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NAPERVILLE – In an effort to provide support to small business owners facing economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19  crisis, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) announced 29 local businesses will receive nearly $500,000 through the Business Interruption Grant program.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created extraordinary new  challenges for our local small businesses,” Ellman said. “So many   of these businesses have worked hard to follow new guidelines,    so I’m thrilled to see so many are receiving these well deserved grants.”

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 businesses hit particularly hard by pandemic-related closures and restrictions. First round grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 and may be used to help businesses with working expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities and any other pandemic-related expenses, such as personal protective equipment, new technology and training.

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.

“These additional funds will give businesses the ability to reopen with the new guidelines and provide a safer environment for employees and customer,” Ellman said. “These grants are just some of the first steps that need to be taken to safely reopen our state economy and eventually eradicate the virus, so we can get back to everyday life.”

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.

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NAPERVILLE — State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is emphasizing the Illinois Department of Human Services’ new    mental health programs to help people who need additional resources for crisis support, housing and community care during their times of need.

“Residents are under additional pressure. We need to make sure that we provide them with assistance,” Ellman said. “Creating    these new resources can help so many people who feel the programs that are already in place just don’t work for them.”

On Monday, IDHS announced the roll out of three new mental health programs that were created to provide additional resources for residents. Working with local mental health centers and other less traditional service providers, the agency developed new clinical services and supports.

A new program called the Living Room Program is designed specifically for people in need of a crisis relief program to break the cycle of psychiatric hospitalization. It provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere where individuals can process an event while learning how to avoid a future crisis.

The Transitional Living Centers Program is a housing resource for people who have mental illnesses and need an immediate place to stay while they search for permanent housing.

The Transitional Community Care and Support Programs are for people who are currently in IDHS State Operated Psychiatric Hospitals and are preparing to be discharged. It will include funding for non-traditional supports, such as cell phones, food, clothing, transportation, and other additional resources needed for individuals to succeed as they transition back into their communities.

Individuals seeking help from the Living Room Program may seek help directly or be referred by first responders or medical professionals. Participants of the other two programs will be referred by IDHS and other providers.

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

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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is announcing that the 21st Senate District is set to receive over $15 million for improvements to local roads and bridges as part of the state’s ongoing multi-year construction plan.

“In these uncertain times, it’s encouraging to see the state     continue to work on roads and bridges,” Ellman said. “These projects will bring good-paying jobs to our area, while also   providing a much-needed update to local roads and bridges.”

 The $15 million in spending will be distributed among a number of projects across the district, including over $6 million for the Washington Street bridge. Located in the center of downtown Naperville, the over 40-year-old bridge will be completely replaced. Other projects include the construction of new bikeways, rehabilitating local roads and repairing other bridges.

"The Washington Street bridge at the center of downtown Naperville has over 30,000 cars travel across it daily," said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. "At over 40 years old, reconstructing this critical piece of infrastructure is key to our continued economic success and vibrancy of our downtown business district."

The Illinois Department of Transportation’s plan will invest $21.3 billion to improve the state’s infrastructure over the next six years. Projects included in the program were selected based on objective criteria, such as pavement conditions, traffic volumes, and crash history. It will create thousands of job opportunities for residents across the state.

IDOT’s complete Multi-Year Plan can be found on the website and the complete list of projects for the 21st District can be found here.

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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman is recognizing and thanking the Illinois National Guard for its determination and    service to Illinoisans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a member of the General Assembly and an Illinoisan, I cannot thank our troops enough for their hard work and dedication to this state,” Ellman said. “These young women and men have risked    their lives day in and day out to ensure we all stay safe and    healthy.”

Illinois’ mobile testing operation will be expanded to twelve COVID-19 mobile testing sites, operated by the National Guard. The sites will offer mobile testing to residents in the hardest hit communities and will visit other areas in need of more testing, like homeless services centers and nursing homes. The sites offer drive-through and walk-up tests free of charge to any Illinoisans who wants to be tested.

“Over the past few months, these troops have ensured that thousands of Illinoisans have been able to receive COVID-19 tests,” Ellman said. “Illinois has some of the best testing numbers and positivity rates in the nation. I have no doubt that this was made possible by the assistance of the National Guard.”

Testing has played a critical role in allowing for the safe reopening of the Illinois economy. Illinois has been persistently investing in accessible testing for all Illinoisans, which will allow communities across the state to stay on a course of recovery.

The governor’s announcement about the state’s mobile testing site expansion can be found here.

Individuals can find a nearby testing location visiting https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/testing-sites.

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552 S. Washington, Suite 104
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 453-5488

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