Government Affairs Roundup
“Your Timely Roundup of Local, State, and Federal Updates”

Chamber members:

Both the House and Senate will be back in session this week. When they return, expect the next three weeks to be hectic as Congress will need to quickly come to an agreement on a must-pass continuing resolution to keep the government funded for the remainder of the year.

A lot of program information to be shared today, so check out the full report below.

*Government Affairs Roundup brought to you by CITGO & Silver Cross Hospital*

Tax rebate checks begin going out this week
Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday that Illinois taxpayers will soon start receiving rebates of their income and property taxes, either in the mail or by direct bank deposits. Speaking at a news conference in Chicago where he was flanked by other state officials and Democratic leaders of the General Assembly, Pritzker said the rebates are intended to help soften the impact of rising inflation and high gasoline prices.

“Everyone knows inflation is a global problem with local consequences,” he said. “Prices at the pump and at the supermarket have taken Illinois families on a roller coaster ride over the past months. It’s exactly the kind of thing that responsible government should help our residents with, and we have.” Those rebates, totaling about $1.2 billion, were part of a larger, $1.8 billion tax relief package that lawmakers included in the budget they passed this spring.

Individual income taxpayers who earn less than $200,000 who are not claimed as a dependent on someone else’s taxes will receive a rebate of $50. That goes up to $100 for couples filing jointly who earn less than $400,000. Tax return filers will also receive $100 rebates for each dependent they claim, up to a maximum of three dependents.

Rail union becomes first to authorize strike, threatening supply chain
Nearly 5,000 railway workers at the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) voted to reject a tentative contract agreement with railroads and authorize a strike, the union said Wednesday.

The vote reveals that rail workers are not satisfied with the agreement, which calls for 24 percent raises and back pay but doesn’t address workers’ demands for more predictable scheduling and the ability to take time off for doctors’ appointments without being penalized.

IAM said that it would delay strike action until Sept. 29 at noon to allow union leaders to continue negotiations with railroads.

Health Grant Program Application Now Open
Will County is committed to supporting the response to and recovery from COVID-19. The County, using the allocation of over $134 million from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), a part of the American Rescue Plan, has dedicated over $25 million for community groups, healthcare partners, and non-profit organizations to support a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery. Will County is opening the application to entities supporting efforts to address food stabilization, behavioral health, violence prevention, and innovative response to improved health outcomes.


Illinois Secure Choice Deadline
By this November, all Illinois employers with 16 or more employees will need to offer their own retirement program. The alternative is to sign up for Illinois Secure Choice through the state.

The Small Business Majority group is hosting a webinar with Illinois Secure Choice Director, Christine Cheng.  Christine will share information on what small business owners need to know about the State of Illinois mandate to offer a retirement savings program.  In this webinar you will learn what’s required and how to sign up for the program.

Wed, September 28, 2022 / 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT

Register Here

Verizon Small Business Grants
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready is committed to helping small businesses grow. It’s why they’ve set up a program to arm businesses just like yours with the tools and resources needed to thrive in today’s digital economy. By joining this free program, you’ll get access to courses, live coaching sessions, and invaluable learning materials, as well as the potential to apply for an exclusive pool of $10,000 small business grants.

In partnership with LISC, Verizon has committed over $1M in small business grants for 2022. To unlock the application for the current round of grant funding, register on Verizon Small Business Digital Ready, complete any combination of two courses, coaching events, and community events, and apply by November 14, 2022. (Engagements through the Personalized Mentoring feature are not included toward grant eligibility).

Applications are now open and close on November 14, 2022. All applicants will be notified about whether or not they have been selected to receive grant funding the week of
November 28, 2022.

Register today!

Need help registering? Email or call +1(800)-916-4351

ACCESS Will County Paratransit Integration and Efficiency Study
Will County dial-a-ride, paratransit, and demand response services are critical to keeping residents connected to jobs, human services, and basic living needs, especially those with low incomes and/or disabilities. Will County has launched a mobility survey and needs your help reaching Will County residents. The survey closes on October 5th.

Will County is launching Access Will County to evaluate mobility options and paratransit services. The first initiative is the Paratransit Integration and Efficiency Study, which began in May and will be completed in May 2023. In partnership with Via Strategies and MUSE Community + Design, Will County seeks to:

•          Understand existing services,

•          Identify gaps and future needs, and

•          Evaluate alternatives for coordination of services

The survey is an essential part of this process. Hearing directly from dial-a-ride users, as well as from non-users, will offer important insights that data alone cannot provide.


Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP) Webinar
The Will County CED, in partnership with County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and the State of Illinois Commission on Equity and Inclusion, is hosting a free virtual webinar to educate small business owners about the Illinois Business Enterprise Program (BEP). The webinar will provide an overview of the benefits of BEP, an introduction to the certification process, and how the CED can connect businesses with local resources.

BEP helps small businesses owned by minorities, women, and persons with disabilities increase their capacity, grow revenue, and enhance credentials. In 2021, the State of Illinois awarded more than $800 million in BEP contracts to businesses. Please join this webinar to help us bring more of these opportunities to Will County Businesses!

Who qualifies for the BEP Program?

  • At least 51% owned and controlled by persons who are minority, women, or designated as disabled.
  • Must be a United States citizen or a resident alien
  • Annual gross sales of less than $75 million

We will cover:

  • BEP Eligibility and Requirements
  • Procurement Opportunities
  • Local CED Business Support
  • Small Business Set Aside Program
  • Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)

Find out more and register HERE for Workshop Webinar!   Thursday, September 29 – 1pm – 2pm

Stay well,

Mike Paone
Executive Vice President
Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry
815.727.5371 main
815.727.5373 direct