peters budgetChicago – Dozens of local South Side businesses were recently awarded over $2.4 million in funding from the Back to Business Program to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the support of State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“Businesses across the state have been negatively impacted in the last two years, especially Black and Brown-owned small businesses and in the hospitality industry,” Peters said. “These grants are giving South Side businesses a much needed boost to get back on their feet as we continue to recover.”

The B2B program grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget. So far – thanks to strong support from Sen. Peters – DCEO has provided $111 million in B2B grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas.

In the district Peters represents, 81  businesses were awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $145,000 to help them cover the costs of safely staying open in these unpredictable times. Businesses ranged from barber shops to photography studios and more.

“The B2B program’s focus on hard hit sectors like restaurants, salons, fitness centers and organizations focusing on the arts really make it a nation-leading example of small business recovery,” Peters said. “I am glad to see so many businesses in our community receive this important assistance.”

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Visit the DCEO website for more information on the B2B program and view a full list of grantees here.

 

Category: Press Releases

peters gop respState Rep. Sonya Harper, Joint Chair of The Illinois Black Caucus (ILBC), state Rep. Kam Buckner, House Chair of the ILBC, and state Senator Robert Peters, Senate Chair of the ILBC, released the following statement after today’s Republicans press conference on the SAFE-T Act:

“As usual with the Republican Party, any effort to make the justice system fairer for Black people is called ‘dangerous.’ With this law, we have worked directly with community organizations, legal rights advocates and law enforcement to make our justice system more effective and more just at the same time. That’s why the Illinois State Police and other law enforcement groups continue to work with us on this bill.”

“Many provisions of the SAFE-T Act have not even gone into effect yet, proving the Republican gambit is all for show. In fact, when fully implemented, experts say the SAFE-T Act will help improve public safety by supporting a more holistic approach for first-responders. Instead of coming up with solutions to address crime, Republicans are just trying the same racial scare tactics we see across the country. Today’s press conference is another instance of the Illinois GOP chasing relevancy after years of budget impasses and budget cuts. We trust the public won’t fall for this. We are improving public safety, supporting law enforcement and ending systemic injustice at the same time. We are not going backwards.”

Category: Press Releases

five important issues in construction safetyChicago —  The Tools Up Foundation of Chicago received an Illinois Works Grant to support their pre-apprenticeship program to increase diversity in the construction trades, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

“For too long, many communities have not been adequately represented in the construction industry,” Peters said. “There is so much talent in our community that has been unable to enter into these fields, and I’m glad to see that there is a program available to help give them the support and the mentorship they need.”

The Tools Up Foundation is a nonprofit pre-apprenticeship program, preparing underrepresented groups to enter the construction trades. The Tools Up Foundation received a grant of $326,597 to support their work in building the next generation of diverse talent in the construction industry.

The Illinois Works pre-apprenticeship program is designed to create, a qualified talent pipeline to fill job opportunities with diverse candidates. This program will deliver pre-apprenticeship skills training through a network of non-profit, community-based organizations, including community colleges, faith-based organizations, and business associations.  According to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, fewer than 10% of apprentices are women or people of color.

“An expansion of apprenticeship opportunities will not only assist historically unrepresented communities, but will also help grow our economy as a whole,” Peters said. “I whole-heartedly congratulate the Tools Up Foundation for being a recipient of this grant, and I look forward to hearing about their work.”

Participants of the program will attend tuition-free and receive a stipend and other supportive services to help overcome systemic barriers to entering the construction industry.

To learn more about the Illinois Works pre-apprenticeship program, visit the DECO website.   

Category: Press Releases

peters hb3235cSpringfield– In an effort to combat a tactic that allows businesses to receive incentives from the government without public knowledge, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) is sponsoring a bill to prevent the state or any local unit of government from entering into a contract that would include a non-disclosure agreement in economic deals.

“Eliminating non-disclosure agreements will help bring vital transparency and accountability and ensure that local communities have a say in local development,” Peters said. “This is not just a Chicago or Illinois problem, but also a nationwide issue where we frequently see companies making deals they wish to keep out of the public eye.”

Senate Bill 3038 would prevent the state as well as local governments from entering into non-disclosure agreements in economic development deals, eliminating a tactic that frequently allows businesses to secretly lobby while extracting sweetheart deals without the knowledge or input of local residents. Similar legislation has also been introduced in Florida and New York.

Nationwide, state and local governments spend tens of billions of dollars every year on economic development subsidies, according to the American Economic Liberties Project. Non-disclosure agreements help facilitate those subsidy deals by keeping key details, such as the identity of the businesses receiving taxpayer support, secret from the public.

“Public money deserves public scrutiny,” Peters said. “Keeping the government contracts that our governments enter into a secret allows states and local governments to be played against one another. Taxpayers deserve basic transparency from their economic development agencies.”

 

Category: Press Releases

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District Office:
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