04102019CM0749CHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham encouraged area restaurants, hotels and other small businesses to take advantage of new emergency assistance programs Monday.
“It’s been difficult to watch so many of our local businesses close due to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “We need to do everything possible to help local businesses stay afloat during this pandemic.”
Small business owners in Chicago will be able to take advantage of the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, a $100 million program that will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses in Chicago.
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and gross revenues of less than $3 million in 2019 that have suffered more than a 25% revenue decrease due to COVID-19 will be eligible to apply.
For businesses outside of Chicago, Gov. JB Pritzker has created the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund, a $60 million program to provide low-interest loans of up to $50,000.
Loan recipients will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.
Gov. Pritzker also announced the creation of the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. The program offers $14 million in grants to restaurants, bars, hotels and other hospitality businesses to help them make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis. It will provide up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels.
Grant funds can be used to compensate employees and pay rent, or to support new practices like expanded pick-up, delivery and sanitation.
“Small businesses are vital to our local economies and we need to find new ways to support them during this crisis,” Cunningham said. “These new programs will provide them with critical assistance to help them weather this storm.”
Applications for the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund will begin to be accepted on March 31, 2020. Businesses interested in applying for a loan should complete this interest form and they will hear from a representative as soon as possible. 
Applications to the Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will be available on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website by Friday, March 27.
The application period for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program is open now and closes April 1 at 5 p.m. Businesses can find more information on the program here or apply here. A Spanish-language application is available here.
Category: Press Releases

AG Scams FBCHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is urging residents to file complaints with the Office of the Attorney General if they experience price-gouging, scams or other unfair practices related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We all have a part to play in preventing bad actors from using this pandemic to exploit others,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “I encourage anyone who has information on price gouging or scams to report it to the Attorney General’s Office.”

Governor JB Pritzker issued an executive order last week to prohibit price gouging related to the coronavirus epidemic. Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office is enforcing the order and directing businesses to maintain fair pricing practices – particularly on items public health officials are recommending to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The Attorney General’s office is also monitoring pricing on online retail platforms, such as Amazon and eBay.

“During this challenging time, no one should have to worry about being taken advantage of,” Cunningham said. “I’m glad to see that the governor and the attorney general are taking an aggressive approach to stopping these practices.”

More information about price gouging and scams related to coronavirus is available at illinoisattorneygeneral.gov.

Category: Press Releases

Cunningham FloorCHICAGO – Area residents are encouraged to stop by State Senator Bill Cunningham’s district office Saturday, Feb. 29 and Saturday, March 21 to participate in the Chicago Multiethnic Prevention and Surveillance Study (COMPASS) through the University of Chicago.

COMPASS is a long-term research project aimed at better understanding the connections between genetics, environment, health behaviors and chronic diseases, including cancers, in the Chicago area. The study’s findings will be used to inform public policy and develop strategies for further research.

Cunningham is hosting the event along with State Rep. Fran Hurley, State Rep. Kelly Burke and Alderman Matt O’Shea.

On both days, the COMPASS mobile unit will be parked in front of Cunningham’s office at 10400 S. Western Ave. in Chicago from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Participants are eligible to receive $50 in Visa gift cards.

“This study is going to help us better understand health outcomes in the city of Chicago and will shed some light on suspected cancer risks here in the 19th Ward,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “I encourage everyone available to participate in the study and help us learn more about how we can improve public health.”

Participation in COMPASS includes:

  • Completion of an online consent process;
  • Completion of three online survey modules;
  • Contribution of physical measurements as well as blood, urine and saliva samples; and
  • Optional participation in home radon monitoring.

Study participants are encouraged to fill out the consent form and surveys prior to arriving to save time. Those forms can be accessed at https://compass.uchicago.edu.

Questions about COMPASS can be directed to research specialist Andy Craver, who can reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 773-702-9644. More information about COMPASS is available at https://compass.uchicago.edu.

Category: Press Releases

02052020HAO0457SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham praised the budget proposal offered by Governor JB Pritzker Wednesday for its focus on funding education and public safety in Illinois.

The governor’s proposal includes several increases for education at all levels, including increases of $50 million for the early childhood block grant and $350 million in evidence-based funding for K-12 schools throughout the state.

“I’m glad to see that Governor Pritzker is continuing to maintain his commitment to making a high quality education available for students at all levels,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “These funding increases would be a significant win for students and educators throughout the state.”

College affordability was also a focus of the budget proposal, which included increases of $50 million for the MAP program and $35 million for the AIM HIGH program. Both programs provide financial assistance for low- and middle-income students who wish to pursue a post-secondary education.

“Rising tuition and fees have placed a college education out of reach for far too many students in our state,” Cunningham said. “We need to ensure that every student who wants to pursue a degree will have the opportunity to do so, and increasing funding for these programs is a great step toward that goal.”

Cunningham also expressed his support for the proposed investments in public safety, including $17.2 million to fund three Illinois State Police cadet classes that will graduate an estimated 255 troopers.

“The work of our state troopers is instrumental in making Illinois a safe place to live, and adding three new classes to their ranks will help them better protect and serve the people of Illinois,” Cunningham said.

Category: Press Releases


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329B Capitol Building
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