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State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) meets with Chris Knight, owner of The Blind Pig, in Champaign on Aug. 26, 2020.

CHAMPAIGN - As part of a district-wide tour of local businesses, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) visited The Blind Pig in Champaign on Wednesday to tour the brewery and address the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the business.

“Small businesses are feeling the financial pain of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Champaign staples like The Blind Pig are no exception,” Bennett said. “It’s clear that the staff at The Blind Pig are taking the restrictions seriously and making efforts to safeguard our community. If we want to help our local businesses during this difficult time, they need our patronage.”

During the tour, Bennett met with owner Chris Knight and heard about the brewery’s experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Knight is leaning on the community for support and encourages patrons to purchase gift cards and continue to drink “the beer of Champaign.” The Blind Pig is now open every day of the week and is working hard to safely serve customers under new guidelines.

“I appreciated hearing firsthand from a long-standing member of the Champaign business community so we can navigate this crisis together,” Bennett said. “We owe it to them to show our support and get them the help they need to keep their doors open.”

Bennett hopes to visit more local restaurants, retail shops and businesses that provide personal services, like spas and salons, in the coming weeks.

Interested businesses can schedule a tour by visiting http://SenatorBennett.com/SmallBusinessTours. All tours will be in compliance with the state’s public health guidelines and restrictions, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

 

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 CHAMPAIGN – To help save homeowners money on their utility bills, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is hosting a free virtual clinic with the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. 

“This clinic will give people the opportunity to learn how to reduce their utility bills,” Bennett said.  “With so many people struggling, I’m glad to be able to connect them with available resources to help them save their hard-earned money.”

Starting Aug. 25 at 9 a.m., residents will be able to register for a virtual one-on-one consultation with a CUB professional to discuss lowering their electric, water, gas, phone, cable and internet bills. After registrants have selected a time slot, they will receive details for a private video call with a CUB representative.

During the clinic, the representative will evaluate participants’ bills to determine if they are signed up with an alternative supplier or paying for unnecessary products or services. CUB will also let participants know if they are eligible for money-saving programs, like financial assistance, and share information about energy efficiency programs.

Senator Bennett encourages residents to take advantage of this free clinic to keep their utility usage and costs in check.

For more information on the program, visit www.citizensutilityboard.org or contact Bennett’s office at 217-355-5252.

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DANVILLE – With census response rates in Henning and Rankin at a critical low, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging residents in these areas to complete the 2020 Census to ensure their communities aren’t left out of the final count.

“In order to get an accurate count, every resident in our community must respond to the Census,” Bennett said. “For every person we miss, we risk losing out on federal funding for our schools, hospitals and highway construction.”

Across Vermilion County, participation in the 2020 Census is lower than in the 2010 Census. Only 59.3% of Danville residents have completed their census forms this year, as opposed to 68.7% of residents in 2010. In Henning and Rankin, just 54.1% of residents have been counted—a decade ago, 71% of Henning residents and 63.2% of Rankin residents responded.

Residents can complete the census for their household at www.my2020census.gov. Higher self-response rates mean fewer individuals are likely to receive visits from census surveyors to be counted in person. This year, census surveyors are putting their and their families’ health at risk of COVID-19, and limiting visits may mean saving lives.

“We only get this opportunity once every 10 years,” Bennett said. “Help our community by taking a few minutes to make sure you are counted.”

To see local responses rates across Illinois and the entire nation, visit www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us.

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CHAMPAIGN – In an effort to understand and address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on local businesses, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) launches district-wide tour of businesses across Vermilion and Champaign Counties.

“Small businesses are the heart of our community,” Bennett said. “Some businesses are going above and beyond to ensure the health and safety of their staff and customers, so I want to put a spotlight on those businesses that are working hard to create a safe environment.”

Bennett said he hopes to tour restaurants, retail shops and businesses that provide personal services, like spas and salons. All tours will be in compliance with the state’s public health guidelines and restrictions, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

Applications are available at http://SenatorBennett.com/SmallBusinessTours. Bennett plans to start the program in the coming weeks and requests businesses to submit requests soon. Once the application is received, a member of Bennett’s team will respond with additional details.

“The pandemic has taken its toll on small businesses,” Bennett said. “We need to continue to do all that we can to ensure our businesses have the resources they need to be successful.”

With questions, businesses in Champaign County should call Bennett’s Champaign office at 217-355-5252 and Vermilion County business owners should contact his Danville office at 217-442-5252.

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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