• Governor Pritzker Announces $327 Million in Household Assistance Available for Low-Income Families

    Governor Pritzker Announces $327 Million in Household Assistance Available for Low-Income Families
    In a move to support Illinois’ most vulnerable families from falling behind, this week, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) joined community partners to announce $327 million in Help Illinois Families assistance through the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG). By leveraging $209 million from ARPA and through expanded eligibility under SB0265, the initiative will help more residents in need than ever before with rent, utilities, food, and other household expenses regardless of immigration status.
    The historic investment provides a vital safety net to prevent Illinoisans impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, from falling behind on payments, falling into debt, or risking their ability to get back to work. DCEO has teamed up with 37 statewide Community Action Agencies to ensure families have access to these critical support services in their time of most need.
    LIHEAP funds are available from now through May 31, 2022. To apply, visit DCEO’s website or helpillinoisfamilies.com.
    DCEO Announces Awardees of the $16.5 million Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development (RIRED) Program
    Leading to the creation of nearly 1,500 jobs, this week Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced $16.5 million in Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development (RIRED) capital grants to fuel continued economic development across the state, while leveraging over $75 million in investments.
    Part of the Governor’s historic $45 billion Rebuild Illinois program, the DCEO RIRED is supporting 11 new projects across the state, while supporting key local, regional, and state economic development priorities. 
    Projects selected for grants include:
    • Bourdeau-Griffin Interiors & Architectural Supplies, Inc., Chicago – Business Hub and Development Center - $1,901,518
    • City of Effingham – Street expansion/water & sewer improvements to serve expansion of manufacturing facility - $1,464,019
    • City of Geneva – New Electrical Substation in preparation for industrial development of adjacent properties - $1,270,017
    • City of Monmouth – Municipal Water System Upgrades in support of expansion and modernization of business - $2,000,000
    • City of Quincy –Quincy Regional Barge Dock Improvements to elevate above flood stage - $743,200
    • Naperville Heritage Society, Naperville – New Visitor Center and Exhibition at Naper Settlement Museum - $765,000
    • New Med Diagnostics, Jefferson County – New Medical Facility – $1,615,366
    • Omni Ecosystems, Chicago – Green Infrastructure and business incubator - $2,000,000
    • Ottawa Young Men's Christian Association, Ottawa – New YMCA Facility including health care facility and classroom space - $1,990,880
    • Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (DBA Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH), Rock Island – Adaptive reuse of former Shimer College Campus for a business  development education center for low-to-moderate income persons and affordable housing - $1,500,000
    • Village of Schaumburg –Public access road and bike path connecting major businesses to Metra Station- $1,250,000
    Learn more about DCEO’s Rebuild Illinois Programs.
    Gov. Pritzker Announces $44 Million Investment in Workforce Training for Jobseekers and At-Risk Youth
    As part of the administration’s ongoing efforts to expand workforce training, help hard-hit business sectors, and bring more residents back to work, today Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and community leaders to announce $44 million in new investments in workforce training for jobseekers and at-risk youth. 
    Included in this initiative is $40 million leveraged from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for workforce recovery grants to increase employment among workers and industries hit hardest by COVID-19 – supporting an estimated 1,500 unemployed, underemployed, or underrepresented citizens in disproportionately impacted areas. Additionally, building on the administration’s investments in youth career training programs, $4.4 million is dedicated to support increased access to training for at-risk youth across the state with funds deployed to 20 partner organizations serving an estimated 500 youth over a one-year period.
    Finally, recognizing the need for a holistic and streamlined state workforce system, the Governor formed the Commission on Workforce Equity & Access including a diverse group of stakeholders spanning government, employers, workforce providers, labor, and more. The Commission is charged with creating a vision for an equitable, accessible, and effective state workforce system grounded in an understanding of user and stakeholder experience, including how racial, social, and geographic inequities inform experience and outcomes across Illinois’ federally and state-funded workforce programs. 
    Read more
    First Women’s Bank Celebrates Grand Opening
    The Team from the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
    Celebrate the Grand Opening of First Women’s Bank
    At a ribbon-cutting yesterday, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) joined the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to celebrate the grand opening of First Women’s Bank (FWB) – Illinois’ first new bank in over a decade - and the only women-founded, women-owned, and women-led commercial bank in the country. With its flagship location in Chicago, FWB is a first-of-its-kind bank with a strategic focus on serving the women’s economy and advance the role of women within it.
    In addition to providing diverse entrepreneurs and innovative capital solutions for small businesses, the FWB has created the FWB Collective, a community of resources, support and inspiration for small businesses and a platform through which individuals and organizations can provide tangible support for the women’s economy.
    September 30th Deadline for Smaller Illinois Cities and Towns to Claim Their Share of Local COVID-19 Relief Funds
    In a final push urging all eligible local governments to apply for $742 million authorized for Non-Entitlement Unit (NEU) from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) are reminding the remaining 87 unresponsive NEUs to claim their allocations by September 30, 2021, or funds will be reallocated. To date, over 1,050 communities have claimed more than $364 million in support.
    The NEU funds may be used to cover revenue losses and the costs of responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency or to its negative economic impacts on households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. These funds can also be used to invest in building, maintaining, or upgrading water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.
    Information about how to complete the request or receive technical assistance is available on the DCEO NEU portal.
    Export to China Week: November 8 – 12, 2021
    This November, the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment (OTI) will organize Export to China week to help Illinois-based exporters sell products and services in this important market.
    Upcoming Events
    There's plenty to explore in every region of Illinois. Check out this list of autumn destinations with expert advice on the best spots for sights, dining and lodging this season. 'See, Savor and Stay' the Colorful Fall Getaways!
    Virtual Job Fairs (VJF) are part of the GET HIRED initiative. Job seekers can find a hiring event near them, read about how to prepare for a VJF and what to expect when attending the event.
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