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FRANKFORT – Eighteen South Suburban businesses received Business Interruption Grant money, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) announced Thursday.

“With COVID-19 positivity and death rates increasing, Governor Pritzker has put mitigation measures in place for communities across the state. As a result, South Suburban business owners have had to endure multiple shutdowns,” Hastings said. “It is essential that the state provides help, and I am incredibly appreciative that our businesses that have borne the brunt of this pandemic were prioritized in this round of grants."

Businesses were awarded $5,000-$150,000 grants to help cover the costs of payroll, rent, utilities and other working capital during the time they have experienced interruptions due to the pandemic.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awarded the grants this week, as part of the second round of BIG Grants. However, applications will remain open until all of the funding is spent.

“I have spoken to numerous recipients of these grants, which I voted this past session to fully fund, and they have expressed to me how helpful the money was in helping their businesses stay afloat. From Tom Kelly’s Pub in New Lenox to Flavor in Richton Park, I have seen firsthand the difference these grants have made in the lives of our business owners and their employees.”

The BIG program is the largest state-run economic support program formed in response to the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are available on the DCEO’s website.

Category: Press Releases

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FRANKFORT – Following the announcement that Region 7 mitigation measures were lifted, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) released the following statement:
 
“Three weeks ago, enhanced mitigation measures were placed on Will County and Region 7. Our local businesses and municipalities were forced into an extreme and dire situation. With the hard work and discipline of Will County residents, the COVID-19 infection rate has decreased to a point where the enhanced mitigation measures will be lifted effective at 5:00 p.m. this evening. 

“I want to thank our businesses and chambers of commerce for their feedback and involvement throughout this process. Listening to our local leaders is essential to effective leadership. For those businesses still struggling, I encourage you to visit the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s website for information on the Business Interruption Grant program. 

“Moreover, I could not be more proud of our people for coming together and taking proper precautions.  As we move forward, our local businesses cannot afford another setback. We must remain vigilant for the sake of economic recovery and public health.”

Category: Press Releases

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FRANKFORT — To reduce long lines and to protect vulnerable populations, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) is urging older adults to take advantage of the driver’s license expiration date extension from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

“We have to continue taking every precaution when it comes to mitigating the spread of this virus,” Hastings said. “I’m pleased that Secretary White’s office is taking the initiative to reduce crowd sizes and make life easier for our people by any means possible.”

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 must wear a face mask. In addition, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and to be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

Residents are encouraged 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.

More information regarding services provided at local Secretary of State facilities can be found at www.ilsos.gov/facilityfinder/facility,

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) recognized the obstacles students and teachers may face in the fall by supporting the General Assembly’s comprehensive education package, which was signed into law today.

“While COVID-19 has presented our educators and students with a situation they could never have planned for, it is still our job to provide them with the resources they need to succeed, regardless of circumstance,” Hastings said.

The education package does a number of things to help students and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes extending educator license renewals for one year, so teachers don’t have to go through the renewal process while working remotely. It also allows for mandatory tests to be taken remotely, so students don’t have to risk getting sick in order to take an exam they need to apply for college.

Additionally, relating to higher education, any grade of “pass,” “credit,” or “satisfactory” during the public health emergency is transferable and will fulfill prerequisite requirements for more advanced courses.

“Students have worked hard on their classes during unprecedented circumstances, and those efforts should still count, even if they did not receive a typical letter grade,” Hastings said. “If a student has displayed commitment by completing their course work, they deserve full credit.”

It also modifies income requirements for the state's AIM HIGH education grant program, saying a student’s income when they enter the program will remain their income for the duration of their inclusion in the program.

This legislation is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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CONTACT SENATOR HASTINGS

Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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