SHOREWOOD – As Women’s Small Business Month kicks off, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) is encouraging female business owners to take advantage of a number of free webinars to help them learn more about Business Interruption Grants. 


“Many women business owners had to work extra hard to achieve success, and I want to see as many women-owned businesses as possible make it through the pandemic,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Any female business owner who needs assistance is encouraged to attend this virtual event.”

The BIG program is a $636 million program created to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. The program uses federal funds provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. 

The webinars, hosted by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and pegged as “All in for Women: BIG Webinars” will focus on women-owned business, instructing owners on how to navigate eligibility and the application process for BIG grants offered by the state.

In the second round of grants, $220 million will be allocated to provide relief for all types of small businesses, including women-owned small businesses. Funding can be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs, rent, utilities, and other operational costs.

During the webinars, women-owned businesses will learn about eligibility, program details, and the application process. Technical assistance support will also be provided for the last 30 minutes of every session.   

The dates and time of each webinar is listed below along with links to register.

  • Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. Register HERE
  • Tuesday. Oct. 20, 2 p.m. Register HERE
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2 p.m. Register HERE

2018ShredEventROMEOVILLE – Consumer fraud and identity theft are growing epidemics in Illinois.

To promote prevention, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) and State Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet ) are offering free paper shredding services for area residents from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 21 at Abri Credit Union (1350 Renwick Rd., Romeoville).

To help reduce the chances of identity theft, experts recommend shredding things like bank statements, credit card offers and credit card convenience checks. Residents should also shred canceled credit cards, canceled checks, pay stubs, old photo IDs and tax returns that are more than three years old.

To accommodate all participants the limit is two boxes of residential shredding per a person. Boxes and bags will be returned. No electronics will be accepted.   

The Romeoville Police Department will be offering free on-site medicine disposal.

No business shredding and electronics recycling will be accepted.

Date: Saturday, July 21
Time: 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Abri Credit Union (1350 Renwick Rd., Romeoville, IL)

For more information, call Bertino-Tarrant’s office at (815) 254-4211.

SSS2 2018PLAINFIELD — State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is continuing her Summer Speaker Series to provide updates on the Illinois Rock and Roll Museum that will soon be located in downtown Joliet.  

The second speaker series event, Rock & Roll on Route 66, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 at the Presence Healing Arts Pavilion, 16615 S. Route 59, Plainfield.

The discussion will be led by Ron Romero, board chairman and president and creator of the Illinois Rock & Roll Museum on Route 66 museum and organization.

“This new museum is a wonderful addition to downtown Joliet,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Illinois has a rich history of musicians and bands that have made a worldwide impact. The museum will give us an opportunity to pay tribute to their contributions and successes.”

For more information about the museum, visit

Bertino-Tarrant will host one more installment in the Summer Speaker Series titled, “Fall in Love with Nature.”

For more information, please contact Bertino-Tarrant's district office at 815-254-4211.


Date: Tuesday, July 17
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Presence Healing Arts Pavilion, 16615 S. Route 59, Plainfield


PLAINFIELD – School districts across Illinois will have additional tools to combat the national teacher shortage thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

House Bill 5627 is a multi-faceted, bipartisan effort that removes red tape and allows retired teachers to fill in when needed.  It was signed into law on Friday. 

“Teacher shortages lead to strained resources, large class sizes and impaired learning experiences for our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new approach will help us recruit qualified educators who want to work in our communities.”

According to the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 86 percent Illinois school districts surveyed have had to pull teachers from planning periods to fill in as substitute teachers in other courses. Superintendents are also struggling to find bilingual, Spanish and special education teachers, as well as school nurses and psychologists.

“There are quality educators that want to teach in Illinois classrooms,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is important that we empower them by implementing commonsense reforms, cutting red tape and making the teacher licensure process reasonable and fair.”

The law takes the following actions among others:

• Creates a new type of license – a Short Term Substitute Teaching License – to allow individuals that hold an associate’s degree or who have completed 60 hours of Higher Education coursework to substitute teach for five consecutive days;

• Allows full reciprocity for out-of-state educators wishing to teach in Illinois;

• Allows individuals who hold a lapsed Professional Educator License due to failure to complete professional development to qualify for a substitute teaching license;

• Allows downstate retired teachers to substitute teach for 120 days each year (currently 100) without jeopardizing their retirement benefits;

• Requires school districts to offer training to short-term substitute teachers. 

Bertino-Tarrant said allowing Illinois’ retirees more days in the classroom will be a win for everyone.

“Our retired teachers are a valuable resource,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We can lower the teacher-to-student ratios without increasing cost by expanding the use of our retired teachers on a part-time basis. Our goal is to ensure our children receive the best learning opportunities possible.”

House Bill 5627 will go into effect on July 1, 2018.

“As the new funding formula kicks in, we need to work toward ensuring property tax relief for families across Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Funding schools the right way should mean that folks see property tax bill savings.”

The 2017 report released by the IARSS can be found here:

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119 B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706 
(217) 782-0052

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15300 Rt. 59 Unit 202
Plainfield, IL 60544 
(815) 254-4211
(815) 254-4213 FAX

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