Dear Friend,

 

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Two decades later, it is still difficult for many of us to think about where we were when the towers fell.

 

September 11

 

On this solemn day, let’s take a moment to remember the victims and first responders who lost their lives in the attacks, as well as the families, friends and loved ones they left behind.

 

May their memories inspire us to love one another more completely, to come together in times of strife, and to help each other cope, recover and grieve as one American family.

 

In remembrance and gratitude,

Senator Munoz

 

 

Tony Munoz

State Senator | 1st District

Dear Friend,

Our economy is on the upswing after a difficult year, but we’re far from out of the woods—that’s why Illinois is launching Back to Business (B2B), a new $250 million small business relief program.

Read on for more information about what kinds of businesses are eligible for B2B and how to apply. If you know a small business owner in need, feel free to forward this information to them. You can also direct them to my office at 773-869-9050 or SenatorTonyMunoz.com for assistance.

And there’s something else we can all do to help our small business community bounce back: get vaccinated. It’s key to bringing down our COVID-19 positivity rates and making a full return to the places and activities we enjoyed before the pandemic.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions. Let’s keep working together toward a complete recovery!

Sincerely,

Tony Munoz
State Senator | 1st District

What is the Back to Business grant program?

The B2B program, administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, will award eligible small businesses one-time grants of up to $150,000 to cover operation costs, staff payroll and other expenses in an effort to make up for losses sustained due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $250 million will be distributed.

Is my business eligible?

In order to qualify for a grant through the B2B program, a business must have made $20 million or less in revenue in 2019 and be able to demonstrate a reduction in revenue in 2020.

How will businesses be selected?

To direct aid where it’s needed most, DCEO will prioritize businesses in the following categories:

  • Businesses in particularly hard-hit industries, like hotels, restaurants, retailers, arts organizations, fitness centers and child care providers
  • Businesses located in disproportionately impacted areas
  • Businesses that have not received funding through other state and federal relief programs
  • Businesses that brought in $5 million or less in revenue in 2019

When and how can I apply?

The B2B application portal will open Wednesday, Aug. 18 on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/DCEO.

In the meantime, business owners are encouraged to review the program requirements and gather any required documentation. DCEO will also be hosting informational webinars Tuesday, Aug. 17 at 3 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. to walk interested candidates through the application process.

A variety of local and state organizations are offering assistance to small businesses looking to apply for grants through B2B. A full, searchable list of these program partners is available here.

I encourage interested small business owners to explore the program and see if their business may be eligible for aid. As always, my office can point you in the direction of helpful resources to make the application process smoother—simply contact us at 773-869-9050 or SenatorTonyMunoz.com.

Other opportunities you may be interested in…

Grants available for organizations preparing Illinoisans for the workplace

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program and Apprenticeship Expansion Program are offering grants to community organizations that are modernizing and diversifying apprenticeship opportunities in Illinois.

Student loan payment freeze extended through January 2022

The federal government has extended the pause on student loan payments an additional four months, to Jan. 31, 2022, to give borrowers more time to recover from pandemic-related job and income losses. This is great news for the 36 million Americans struggling with federal student loan debt. For more information, contact your loan servicer or visit www.studentaid.gov.

Nearly all local governments eligible for funding to support public parks

The Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program helps cover the cost of renovations, expansions and new development of public parks. Local governments can use grant funding to build playgrounds, sports courts and fields, swimming pools, campgrounds, winter sports facilities, restrooms, and more. Apply by Sept. 1 at www.dnr.illinois.gov.
 

Dear Friend,

There are a number of new programs and service changes available to help you and your family.

I hope you take advantage of these opportunities or pass the information along to someone who might benefit. As always, my staff is available to help answer questions and provide assistance however we can—just reach out to us at 773-869-9050 or SenatorTonyMunoz.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

munozsig2

 

 

Tony Munoz

State Senator | 1st District

Internet service discounts available for low-income families

BroadbandGraphicFB

More than 1.1 million Illinoisans lack access to at-home internet services. To help close the digital divide, the federal Emergency Broadband Benefit program offers a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible low-income households, plus a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a device. Apply now at FCC.gov/BroadbandBenefit or call (833) 511-0311.

SBA launches streamlined loan relief application

Starting Aug. 4, the U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a streamlined application portal to allow borrowers with Paycheck Protection Program loans of $150,000 or less to apply for forgiveness directly. Call (877) 552-2692, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. for help with your application.

 

Summer book club extension

Book Club Extention FB

I have extended the deadline to turn in book club forms to Aug. 30. The Summer Reading Club requires students to read eight books of their choice during the summer break, record the names of the books and return the form to my office. Everyone who completes the Summer Reading Club will receive a gift card and certificate from myself.

To receive a book club form, visit SenatorMunoz.com to download and print the form. Parents can also contact the district office at 773-869-9050.

 

Get REAL ID-ready by spring 2023

Real ID Extended FB 002

The federal Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline for residents to get a REAL ID due to the pandemic. Airports will continue to accept current state IDs and driver’s license until the new May 3, 2023 deadline. Learn more about REAL ID and how to apply for one at REALID.ilsos.gov.

 

All aboard! Amtrak resumes full train service

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced last week that Amtrak is returning to its full pre-pandemic schedule. Trains run the length of the state from Chicago to St. Louis, Quincy and Carbondale. Visit Amtrak.com/Midwest for routes.

Secretary of state initiatives to help cut down on crowds

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced two strategies to help reduce crowding and wait times for residents visiting driver services facilities:

  • Beginning in September, more Chicago-area facilities will implement appointment scheduling systems, with central Illinois and downstate facilities soon to follow suit. Appointments can be made up to 10 days ahead of time at www.cyberdriveillinois.com or (844) 817-4649.
  • Beginning in September and running through February 2022, the secretary of state’s office will expand remote renewal for driver’s license and ID card holders. Eligible customers will automatically receive letters with instructions to renew documents online, by phone or by mail.

As a reminder, all driver’s license and ID card expiration dates have been extended to Jan. 1, 2022, and all visitors to secretary of state facilities—vaccinated or unvaccinated—are required to wear masks starting Monday, Aug. 2.

For tenants who are still struggling to pay their rent, the Illinois Rental Payment Program is accepting applications for the current round of assistance until Sunday, July 18, at 11:59p.m.

Applications can be completed at ILRPP.IHDA.org.

The Illinois Rental Payment Program is an emergency rental assistance program designed to support households in Illinois that are unable to pay rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neighbors who apply may be eligible for up to 15 months of assistance and a maximum grant amount of $25,000. The grant can cover past due rent from the previous 12 months and future rental assistance for the next three months, if deemed necessary.

In the event that a property owner is unresponsive, the Illinois Housing Development Authority will provide an alternative pathway to complete the application.

If you have any questions or need assistance completing your application, you can reach out to an area Housing Stability Service Provider. Providers in the 1st District include:

Brighton Park Neighborhood Council
4477 S. Archer Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60632
www.bpncchicago.org
(773) 523-7110

The Resurrection Project
1805 S. Paulina St.
Chicago, Illinois 60608
www.resurrectionproject.org
(312) 666-1323
 

My staff is available to help answer questions and provide assistance however we can—just reach out to us at 773-869-9050 or SenatorTonyMunoz.com.

Sincerely,

Tony Munoz

State Senator | 1st District

COVID19 Updates

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
323A State Capitol Bldg.
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9415

Chicago Office:
1836 W. 35th St. 1st Fl.
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 869-9050