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KANKAKEE – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) congratulated local businesses struggling from the pandemic that were awarded grants from the latest round of the Back to Business program awards.

“Small businesses play an important role in our communities by investing in our economy, employing our friends and neighbors and supporting local events,” Joyce said. “I’m thrilled to see the B2B grants going toward our local businesses that desperately need help to get back on their feet.”

The B2B program allocated $250 million in American Rescue Plan dollars for small businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. Each business received between $5,000 to $150,000 to be used to cover a wide range of operations such as staff and overhead costs.

17 businesses in the district Joyce represents received a combined $640,000 through the program. Businesses include restaurants, bars, child care facilities and retailers, demonstrating the diversity of the local small business community and how many different kinds of businesses are eligible for grants.

“These funds will give business owners a sigh of relief during these difficult times and allow them to return to operation,” Joyce said. “Now, it’s up to us to support our small business community so they can continue to keep their doors open.” 

For a complete list of grant recipients, click here.

Category: Press Releases

mlc coffee 100621NEW LENOX – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is inviting New Lenox residents to attend his November Coffee, Conversation and Constituent Services event on Saturday, Nov. 20.

“These casual conversations provide the perfect opportunity for folks to chat with their state senator,” Joyce said. “The goal of this event is to ensure we are accessible and available to residents so they have the opportunity to discuss their issues and ideas in a comfortable setting.”

The event will be held from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at Gost Coffee Roasters located at 1333 S. Schoolhouse Rd. in New Lenox.

This is the third Coffee, Conversation and Constituent Services event Joyce has hosted. This is another effort from Joyce’s office to increase government accountability and accessibility by hosting this traveling event at different times, locations and days of the week in hopes of reaching working families across Will, Cook, Kankakee and Grundy Counties.

“I look forward to talking with everyone over a cup of coffee and hearing about the issues that are important to them,” Joyce said.

This event is free and open to area residents. Those with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Joyce’s office at 708-756-0882 or visit his website at

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patrick Joyce’s (D-Essex) proposal to declare Oct. 28, 2021 as First Responders Day in Illinois cleared the Senate Wednesday.

“Our first responders put their lives on the line each day to ensure our safety, protection and well-being,” Joyce said. “I’m thrilled that this measure has been adopted by my colleagues in the Senate and will allow us to properly celebrate these folks next week.”

This idea was brought to Joyce by a 911 dispatcher in Kankakee County and led to Senate Resolution 534. This designated day will recognize and remember the first responders lost and extends gratitude to all first responders for continuously putting their lives on the line for the citizens of Illinois.

In addition, it specifically thanks 911 dispatchers, as well as firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics for their commitment to Illinois public safety. 

“There’s no question our first responders have difficult jobs,” Joyce said. “Designating this day to our first responders will ensure we all pause and reflect on all they do for us and our communities.”

Senate Resolution 534 was adopted by the Senate with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Releases

grain bin 1022715 1280KANKAKEE – To prevent fatalities on the farm during the busy harvest season, Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is joining officials in reminding farmers and farm workers to be cautious when working in and around grain bins.

“When a farmer falls into a grain bin and gets trapped, it can become a life-threatening emergency,” Joyce said. “Farmers are not fast enough to get out of flowing grain so it’s important to set aside time to go over safety measures and prepare farmers for a potential grain bin emergency.”

While essential to Illinois’ harvests, grain handling equipment and storage containers can quickly become deadly. In fact, Illinois reported the most incidents involving agricultural confined spaces, including grain bins, in 2020.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a worker standing on moving grain will be trapped within just five seconds and completely covered in grain in less than half a minute.

OSHA details the three most common scenarios leading to grain entrapment:

  • A worker stands on moving or flowing grain, typically caused by an auger running or grain being moved out of the bin by gravity.
  • A worker stands on or below a grain bridging situation. Bridging happens when damp grain clumps together, creating an empty space beneath the grain as it is unloaded. A worker above or below this bridge of grain is at risk should the bridge collapse.
  • A worker stands next to an accumulated pile of grain on the side of the bin and attempts to dislodge it. It can collapse onto the worker.

While workers should avoid entering grain bins if possible, safety measures can greatly diminish the risk if they must enter. To learn safety tips and find additional information to stay safe during harvest, click here

Category: Press Releases

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