Child Care Restoration Grants FB 1

CHAMPAIGN - To help restore child care in Illinois during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced a $270 million Child Care Restoration grant program, provided by the new state budget.

“Child care services are an essential service to support families as they return to work and it is critical to our state’s economic recovery,” Bennett said. “This grant program will focus on helping child care providers stay in business.”

The Child Care Restoration grant program will dedicate at least $270 million of the state’s Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) Fund to support the economic health of child care providers as the state’s economy continues to reopen in the coming weeks and months.

As part of CURE, the Business Interruption Grants Program is specifically designed to support businesses that endure lost revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services, is charged with developing the grant program for licensed child care providers. The Child Care Restoration Grants will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies.

The “Intent to Apply” survey launched Wednesday and is available online here. The information gathered will help inform the development of the grants program to be released in July 2020, and providers will receive their first installments later this summer. The opportunity to respond to the survey will close on June 19, 2020 at 5 p.m.

More information will be added to People are encouraged to continue to check back frequently for information and resources.

broadband 052820SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joins the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Office of Broadband to announce the new Illinois Connected Communities grant program.
The program is designed to assist local governments, schools and community organizations with building broadband capacity. The $150,000 grant opportunity will help communities close existing gaps and lay the groundwork for improved broadband access, adoption and utilization. The grants will be provided on a competitive basis, and applications will be accepted here through June 12.
“The pandemic has really magnified the challenges that people who have a lack of internet access have dealt with,” Bennett said. “As we continue to face this crisis, it’s clear that access to broadband is a necessity for people to access education, healthcare, jobs and even state benefits.”
This latest grant program builds on the capital commitment made through Connect Illinois, which includes a $400 million investment, and is aimed at improving access to broadband for the entire state. The first $50 million of this investment is expected to be awarded in the coming weeks. 

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Paycheck Protection Program FB 3
SBA to resume taking applications Monday
CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is encouraging self-employed and small business owners to call their banks immediately to start the process for the Paycheck Protection Program.
“Small business owners and employees, who are facing lost profits and layoffs due to widespread business closures are hurting. PPP loans can help keep their workforce employed during this pandemic,” Bennett said. “Small businesses needing assistance should speak to their lender immediately to ensure all appropriate paperwork is in order.”
SBA started accepting applications from approved lenders on behalf of eligible businesses Monday. Bennett is urging qualified businesses to not wait to apply.
Qualified businesses in one or more of these categories include:
  • Self-employed,
  • Less than 500 employees,
  • Sole proprietor,
  • Independent contractor,
  • Private non-profit 501(C)(19), and/or
  • Veterans organization.

The loan is meant to keep workers of small businesses on the payroll and it will be forgiven if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest or utilities.

For more information, visit SBA’s website.



small business loan FB 1
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is sharing information on two new emergency assistance programs to provide relief to local restaurants, hotels and other small businesses during this difficult time.
“We have a strong small business presence in our community. It’s what gives us character and it’s tough to see them struggle during this outbreak,” Bennett said. “Small businesses are crucial to our economic health and will play an essential role in our recovery from the pandemic, so we must invest in them during this challenging time.”
To provide assistance to struggling small business owners, Gov. JB Pritzker unveiled the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund, a $60 million program that will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses outside of Chicago.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Loan recipients will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

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