communities can be a lifeline for getting to work or school, a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the grocery store,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said. “This funding through Rebuild Illinois means these providers finally will have the resources they need to improve service in communities that have not seen this type of investment for many years.”

A complete list of local providers and awards can be viewed at

Category: Press Releases

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PARK FOREST – With the holidays inching closer and businesses still struggling to stay afloat amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is urging residents to shop locally throughout the holiday season this year.

“Local businesses are the heart of our community, and the COVID-19 pandemic has put a major strain on them,” Joyce said. “As we continue the fight against COVID-19, we cannot leave these businesses behind. I encourage residents to support our small business community however they can to help them weather this storm.”    

As people begin their holiday shopping, Joyce is reminding residents that supporting small doesn’t just mean shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Residents can support small businesses through online sales, ordering carryout from a locally owned restaurant or buying a gift card for a friend.

Additionally, if money is tight due to the financial concerns relating to the pandemic, people can still support local businesses by following their social media, recommending them to friends and leaving positive reviews.

Read more: Joyce: Shop locally to help businesses, economy recover from pandemic

Category: Press Releases

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KANKAKEE – As small businesses face financial uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging business owners to apply for a Business Interruption Grant (BIG). 

“Small businesses form the core of our community, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it extremely difficult for some to survive,” Joyce said. “I encourage folks that have suffered significant losses to apply for aid through the BIG program to help them through these challenging times.” 

In this round of grants, $220 million will be allocated to provide relief for all types of small businesses. Funding can be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities and other operational costs.

The BIG program is a $636 million program created to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. The program uses federal funds provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses.

Read more: Joyce reminds business owners to take advantage of Business Interruption Grant program

Category: Press Releases

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