• NEW: $1.5 Billion in Emergency Rental Programs Announced

    NEW: $1.5 Billion in Emergency Rental Programs Announced  
    As part of continued efforts to assist Illinoisans facing economic hardships during to the pandemic, this week, Governor JB Pritzker announced the opening of the Illinois Rental Payment Program (ILRPP). This new program will deploy multiple rounds of funding – with the first assistance made available to landlords to prevent evictions.
    Visit ILRPP.IHDA.org to learn how to access ongoing rental and mortgage assistance available later this summer. 
    New household assistance programs build on work by DCEO to deliver utility and household billing relief for low-income families as part of the Governor’s Help Illinois Families initiative. To date, these programs have provided over $280 million in relief – with close to $30 million in energy assistance still available through the end of the month. It’s not too late to apply – to get in touch with your local Community Action Agency, visit helpillinoisfamilies.com today. 
    This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that Illinois became the first state to receive approval of Governor-Designated Covered HUBZones, extending federal procurement incentives to five additional counties and 30 additional census tracts across the state. The 35 new HUBZones provide small businesses in low-income rural communities enhanced opportunities to compete in the federal marketplace.
    Governor JB Pritzker noted the move will “help more of our small, rural businesses grow and compete for lucrative federal contracts” and “builds on ongoing work to ensure that Illinois communities have access to programs that will help them grow revenues, increase jobs, and in turn, drive investment toward the communities where it’s most needed.”
    Wabash Communications and State of Illinois Kick Off
    $3.2 Million Investment to Expand Rural Broadband Connectivity
    In partnership with the State, Wabash Communications Co-op, a rural provider of telephone, high-speed internet, and other telecommunications services in south central Illinois, began work on a $3.2 million project to expand high-speed internet services to previously underserved and unserved residents of Clay County. As part of Governor JB Pritzker’s $400 million Connect Illinois program, this partnership will deliver high-speed internet services to over 650 households, businesses, farms and community institutions by July 2022. The Connect Illinois program’s goal is to provide high-speed internet and broadband equity to all corners of the state by 2024. 
    As the owner of Motel 6 on Main in Normal, Illinois, and the Upper Midwest Regional Director of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), Kalpesh Joshi has seen the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on his motel and thousands of others he represents. “Being located in a university town with classes and games cancelled, we were affected badly. A Business Interruption Grant (BIG) saved our business! The AAHOA assisted our 19,500 national members in applying for relief, including here in Illinois. I would like to say, ‘thank you,’ to the State of Illinois DCEO, for helping me and many of our members survive,” said Kalpesh.
    Don't miss Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Webinar Opportunities
    As Illinois celebrates World Trade Month, DCEO's Office of Trade and Investment (OTI) announced it is now accepting nominations for the Governor’s Export Awards. As the state’s highest recognition for exporting achievements, the Governor’s Export Awards honor Illinois companies that have excelled in exporting and organizations who provide export assistance. Nominate a deserving company, organization, or apply yourself. Applications are available with a deadline submission of June 30, 2021.
    Learn more about the State of Illinois Governor’s Export Awards, state led trade missions, and other resources available through the Office of Trade and Investment.
    Don't miss World Trade Month Webinar Opportunities
    For upcoming webinars on state and federal resources, including EIDL, SVOG and RRF, visit the Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) or the First Stop Business Information Center.
    DCEO and our public/private partners have developed the Illinois Economic Development Week 2021 Handbook to spotlight high impact projects, economic development partners and DCEO programs that supported Illinois communities statewide. 
    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.
    As Illinois moves towards our new normal, the administration is outlining clear metrics and mitigations that will allow the state to continue with a gradual reopening. Learn more on the bridge to Phase 5 and expanded capacity limits in Phase 4.
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