Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District


Dear Friend,

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken society at every level, but it's been especially tough on small enterprises who are doing everything they can to stay safe while also trying to conduct business. To help, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has launched the second round of the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program.

Earlier this year, approximately 2,800 businesses across the state received a combined $49 million in the first round of BIG funding. In this second wave, DCEO will distribute an additional $220 million in grants ranging from $5,000 to $150,000, with special consideration for the businesses and areas hit hardest during this crisis.

Industries that have been most affected by closures and social distancing requirements – including movie theaters, event venues, indoor recreational facilities and more – will receive priority.

Of the total available funding, $70 million has been set aside for businesses in disproportionately impacted areas, or the ZIP codes facing the greatest economic distress as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the 16th District, businesses located in the 60459, 60619, 60620, 60621, 60636, 60637 and 60652 ZIP codes qualify for this aid.

Eligible businesses and nonprofits include those who made $20 million or less in annual revenue in 2019. Applicants must also be able to demonstrate losses due to COVID-19 in excess of the grant amount.

The application is available here, along with an application checklist, a list of eligible costs and other helpful resources. For additional information, check out this FAQ or submit your question via digital form in English or Spanish.

Feel free to forward this information to a small business owner you know – it’s important that we spread the word about all available resources to help get our community back on its feet.


Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District


Dear friend,

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced 2,149 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 20 deaths today. Illinois stands at just under 8,000 lives lost to this pandemic.

According to the IDPH, nearly 400 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized in intensive care units across Illinois, the highest number of people receiving critical care because of the coronavirus since late June.

We cannot lose sight of the fight to contain this virus. Please remember that there is testing available right here in the 16th District. See information below on the testing site here in the Auburn Gresham area and know that if you have any reason to believe you've been exposed, whether or not you are displaying symptoms, you can use this free testing site. Knowing if you have been infected protects yourself, your family, and your community.


Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District


Dear local elected leaders,

I wanted to make sure you’re aware of two new grant opportunities – one with the Department of Transportation and the other with the Housing Development Authority.

The Department of Transportation is administering grants that can be used for pedestrian and bike trails, beautification, historic preservation of transportation facilities, and more. Provided through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, local governments and regional planning agencies can apply for grants of up to $2 million, with a deadline of Nov. 2.

This year – the 14th cycle of the program – a total of $105.6 million is available, with special set-asides for disadvantaged and economically distressed communities, as well as bike and pedestrian facilities.

The full list of eligible projects includes:

  • Pedestrian and/or bicycle facilities, including walking paths, trails, and rail-to-trail programs
  • Streetscapes
  • Historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities
  • Vegetation management in transportation rights-of-way
  • Archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project
  • Storm water management, control and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff
  • Projects to reduce wildlife deaths or to improve or restore connected habitats
  • Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas

The application process is competitive, and all projects will require a local match, though local agencies may be eligible for state funds to help with this part of the process. Local governments and regional planning agencies can also partner with nonprofits and private entities, though to be eligible, all projects must have a public sponsor.

To learn more or apply, visit the Illinois Department of Transportation’s ITEP page, available here.

The second grant opportunity is with the Illinois Housing Development Authority is administering a $10 million grant program to help communities address abandoned residential property by rehabilitating it and returning it to taxable use or demolishing it.

Municipalities, counties, and land banks are eligible for grants of up to $250,000 to rehabilitate repairable abandoned residential properties and to demolish properties that are beyond repair. IHDA recommends local government leaders also consider the Abandoned Property Program before applying for a grant. Applications are due Sept. 28.

To learn more or apply, visit IHDA’s Revitalization and Repair Programs page, available here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.


Jacqueline Collins
State Senator, 16th Illinois Senate District

Senator Jacqueline Collins, Majority Caucus Whip, 16th Senate District


Dear friend

As the pandemic carries on, I’m hearing from more and more people who have found themselves unable to pay rent and mortgage bills as a result of pandemic-related income losses. Many families are wondering whether they will be able to keep a roof over their heads. 

Thankfully, help is available. The state has launched two grant programs to help Illinoisans make ends meet and remain in their homes:

The Emergency Rental Assistance program started accepting applications Aug. 10. The submission deadline has been extended to Aug. 28 to allow renters more time to take advantage of the program, which awards grants of up to $5,000 to individuals who have fallen behind on their rent payments since March 1. For more information and to apply, visit

The Emergency Mortgage Assistance program will offer aid to eligible homeowners with unpaid mortgage payments after March 1. Grant recipients may receive up to $15,000 in aid, sent directly to your mortgage servicer to be applied against your mortgage. Applications will be available starting Aug. 24 at

For both programs, applicants must meet certain income requirements and be able to demonstrate losses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Funds are limited, so apply as soon as possible.

Call the Illinois Housing Development Authority toll-free at 1-888-252-1119 or visit for assistance with your application.

As always, my staff and I are also available to help you navigate these programs and guide you through the application process. With questions and concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 773-224-2830 or by clicking here.


Jacqueline Y. Collins

State Senator | 16th District

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Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

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