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NAPERVILLE – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, small businesses are still facing added financial hardships, and State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is urging local businesses       to apply for assistance through the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

“The challenges that have been created due to this pandemic are truly unprecedented,” Ellman said. “So many in the community      have worked tirelessly to follow the latest guidelines. It’s great to      see another round of these grants coming to these well-deserving businesses.”

The BIG Program has allocated $220 million in the second round for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and more to help them stay afloat through these uncertain times and make sure they have the means to open safely in the coming months.

BIG funds can be used to help businesses cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic.

To ensure funds are distributed across the state and across business type, $60 million has been specifically allocated for heavily distressed industries, including indoor recreation facilities and amusement parks.

During the program’s first round of funding last month, it granted more than $40 million to small businesses across the state. Businesses in Will and DuPage Counties were awarded over $500,000 in $10,000 to $20,000 grants during the first round.

“These funds have and will continue to give businesses the ability to reopen with the new guidelines and provide a safer environment for employees and customer,” Ellman said.

Applications open tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 17 and can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website alongside a full list of criteria. 

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NAPERVILLE – The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced it will begin testing all community water supplies in the state for potential contaminants, a decision State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) says could help protect the health of both residents and the environment.

The Illinois EPA will begin testing for per- and polyfluoroaklyl substances (PFAS), human-made chemicals that do not occur naturally in the environment. They are widely used for      waterproofing and stain-fighting applications in a range of commercial products such as waterproof clothing, food wrappers and many household products.

“I’m glad to see the Illinois EPA being proactive and measuring the prevalence of PFAS chemicals in our water supply,” Ellman said. “This will allow us to learn more about concentration levels and variability of PFAS compounds, which in turn helps us understand risk. I expect this data will be very useful.”

According to the Illinois EPA, if PFAS chemicals are detected in concentrations above a certain level, additional assessments or actions may be needed to protect residents’ health and the environment.

“Our statewide drinking water investigation will produce essential data on these emerging contaminants, which will allow us to identify areas where action must be taken to reduce human health risks associated with these chemicals in drinking water,” said Illinois EPA Director John J. Kim.

The Illinois EPA will collect data on a total of 18 PFAS chemicals to help develop future regulations for PFAS levels in drinking water. The research is expected to take 12 to 15 months to complete.

For additional information, please visit the Statewide PFAS Investigation Network webpage.

Be Counted

NAPERVILLE –  State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is      urging residents to participate in the 2020 Census before the Sept. 30 deadline.

DuPage County is slightly above its 2010 response rate, but until there’s a 100% response rate, schools, roads, hospitals and other critical community services could be negatively affected.

“Our community is doing a wonderful job responding to the census, but our goal should always be a 100 percent response rate,” Ellman said. “Tell your friends and family that we can’t be complacent.  This is one of the most patriotic things you can do right now, and it’s never been easier.”

The census is now safer, more secure, and just as confidential. Filling out the form is crucial as 2020 brings new congressional district maps, helps determine how federal funds flow into states and provides information that will affect communities across Illinois for the next 10 years.

Currently, 83.6% of Naperville residents, 83.7% of Wheaton residents and 85.3% of Winfield residents have filled out the form this year. This still leaves nearly one in every six residents who have not filled yet filled it out. Ellman is reminding residents that although many of the communities in the 21st Illinois Senate District have a high response rate, it’s still imperative to fill out your census.

“When it comes to getting our rightful share of tax dollars, there is always room to improve," said Ellman. "If you've already taken the census, remind others who haven't."

Residents can complete the census for their household at https://my2020census.gov, or by calling 844-330-2020.

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NAPERVILLE – To allow nearly 150,000 older Illinoisans to avoid long lines and crowds at the driver services facility, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is informing drivers 75 and older that the expiration date for their driver’s licenses have been extended by one year.

“There’s simply no pressing reason for our most vulnerable population to put themselves at risk,” Ellman said. “Older adults should be avoiding large crowds and long lines in the heat, especially during this pandemic.”

In addition to being 75 years of age or older, the driver must have a valid license—drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension. Eligible drivers should soon receive a letter from the secretary of state as proof that they qualify.

For drivers under age 75, expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020. Customers who choose to visit a facility are required to wear a face mask. Additionally, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and to be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

Ellman continues to encourage drivers to visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to avoid waiting in line and take advantage of online services, including replacements and renewals of registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards. Naperville residents can reach their local driver services facility at (312) 793-1010.

To find the closest driver services facility near you, visit cyberdrive.illinois.com, click on the facility finder, and enter your ZIP code in the search bar.

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Contact Info

District Office
475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 601-9961

Springfield Office
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192