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 www.cyberdriveillinois.com. 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 www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

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 isbe.net/covid19.

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 repparkhurst.com or contact Senator Joyce’s office at (708) 756-0882 or online at senatorpatrickjoyce.com.

Sen. Patrick Joyce

Sen. Patrick Joyce

40th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Public Health; Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com.; Agriculture; Energy and Public Utilities; Labor; Local Government.

Biography: Fourth generation farmer; grew up Reddick, Illinois, now resides in Essex, Illinois; B.A. in Agribusiness, Illinois State University; 19-year member of the Kankakee County Farm Bureau Board of Directors; lifelong advocate for conservation and environmental awareness; 25-year owner and operator of his family-owned farm; married, father of three, lost one daughter to leukemia in 2011; has since become a team leader for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Associated Representatives:
Anthony DeLuca
Lindsay Parkhurst