Quotes Kimberly Lightford FBMAYWOOD – In an effort to provide support to small business owners facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) announced local businesses will receive a combined $870,000 through the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.

“I fought for and helped craft this effort to ensure that areas that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are able to receive support to keep their small businesses open,” said  Lightford. “Almost $900,000 is going directly to businesses in my district, and I am thankful that those owners are finally seeing some relief.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded a total of $46 million to 2,655 small businesses in the first round of BIG funding. The BIG program offers grants to Illinois restaurants and bars, barbershops and salons, and fitness centers that have suffered pandemic-related losses, with a focus on businesses in the hardest-hit areas of the state.

First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent and utilities. The funds may also be used to cover pandemic-related expenses, such as PPE, training and new technology.

To ensure ongoing support for Illinois small businesses, the State of Illinois has planned future rounds of funding, including a special program for child care providers. The application deadline for this program is Aug. 14.

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the COVID-19 economic downturn. The full list of grant recipients is available here.

 

Category: News

Mortgage Rental Assistance TWDuring the Stay at Home Order, Gov. JB Pritzker placed a moratorium on evictions to protect vulnerable residents struggling to pay their rent. The moratorium has since been extended to Aug. 22, but many Illinoisans are at risk of homelessness when it expires.

For a brief period this month, the Illinois Housing Development Authority is offering support to renters through the Emergency Rental Assistance program.

With a total of $150 million in funding, this is the largest rental assistance program in the nation. Recipients will receive up to $5,000 in aid, but the funding is limited and we still need help from the federal government to protect the livelihood of more Illinoisans.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must have fallen behind on their rent since March 1 and must be able to demonstrate income losses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Individuals who have received prior pandemic-related rental assistance from the government—including the relief program administered by the City of Chicago—are not eligible. However, if you have applied for another government program and have not yet been approved, you may still apply.

Please note: You will need a government-issued photo ID and your landlord’s email address to apply. For more information about eligibility and required documents, find helpful resources at ERA.IHDA.org or call IHDA toll-free at 1-888-252-1119.

Applications open Aug. 10 at 9 a.m. and will be available at ERA.IHDA.org. The application period will close no later than Aug. 21. However, it may close earlier if IHDA receives an overwhelming number of applications, so apply as early as you possibly can. Successful applicants will be notified within 2-3 weeks of submitting their forms.

While applications are only available online, community partners are available to help people who cannot complete an application over the internet. A list of these partners will soon be available in the Resources section of the program’s website and via the toll-free number.

With questions about this program or other resources that may help you cope during these exceptionally tough times, please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office at (708) 632-4500 or http://senatorlightford.com/contact-us.

Category: News

firefighter 1851945 640SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led a measure that was signed into law today to expand disability benefits for some frontline state employees, protect retail workers from assault, and allow horse racetrack casino, or racino, employees to organize.

“As we continue to adapt to the changes forced on us by the current pandemic, we have to also create a response that addresses the long-time issues it has exacerbated,” Lightford said.

“Our essential workers put their lives at risk for us to stay safe, and it is clear that we have to continue to do better to protect working class people with a renewed commitment to providing basic rights for everyone.”

Certain state employees, including firefighters, law enforcement and paramedics, would be eligible for an additional 60 days of paid disability leave if their injury recovery has been hindered by difficulties accessing treatment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Category: News

RISE CSU

What is a Rise Scholar and how do I join?

All full-time freshmen students who successfully complete Rise Academy are designated as Rise Scholars, and receive a full tuition and fees scholarship for the 2020-21 academic year. It is simple to become a Rise Scholar. First, apply for undergraduate admissions for fall 2020. Second, once you are admitted to the university, register for Rise Academy. For any questions on getting started, contact our Admissions Office at 773-995-2513 or by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rise Scholar Benefits

Scholarship: Rise Scholars receive a full-tuition and fee scholarship after accounting for grants and scholarships for the academic year 2020-21 starting in the fall. Textbooks and the campus health care plan are included.

Personal laptop: Chicago State will provide each student with a personal laptop to use during their undergraduate years. Internet access is also covered.

College community: Spend time getting to know your college classmates, your professors, and advisors and other people on campus who can help support your college journey. We are excited to get to know you and welcome you into your Chicago State University family!

Advising and workshops: Rise Scholars will stay on track with ongoing individual advising appointments and academic skills and career workshops through each semester. No Rise Scholar is alone: your advisor is there for all of your challenges and concerns.

More information: https://www.csu.edu/risescholars/

Category: News

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