closed signAurora, Ill. – Restaurants, hotels and other small businesses across the state are invited to take advantage of two new emergency assistance programs, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) announced today.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economies, but the COVID-19 outbreak has hit many of them hard and even forced some to close,” Holmes said. “We must invest in stores, restaurants and hotels that make our communities unique.”

To provide assistance to struggling small business owners, Gov. JB Pritzker unveiled the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund, a $60 million program that will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses outside of Chicago. (Small businesses in Chicago can apply for a similar loan program here.)

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. 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.

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holmes 031220Aurora, Ill. – Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared that coronavirus is now a pandemic. With the number of cases rising in Illinois, and now three cases outside of Cook County – including one in Kane County – Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) wants to encourage caution and calm for area residents regarding coronavirus.

“I am monitoring the situation daily through the governor, the Illinois Department of Public Health and local and county health officials to get updates,” Holmes said. “I urge people in Kane County and across Illinois to stay informed and keep following the steps IDPH says will help us and everyone around us to stay safe and well.”

“The young and healthy among us may believe they have nothing to worry about, but I urge them to remember that they could unknowingly transmit the virus to an older relative or friend with a compromised immune system,” Holmes said. “This is why it is vital that everyone takes the actions recommended by IDPH every day.”

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holmes 030520SPRINGFIELD – Limestone quarries provide a number of products encountered every day: on our roads, in our homes and businesses, and in agriculture. One such lime product is used to treat drinking water and remove particulates. Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is the sponsor of legislation to allow the return of the limestone residual back to a limestone mine after that use, projected to save the city an estimated $7 million over 10 years.

“Aurora’s Water Treatment Plan has used this process since it was built in 1992, but disposing of the residual product was problematic,” Holmes said. “The City of Aurora initiated this legislation, as it cost the city quite a bit of money to dispose of it in landfills or to apply it on farm land. Pumping that material back into an underground mine cavity 250 feet below ground will save significant taxpayer dollars.”

Senate Bill 3291 would amend the Environmental Protection Act to require the IEPA to grant Aurora a modification to its existing permit to construct and operate a system of disposal of lime residual, and authorize the disposal from the water treatment plant into an existing mine cavity.

The bill passed on second reading in the Environment and Conservation Committee, with the expectation of refining it with more input from IEPA before the full Senate will vote on it.

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holmes 030420SPRINGFIELD – Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) has passed legislation with reforms to clarify a local election process and encourage more candidates to get on the ballot.

Senate Bill 2779 was brought to Sen. Holmes by Jeff Palmquist of the Fox Valley Park District. The intent is to clarify the number of signatures required for those running for Fox Valley Park District commissioner.

“There was some confusion as to how many signatures were required for each candidate, and from which area of the district those signatures were required to come from,” Holmes said. “There was no litigation, but the district received numerous calls about the ambiguous requirement. This is now clear and specific, and with fewer signatures required, more candidates may be able to get on the ballot.”

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