small biz 102521CHAMPAIGN – Dozens of local businesses in Champaign and Vermilion Counties were recently awarded $5.28 million in combined funding from the Back to Business Program to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the support of State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

“Businesses have been working hard to keep their doors open while also keeping their employees and the community safe,” Bennett said. “With businesses’ bottom lines still hurting, the Back to Business program has been a great resource to help.”

The B2B program grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget. So far – thanks to strong support from Bennett – DCEO has provided $111 million in B2B grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas.

Eighty-nine businesses in Champaign County and 12 businesses in Vermilion County were awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 to help them cover the costs of safely staying open in these unpredictable times. Businesses ranged from coffee shops to art studios and more.

“Restaurants, salons, fitness centers and organizations focusing on the arts have suffered the hardest blows throughout the pandemic,” Bennett said. “I'm thrilled the B2B program is giving these businesses some relief.”

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Visit the DCEO website for more information on the B2B program and view a full list of grantees here.

Bread Soup Kitchen Bennett copy

CHAMPAIGN – In an effort to replenish the stock of the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen in Champaign, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is reminding residents to make a donation to his hygiene product drive by Monday, Jan. 31.

“Giving back is small way we can all make a big difference in our community,” Bennett said. “Please help our community by donating hygiene products to ensure no one goes without during the winter months.”

Bennett’s office is collecting new products including deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, shaving cream, razors, hand lotion, hand warmers, chapstick, gloves, hats, socks, scarves and small treats. Hygiene items can be dropped off at Bennett’s district office located at 45 E. University Ave., Suite 206 in Champaign.

With questions or for additional information, Bennett urges residents to contact his office at 217-355-5252 or visit SenatorBennett.com.

01.19.2022 Friend of Ag Award

Kevin Johnson, Director of Government and Industry Relations for IFCA/Ag-Solve (right), presents State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) (left) with their Friend of Agriculture award.

PEORIA – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) accepted the Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association/Ag-Solve’s Friend of Agriculture award in Peoria on Wednesday.
 
“It’s a privilege to advocate for our farmers and farm families at the state level,” Bennett, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said. “I would like to express my appreciation for this award in recognition of the work we’ve been able to accomplish for the agriculture industry.”

Bennett spoke to IFCA/Ag-Solve members about his legislative work advocating for the agriculture industry and was later recognized for his support. IFCA/Ag-Solve represents the crop production supply and service industry and promotes sound stewardship and utilization of agricultural inputs.

REOPEN 24 SIGN

SPRINGFIELD – After being closed for nearly a month due to a surge of omicron variant cases of COVID-19, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is glad to see the secretary of state and driver services facilities reopening to the public on Jan. 24.

“I appreciate Secretary White prioritizing the health and safety of his employees and customers with the rise in COVID cases,” Bennett said. “The secretary of state’s office has thoughtfully planned out a way to reopen for folks to get the services they need and can complete their transactions safely.”

Driver services facilities operating on a Tuesday-Saturday schedule will reopen Tuesday, Jan. 25 for in-person transactions.

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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