• Joyce urges businesses to participate in Sept. 28 Business Interruption Grant program webinar

    joyce big webinar 092620PARK FOREST—To help businesses navigate the application process for the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program, State Senator Patrick Joyce is urging business owners across the south suburbs to attend a free, informative webinar hosted by the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity on Monday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m.

    “The BIG program will help our local businesses move one step closer to financial stability,” Joyce said.  “I urge business owners to join this informative webinar to ensure they are completing their applications correctly and taking full advantage of available grants.” 

    Registration is required. 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 other hard-hit businesses 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 and heavily distressed industries. Of the total funding, $70 million has been set aside for businesses in economically distressed communities that have been the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

    “Small businesses are the back bone of our communities,” Joyce said. “During the pandemic, they have worked tirelessly to serve our communities and keep employees and customers safe. They have gone above and beyond to support us—I urge residents to return the favor and support them, too. Shop local as often as you can and please be patient, because we are all struggling to deal with this pandemic.”

    Applications to the BIG program are open and can be found on the Illinois DCEO website. Joyce urges business owners who are unable to attend the Sept. 28 webinar to visit DECO’s website to sign up for another webinar or view a prerecorded version. 

  • Joyce informs residents of license and ID expiration extensions

    older driver 082520PARK FOREST –State Senator Patrick Joyce wants to make sure residents are aware that expiration dates for Illinois driver’s licenses and IDs have been extended until Feb. 1, 2021. All expired driver’s licenses and IDs will remain valid until then.

    “I want to thank Secretary Jesse White for his commitment to putting the health and safety of Illinoisans first,” Joyce said. “This extension will provide relief to many and help reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

    The secretary of state’s office has repeatedly pushed back the deadline to renew expiring licenses since the pandemic began. The newly extended deadline will also cover driver’s licenses and ID cards set to expire in October, November, December and January.

    Older adults age 75 and over have also had their driver’s license expiration dates extended by one year. The new expiration date is the motorist’s birthday in 2021.

    “Extending expiration dates until February 1 means people with an expired driver’s license and ID card do not need to visit a Driver Services facility immediately,” said Secretary of State Jesse White. “During this pandemic, we continue to think creatively to serve the public as efficiently as possible, while making public health and safety our top priority.”

    However, expiring license plate stickers will not be valid past the current Nov. 1 deadline, as they can easily be renewed online at Other common services, such as requesting a replacement or duplicate driver’s license or ID, are also available on the website.

    “A lot of services can be completed online,” Joyce said. “This move will help reduce lines and cut down on overcrowding at our local offices for folks who have no choice but to go in.”

    Illinois residents who must visit a driver services facility should be aware that they will be required to wear masks. They may also have to wait outside for an extended period of time to maintain social distancing and should take the weather into account when planning a visit.

    For more information, visit

  • Joyce: Local schools to receive nearly $2 million to bridge digital divide

    student2 ipad 092220PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce is excited to announce that schools in the 40th Illinois State Senate District are set to receive nearly $2 million in funding to improve local students’ access to technology during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “E-learning is a new reality for many students during the pandemic,” Joyce said. “This funding will assist schools in giving students the resources they need to take an active role in their studies.”

    The funds will be distributed to 14 schools in the 40th State Senate District:


    • Bloom Township School District 206 $195,442
    • Bourbonnais School District 53 $164,063
    • Bradley- Bourbonnais Community High School District 307­ $143,067
    • Bradley School District 61 $103,252
    • Chicago Heights School District 170 $192,866
    • Gardner School District 72C $38,845
    • Gardner-South Wilmington Township High School District 73 $40,390
    • Homewood-Flossmoor High School District 233 $190,530
    • Iroquois/Kankakee ROE School District $37,324
    • Kankakee School District 111 $293,195
    • Manhattan School District 114 $118,740
    • Park Forest - Chicago Heights School District 163 $123,021
    • Safe Schools - Iroquois/Kankakee ROE School District $30,594
    • Anne Community High School District 256 $46,676

    The Digital Equity Formula Grants, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, are intended to help schools expand connectivity and provide students with devices like computers or tablets. Funding was distributed using a need-based formula.

    “We must continue to work together to ensure every child, regardless of their zip code, receives the support they need to be successful,” Joyce said.

    For more information about COVID-19 and education, visit

  • Parkhurst, Joyce herald opening of Kankakee State Park Potawatomi Campground

    Parkhurst Joyce 092120KANKAKEE, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) reacted to an announcement from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources today that the Kankakee State Park Potawatomi campground is scheduled to reopen October 1. The two legislators worked together closely to cut through red tape of multiple state agencies to get the project completed so the campground, shuttered since 2015 amid a lack of capital funding to complete needed renovations, can finally reopen to the public.

    Representative Parkhurst stated, “The Kankakee River State Park is a treasure we need to maintain and protect. I worked and fought for progress on getting both the Potawatomi and Chippewa campgrounds open since taking office in 2017 despite road blocks and administrative red tape at every turn. When Senator Joyce was appointed, I asked for his cooperation and support in this battle and he gladly accepted. We both have deep roots in this community and are happily and successfully working together, despite all the partisan politics in our state, to improve the 79th District. We care about our community and it took both of us, on both sides of the aisle, to accomplish the opening of the campground. Great things can happen when you put community, not politics, first. We will continue to work together to reopen the Chippewa campground.”

    Senator Joyce stated, “During my time representing this district, I have worked tirelessly to ensure this remarkable resource is available to residents across this region. I am proud of the bipartisan work Representative Parkhurst and I accomplished to bring this campground to the people we represent. The park is a community staple that I am happy folks will have access to utilize and enjoy. As we kick off the fall season and more families are choosing to travel locally during the pandemic, the timing for the opening of the Kankakee State Park Potawatomi Campground could not be more perfect. We will all continue work together to get Chippewa campgrounds open next.”

    For questions or more information, please contact or Representative Parkhurst’s office at (815) 523-7779 or online at or contact Senator Joyce’s office at (708) 756-0882 or online at

  • Joyce, DeLuca to host Secretary of State mobile unit event in Chicago Heights

    joyce 031020CHICAGO HEIGHTS –Motorists who have been unable to visit a driver services facility to renew their driver’s licenses and purchase vehicle stickers will be able to attend a free mobile unit event, sponsored by State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) and State Representative Anthony DeLuca (D-Chicago Heights) in partnership with the secretary of state’s office. 

    The free event will be available to motorists Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chicago Heights Park District, located at 1400 Chicago Road.

    “Currently, Chicago Heights motorists do not have a convenient location for accessing DMV services,” Joyce said. “I’m pleased to partner with the secretary of state’s office and Rep. DeLuca to give drivers a safe and convenient way to renew and pay fees while the DMV is unavailable.”

    The unit operates like a DMV office and offers driver’s license renewals, identification cards and license plate stickers. Attendees must wear face coverings, and social distancing rules must be followed.

    "I urge my constituents to take advantage of this Mobile Department of Motor Vehicle opportunity," DeLuca said.

    joyce flyer 091720Joyce reminds residents that REAL ID services will not be available at the mobile unit. The deadline to obtain a REAL ID has been extended an additional year to Oct. 1, 2021.

    In addition, Joyce invites local veterans to utilize this event to add a veteran’s designation to their driver’s license or state ID. For veteran designation, residents must bring their DD-214 or NAF 13038. For more information about veteran ID services, call the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs at 1-800-437-9824.

    For motorists unable to attend, Joyce intends to host another mobile unit event in December.

    With questions or for additional information, contact Senator Joyce’s office at or call 708-756-0882.

  • Joyce promotes hazardous waste collection event at Kankakee Community College

    haz waste 091520KANKAKEE –State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging Kankakee County residents to dispose of their household hazardous waste at a collection event on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

    “This event provides residents of Kankakee County and surrounding areas the opportunity to safely and responsibly dispose of unwanted household chemicals and other hazardous products,” Joyce said. “This event will lead to safer homes and a cleaner environment for our community.”

    The free event is sponsored by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and will take place at Kankakee Community College, located at 100 College Drive in Kankakee, allowing residents to dispose of unused or leftover household products commonly found in homes at no cost.

    Residents are encouraged to bring chemical cleaners, oil-based paints, thinners, antifreeze, motor oil, gasoline, kerosene, weed killers, insecticides and pesticides, old or outdated medication, and similar hazardous household products. Fluorescent and other high-intensity discharge lamps may also be brought to the collection event.

    For safe transport of household hazardous waste, residents are asked to:

    • Pack household hazardous waste items in a disposable box to avoid spilling during transport.
    • Keep like chemicals together and separate unlike chemicals.
    • Secure lids and make sure containers are not leaking.
    • Place box(es) of household hazardous waste in the empty trunk of the vehicle, away from passengers, during transport.
    • Remain in the vehicle at collection site. On-site personnel will remove the household hazardous waste from the trunk of the vehicle.

    The following items cannot be disposed of during the event:latex paint, explosives, propane tanks, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, agricultural chemicals and business wastes. A complete list of household hazardous wastes that are and are not accepted is available online here

    The collection event is open to all Illinois residents. For questions or additional information, please contact the Waste Reduction Unit of the Illinois EPA at 217-524-3300.

  • Joyce announces Will and Kankakee Counties will receive economic recovery grants

    job interview 091120KANKAKEE – To create jobs and promote economic recovery during the pandemic, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is eager to announce Will and Kankakee Counties have been selected to receive a combined $1.14 million in grants for job training and placement programs. 

    “Increasing job opportunities across Will and Kankakee Counties is especially vital right now, during a time when so many people are out of work due to the pandemic,” Joyce said. “These grants will ensure people have the tools they need to get our communities back on track and help restart our economy.”

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Security (DCEO) has received two $8.3 million grants as part of the National Dislocated Worker Program, totaling a $16.6 million investment to place, train and hire Illinois workers to fill high-demand positions and assist local disaster relief programs.

    Of that funding, the County of Kankakee Northeast has been awarded $296,570, and Will County Northeast has been awarded $825,000.

    The state has distributed funding to 12 Local Workforce Innovation Areas to expand education and training opportunities throughout Illinois. DCEO will partner with local workforce agency partners to assist with filling high-need, temporary roles to help mitigate COVID-19 in communities, including contact tracers, COVID-19 protocol workers, building sanitization workers, temperature screeners, and food preparation and distribution workers.

    Training and hiring for new workforce programs are expected to begin this fall. Local workforce agencies will prioritize applicants who have been laid off or otherwise lost their jobs during the COVID-19 crisis at the time of their application. A full list of available training and hiring opportunities is available on Get Hired Illinois.

  • Joyce invites residents to Secretary of State’s mobile unit event in Chicago Heights

    IL licenseplate 090820CHICAGO HEIGHTS –To allow motorists to renew their driver’s licenses and purchase vehicle stickers without visiting a driver services facility, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) will host a free mobile unit event in partnership with the secretary of state’s office Tuesday, Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chicago Heights Park District, located at 1400 Chicago Road.

    “Because of the ongoing public health crisis, some drivers haven't been able to renew their driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations in person,” Joyce said. “Drivers will have a safe and convenient way to make those transactions without having to visit a DMV by attending the secretary of state’s mobile unit event.”  

    The unit operates like a DMV office and offers driver’s license renewals, identification cards and license plate stickers. Attendees must wear face coverings, and social distancing rules must be followed.

    Joyce is reminding residents that the deadline to obtain a REAL ID has been extended an additional year to Oct. 1, 2021, and REAL ID services will not be available at the mobile unit.

    With questions or for additional information, contact Senator Joyce’s office at or call 708-756-0882.

  • Joyce urges residents to drive sober this Labor Day weekend

    DUI 090420KANKAKEE – This Labor Day weekend, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is echoing law enforcement to spread the word of the dangers of drinking and driving.

    “There is no excuse to drive under the influence,” Joyce said. “This Labor Day holiday, and every day, I would encourage you to think twice before getting behind the wheel. Please make it a point to drive sober, use a rideshare service or call a designated driver.” 

    The high-visibility “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign runs from Aug. 20 through the early morning hours of Sept. 8. During this period, motorists in Kankakee, Chicago Heights and across the state can expect to see stepped-up impaired driving patrols and seat belt enforcement, particularly at night, when seat belt usage rates are at their lowest. Speeders and distracted drivers should also be aware. 

    “Impaired driving is illegal, and it puts lives at risk,” Joyce said. “Our community is counting on you to keep our roads safe this holiday weekend by wearing a seatbelt, watching your speed and never driving under the influence.”

    The Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is made possible by federal highway safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. 


  • Joyce: IDOT seeks snowplow drivers for winter season

    snowplow 090320PARK FOREST –The Illinois Department of Transportation is now accepting applications for seasonal snow-and-ice removal positions, and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging qualified individuals to apply.

    “During the winter season, snowplow drivers are critical to keeping drivers safe over more than 45,000 miles of road statewide,” Joyce said. “If you’ve been job hunting and coming up short, this is a great opportunity to consider as we head into the winter months.”

    Through the department’s annual “snowbird” program, temporary snowplow drivers are hired every year on a full-time and on-call basis. To be considered, applicants must have a commercial driver’s license. A pre-employment physical, vision test, and drug and alcohol screening are also required.

    Applicants will be selected based on availability, job-related experience and qualifications. Veterans are strongly encouraged to apply.

    “With so many Illinoisans out of work, I hope this opportunity allows people to find a stable job during these tough times,” Joyce said.

    For additional information, including positions and the application process in specific districts, details on pay and the potential for benefits, please click here.

  • Joyce invites local farmers to apply for cover crop discount program

    cover crop2 090220PARK FOREST –State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging area farmers to apply to the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s “Fall Covers for Spring Savings” cover crop program to receive a discounted crop insurance rate in spring 2021.

    “This is a very exciting program that can benefit soil health and protect water quality on and around our farms,” Joyce said. “I strongly encourage local farmers to take this program into consideration when making their fall planting decisions.”

    The program allows eligible applicants to receive a $5 per acre premium discount on the following year’s crop insurance invoice for every acre of cover crop enrolled and verified in the program.

    The goal of the program is to encourage farmers to plant additional acres of cover crops that are not covered by other state or federal incentives.

    “Cover crops are a great way to keep soil anchored, salvage nitrogen, capture carbon and create weed suppression,” said Jerry Costello II, Acting Director of Agriculture. “In the long run, cover crops will help Illinois farmers reduce the need for fertilizer and reach the goals of the Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.”

    Any farmer with coverage through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency crop insurance program is eligible to apply.

    Applications will be available in December on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website. For questions or additional information, contact the department at (217) 782-6297.

  • Joyce issues statement in response to new mitigation efforts

    coronavirus 082520KANKAKEE – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) released the following statement Tuesday in response to new COVID-19 mitigation measures in Region 7, which includes Will and Kankakee Counties:

    “The new mitigation efforts imposed in our region will require us to take proactive steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. If we want to get back to where we were at the beginning of Phase 4, I urge residents to take the appropriate steps to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing, wearing masks and adhering to other health and safety guidelines put in place by our public health officials.

    “As we work through these new mitigation measures, let’s not forget about our small business community. Local businesses still need our patronage in the weeks ahead. Order takeout. Purchase gift cards. I urge you to join this effort and do your part to overcome this pandemic.” 

  • Joyce encourages struggling households to apply for utility assistance programs

    electric meter 082120PARK FOREST –To help residents pay their electric bills during times of economic hardship, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging residents to apply for aid through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

    “With many Illinoisans facing income losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, families across the state are struggling to keep the lights on,” Joyce said. “Residents who need help paying their utility bills should take advantage of the LIHEAP program to relieve some of that financial burden.”

    LIHEAP helps eligible low-income households and senior citizens afford home energy services, including heating, gas, propane and electricity. Enrollment for LIHEAP is currently underway and will continue through June 2021. Joyce is urging seniors and households in need of assistance, especially those with disconnection notices or high past-due balances, to apply online as soon as possible.

    “It’s important for people to know there is assistance available,” Joyce said. “As we continue to navigate this pandemic, this program could help low-income families and seniors keep their utilities running.”

    To find a local administering agency near you, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website

  • Joyce applauds $1.8 million in funding for sidewalk improvements

    curb cuts 082020KANKAKEE –In an effort to support economic development in underserved communities, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced Kankakee will receive a grant through the Fast Track Public Infrastructure Capital program. 

    “It’s critical that we continue to update our infrastructure to meet the needs of our residents,” Joyce said. “Making streets more accessible is a vital step toward improving safety and mobility in our community.” 

    The Fast Track program was created by the state to provide emergency assistance for businesses and communities facing economic hardship during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Currently, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has launched more than $300 million in emergency relief programs, with most of the funding available for businesses. 

    The City of Kankakee was awarded $1.8 million for ADA sidewalk improvements. To be considered for funding, applicants were required to prove projects were located in an underserved area, promoted economic development for diverse business and could start within 90 days after being awarded.

    “I appreciate the leadership of Governor Pritzker and Senator Joyce for prioritizing capital funds during the pandemic. Not only do these funds support infrastructure projects, but they create jobs,” said Kankakee Mayor Chastity Wells-Armstrong. “Furthermore, this administration will continue to move Kankakee forward by pursuing every opportunity for funding and addressing equity in our community as we target areas in the city which have experienced divestment during the last several decades.”

    The Fast Track program is made possible through the Illinois statewide construction plan, known as Rebuild Illinois. For a list of cities that have been awarded Fast Track grants, click here

  • Joyce launches tour of local businesses

    joyce 022720PARK FOREST –As small businesses work to recover from the ongoing coronavirus crisis, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) intends to highlight the ways business owners are prioritizing safety for their employees and customers by touring the businesses of the 40th District.

    “Small businesses enhance our neighborhoods and stimulate our local economy,” Joyce said. “I look forward to hearing from small business owners, so we can empower and support them as they work to maintain a safe environment and get back on their feet during this awful pandemic.”

    Joyce 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 open, and interested business owners can find the application at Joyce plans to start the program in the coming weeks and requests businesses to submit requests soon. Once the application is received, a member of Joyce’s team will respond with additional details. 

    Those with questions can contact Joyce’s office at 708-756-0882 or visit

  • Joyce commends area businesses receiving recovery grants

    reopen barber 051420PARK FOREST –A total of 26 local businesses have been awarded a combined $480,000 in grants through the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program, prompting State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) to extend his congratulations to the recipients.

    “Small businesses give so much to our community, but right now they are struggling to stay afloat,” Joyce said. “BIG grants can help these establishments move one step closer to financial recovery.”

    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 personal protective equipment, training and new technology.

    “I am committed to supporting relief efforts so businesses affected by this crisis can come out on top,” Joyce said. “I encourage any area business searching for financial relief to apply for future rounds of Business Interruption Grants.”

    To ensure ongoing support for Illinois small businesses, the State of Illinois has planned future rounds of funding. 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.

  • Joyce highlights new grant available to support dairy entrepreneurship

    dairy 080720PARK FOREST – In an effort to provide financial and technical support to the dairy industry in Illinois, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) is urging dairy farmers and businesses apply for grants through the Dairy Business Innovation Alliance (DBIA).

    “Every dairy farmer should look at this grant opportunity,” Joyce, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee said. “These grants are designed to help dairy producers and processors expand, while promoting more entrepreneurial efforts.”

    DBIA, a joint effort coordinated by the Center for Dairy Research and the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association, was designed to support and promote the diversification and addition of value-added products to the Midwest dairy industry.

    Goals of the program include increasing on-farm diversification, creating value-added dairy products like specialty cheeses, and expanding export opportunities for farm-scale and processor dairy products.

    The grant application period is now open. A total of $220,000 in funds is available, with individual projects eligible for up to $20,000 each. The deadline to complete and return applications is Aug. 14. Selected producers and business owners will be notified Sept. 4.

    For questions or additional information, call DBIA at 608-265-1491 or visit

  • Joyce urges residents in need of support to explore new mental health program options

    joyce 031020PARK FOREST— With pandemic-related stress weighing heavily on many Illinoisans, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) is encouraging residents to explore to the Illinois Department of Human Services’ new mental health programs.

    “The additional stressors people are facing caused by the pandemic can be difficult to navigate with the uncertainty around us,” Joyce said. “Pandemic or not, we need to focus on people’s mental health, and these new programs will ensure there are resources available for those in need.”

    IDHS introduced three new programs Monday to help Illinoisans struggling with mental health, developed in coordination with community mental health centers and nontraditional service providers across the state.

    The first new program, the Living Room Program, is designed specifically for those in need of a crisis respite program to divert crises and break the cycle of psychiatric hospitalization. It provides a safe, inviting, home-like atmosphere where people can calmly process a crisis event while learning how to avoid a future crisis.

    The Transitional Living Centers Program is a housing resource for people with mental illnesses who are in need of a place to stay while they work to find permanent housing.

    Additionally, the Transitional Community Care and Support Programs offer assistance to current patients of state-operated psychiatric hospitals who are preparing to be discharged. It will include funding for non-traditional supports, such as cell phones, food, clothing, transportation and other resources that are necessary for individuals to succeed as they transition back into communities.

    Individuals seeking help from the Living Room Program may be referred by first responders or medical professionals. Participants of the other two programs will be referred by IDHS and other providers. Anyone who thinks they may benefit from these programs should talk to their mental health provider.

    For more information and to find additional mental health resources, click here.

  • Joyce encourages businesses to apply for PPP loans

    small biz open 071520PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) is encouraging small businesses to apply for COVID-19 relief funds through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

    “This program is a great opportunity for businesses to gain some financial certainty while they try to weather this pandemic,” Joyce said. “I strongly encourage small businesses to contact their banks before the Aug. 8 deadline to see if they are eligible to benefit.”

    The application period has been extended to allow more businesses to apply for a portion of $10 million in relief funding. Loans will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and may be used to keep employees on the payroll and pay overhead expenses.

    More than 27,000 Illinois businesses have already taken advantage of the loans – saving an estimated 1.36 million jobs – according to the Small Business Administration.

    PPP loans have an interest rate of 1% and can be fully forgiven if they are used for eligible costs, including payroll, rent, utilities or interest on mortgages. To find participating lenders, business owners and managers can visit the Small Business Administration’s website here.


  • Joyce reminds residents taxes are due July 15

    Tax Day071520Facebook ImagePARK FOREST –With the income tax filing deadline approaching,State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) is reminding residents to file their state and federal taxes on or before July 15.

    “Because of COVID-19, the filing deadline was extended to July 15,” Joyce said. “While the extension provided taxpayers a few extra months to make payments during this pandemic, the deadline is almost here, and I am urging residents to file their 2019 income taxes as quickly as possible.”

    According to the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR), the fastest, most secure way to receive a refund is to file a tax return electronically and request a direct deposit into a checking or savings account. Taxpayers may file and pay their IL-1040 for free through MyTax Illinois. Taxpayers who have already filed a return can check their status at
    For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules and instructions for the 2019 tax year, please visit IDOR’s website at