small bizPLAINFIELD – To assist local business struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is encouraging business owners to apply for Business Interruption Grants.

“COVID-19 has created many difficulties and uncertainties for our business community,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This grant program can help our local businesses keep their doors open during these tough times.”

Businesses in Will County, due to the additional mitigations, will receive priority consideration for the current round of BIG grants, with $220 million available to help offset costs and losses businesses have incurred as a result of the pandemic.

BIG funds may 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 types, $60 million has been specifically allocated for heavily distressed industries, including indoor recreation facilities and amusement parks, and another $70 million has been set aside for businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas, or low-income areas that have experienced high rates of COVID-19. Many Joliet-area businesses may qualify for part of the $70 million. For a full list of eligible zip codes, click here.

During this difficult time, Bertino-Tarrant is urging residents to support local businesses.

“Our local businesses support our communities in countless ways. Now is our time to support them,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Instead of spending your money at out of state businesses, I urge you to shop local during this difficult time. Your support will make all the difference.”

Applications are open until funding is exhausted and can be found on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website alongside a full list of criteria and upcoming webinars to assist businesses. 

1 163SHOREWOOD – On National Move over Awareness Day, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is urging drivers to remember to exercise safe driving habits to responsibly share the road with first responders.

Oct. 17, 2020 marks the holiday that emphasizes the need for drivers to decrease their vehicle’s speed and move into another lane in order protect first responders such as ambulance drivers, police officers and roadside assistance professionals.

“Every day, our officers and first responders put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to continue to educate motorists to guarantee it is second nature for drivers to slow down and move over when any vehicle is stalled on the side of the road.”

In 2019, Bertino-Tarrant championed a measure that tightens up Scott’s Law in Illinois. The law clarifies drivers need to slow down, change lanes and proceed with caution when emergency vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway. In the same year, there were more than 25 Scott’s Law related car crashes.

“Distracted drivers are an increasing threat to our first responders and officers,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Remember to stay alert and aware as you are driving – you are putting our first responders and officers lives at unnecessary risk.”

Bertino-Tarrant urges drivers to read more about Scott’s Law at

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

PLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is encouraging people who lost work during the ongoing public health crisis to take advantage of jobs brought to the 49th District by an $825,000 economic recovery grant.

03012017CM0381Web“The COVID-19 pandemic put people throughout the state and Will County out of work, and many of those people have been struggling to find new jobs for months,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Dozens of jobs have now opened up in Will County that will benefit not only the people who are hired, but the county as a whole. I encourage anyone who is seeking a steady job to apply immediately.”

Will County Northeast was awarded $825,000 in economic recovery grants to train and hire workers to fill high-demand positions and assist local disaster relief programs. The money – totaling $16.6 million for the state – comes to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Security (DCEO) from the National Dislocated Worker Program.

The state distributed the funds 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.



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