07152019CW0043aDANVILLE - In honor of National Women’s Small Business Month, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is encouraging residents to nominate local female business owners to recognize for their leadership and service to residents.

“October is a month to celebrate and applaud the contributions and successes of female entrepreneurs,” Bennett said. “I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the talented, dedicated and driven women that help make our community great.”

Nominations can be submitted to Sen. Bennett’s office by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and providing a name, business title and reason for recognition.

As part of National Women’s Small Business Month, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is hosting a series of webinars specifically targeted to female small business owners to offer support and resources for success. For more information, visit DCEO’s website.

“Our small businesses are critical to our economy, and during this pandemic we have seen them hurting,” Bennett said. “With the holiday season fast approaching, I am encouraging everyone to support local businesses this year by purchasing gift cards, referring friends and engaging on social media.”

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SPRINGFIELD – In honor of National Farmers Day on October 12, Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) are celebrating the hard work and dedication of local farmers and agricultural workers.

“Farmers are passionate about the work they do, and this day is an opportunity to acknowledge the work of the men and women devoted to feeding our community,” said Bennett, who spends the harvest season helping out on his family's farm in Gibson City. “This is the perfect time to thank farmers young and old, past and present."

On this day, Bennett and Joyce are encouraging people to show gratitude to farmers by supporting local farmers’ markets or making charitable donations to area farms.

“While we appreciate and support farmers each and every day, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a new appreciation for the agriculture sector,” said Joyce, a fourth-generation farmer and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Today, we thank our farmers for their contributions to a healthier society and economy.”

The lawmakers are also recognizing the dedicated animals that work alongside farmers every day and help them with daily tasks, such as plowing the field, transporting food and cultivating the soil, especially during the busy harvest season.

As harvest season progresses across the state and farmers face additional stressors, Bennett encourages farmers to sign up for a webinar to learn ways to manage stress. The webinar will be led by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development on Oct. 14 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. To register, visit tinyurl.com/harveststress.

Webinar Flyer DCEO East Central Scott Bennett

CHAMPAIGN—State Senator Scott Bennett is urging business owners to utilize the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity’s webinar to navigate the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program this week.

Businesses across Champaign and Vermilion county businesses can register to participate in the free, informative webinar on Tuesday, September 29 at 3 p.m.

“The Business Interruption Grant program will help give our local businesses a helping hand during this awful pandemic,” Bennett said. “I urge area businesses to take advantage of this program and utilize this informative webinar to ensure they are completing applications correctly in order to receive the full amount of assistance they qualify for.” 

Registration is required for this event. Interested participants can click here to register.

Applications for Round 2 of the BIG program were launched last week. The latest round has allocated $220 million in assistance 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.

The intention of the second round is to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate. It also includes $60 million for heavily distressed industries, such as movie theaters, performing arts venues, concert venues, indoor recreation, amusement parks, event spaces located at banquet halls and hotels, and more. And another $70 million has been set aside for businesses in economically distressed communities that have been the most vulnerable to COVID-1

“During this pandemic, our local businesses have served our communities and worked diligently to keep their employees and customers safe,” Bennett said. “It is our duty to support our small businesses – as always I urge folks to frequent small businesses but especially during these trying times. Whether you are picking up dinner this weekend, in need of a new shirt or looking for a birthday gift, please shop local.” 

Applications open are open and can be found on the Illinois DCEO’s website. Bennett urges business owners who are unable to attend the September 29 webinar to visit DECO’s website to sign up for another webinar. 

E-learningCHAMPAIGN – School districts in the 52nd Illinois State Senate District are set to receive nearly $1.5 million in funding to give students in Champaign and Vermilion Counties more reliable access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Senator Scott Bennett is glad to see area schools receive this assistance to close the digital divide among students in downstate communities.

“During this awful pandemic, it is important that we work diligently to ensure our students are not falling behind academically because they don’t have the technology to actively participate in e-learning,” Bennett said. “As we continue to work to keep our children safe, we also need to ensure they are not missing out on vital learning opportunities.”

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507