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KANKAKEE – With businesses in Will and Kankakee Counties still struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) said businesses can’t wait another three days to return to Phase 4 and called on Gov. JB Pritzker to immediately lift the mitigation restrictions imposed on Region 7.

“Three weeks ago, the governor imposed strict mitigation restrictions on Will and Kankakee Counties, which triggered immediate mitigation,” Joyce said. “Not only were the restrictions significantly tighter than those in other regions, but businesses were given only 24 hours’ notice to comply. This decision came as a crippling blow to our small business community.” 

Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee counties, saw its positivity rate drop to 6.4% on Wednesday, below the state-set threshold of 6.5%. However, the Illinois Department of Public Health says the region must stay under 6.5% for three consecutive days to rejoin most of the rest of the state in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois reopening plan.

“We have to get businesses back on their feet sooner, rather than later,” Joyce said. “Businesses are prepared to safely reopen and operate their establishments—they should be rewarded for doing their part to contain the virus in our community.”

Joyce is also urging small businesses affected by COVID-19 resurgence mitigations to apply for assistance through the second round of Business Interruption Grants to help cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions. 

Businesses in Region 7 that submit an application will be given priority to ensure they receive the support they need to cope with current mitigation efforts. 

Category: Press Releases

pexels oleg magni 2058147PARK FOREST - To help small businesses affected by COVID-19 resurgence mitigations, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is urging business owners to apply for assistance through the second round of Business Interruption Grant (BIG) funding.

“With this new round of grants, small businesses will find economic support as they continue to navigate the pandemic,” Joyce said. “Because small businesses are bearing the brunt of this crisis, it’s really important that they take advantage of this funding.”

The BIG program has allocated $220 million in the second round for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and more to help them stay afloat through this time of crisis and ensure they have the resources to open safely in the coming months.
 
BIG funds may be used to help businesses cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic.
 
To ensure funds are distributed across the state and across business type, $60 million has been specifically allocated for heavily distressed industries, including indoor recreation facilities and amusement parks. Another $70 million has been set aside for businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas, or low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19. Many Joliet-area businesses may qualify for part of the $70 million. For a full list of eligible zip codes, click here.

Additionally, businesses in Region 7 that submit an application will be given priority to ensure they receive the support they need to cope with current mitigation efforts. 

“These grants are critical in keeping small businesses afloat,” Joyce said. “I am inviting any business that has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 to apply for assistance starting Thursday.”
 
During its first round of funding earlier this year, the program granted more than $49 million to small businesses across the state. Businesses in Will and Kankakee Counties were awarded a combined $420,000 during the first round.
 
Applications open Thursday, Sept. 17 and can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website alongside a full list of criteria.

Category: News

15995101 web1 190317 GNG HazardousWasteDisposal

KANKAKEE – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging Kankakee County residents to dispose of their household hazardous waste at a collection event on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

“This event provides residents of Kankakee County and surrounding areas the opportunity to safely and responsibly dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other hazardous products,” Joyce said. “This event will lead to safer homes and a cleaner environment for our community.”

The free event is sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and will take place at Kankakee Community College, located at 100 College Drive in Kankakee, allowing residents to dispose of unused or leftover household products commonly found in homes at no cost.

Residents are encouraged to bring chemical cleaners, oil-based paints, thinners, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides and pesticides, old or outdated medication, and similar hazardous household products.

Fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps may also be brought to the collection event.

For safe transport of household hazardous waste, residents are asked to:

  • Pack household hazardous waste items in a disposable box to avoid spilling during transport.
  • Keep like chemicals together and separate unlike chemicals.
  • Secure lids and make sure containers are not leaking.
  • Place box(es) of household hazardous waste in the empty trunk of the vehicle, away from passengers, during transport.
  • Remain in the vehicle at collection site. On-site personnel will remove the household hazardous waste from the trunk of the vehicle.

The following items cannot be disposed of during the event: latex paint, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, agricultural chemicals and business wastes. A complete list of household hazardous wastes that are and are not accepted is available online here

The collection event is open to all Illinois residents. For questions or additional information, please contact the Waste Reduction Unit of the Illinois EPA at 217-524-3300.

Category: Events

food workers 091120KANKAKEE – To create jobs and promote economic recovery during the pandemic, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is eager to announce Will and Kankakee Counties have been selected to receive a combined $1.14 million in grants for job training and placement programs. 

“Increasing job opportunities across Will and Kankakee Counties is especially vital right now, during a time when so many people are out of work due to the pandemic,” Joyce said. “These grants will ensure people have the tools they need to get our communities back on track and help restart our economy.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Security (DCEO) has received two $8.3 million grants as part of the National Dislocated Worker Program, totaling a $16.6 million investment to place, train and hire Illinois workers to fill high-demand positions and assist local disaster relief programs.

Of that funding, the County of Kankakee Northeast has been awarded $296,570, and Will County Northeast has been awarded $825,000.

The state has distributed funding to 12 Local Workforce Innovation Areas to expand education and training opportunities throughout Illinois. DCEO will partner with local workforce agency partners to assist with filling high-need, temporary roles to help mitigate COVID-19 in communities, including contact tracers, COVID-19 protocol workers, building sanitization workers, temperature screeners, and food preparation and distribution workers.

Training and hiring for new workforce programs are expected to begin this fall. Local workforce agencies will prioritize applicants who have been laid off or otherwise lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis at the time of their application. A full list of available training and hiring opportunities is available on Get Hired Illinois.

Category: News

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Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217.782.7419

District Office:
270 Main St.
Park Forest, IL 60466
708.756.0882
708.554.7276 (Text)