PetersB2BChicago – Local South Side businesses were awarded more than $5.2 million in funding from the Back to Business program thanks to advocacy and support from State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“Small businesses across the state have been negatively impacted in the last two years, especially Black and Brown-owned businesses,” Peters said. “Grant programs like Back to Business have been vital to keeping the doors of thousands of small businesses across the state open.”

The B2B 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 Senator Peters – DCEO has provided $200 million in B2B grants to small businesses throughout the state with an emphasis on disproportionately impacted areas. With nearly $50 million left to go, more businesses will have the opportunity to get a share of the relief funds.

“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’m glad to see so many South Side businesses take advantage of this opportunity.” 

Grants will continue to be awarded on a rolling basis. Visit the DCEO website for more information on the B2B program or check the status of an existing application by logging into the portal.

Category: Press Releases

PetersLakeMichiganLifesavingSpringfield - Piers and public access points to Lake Michigan will soon be safer thanks to a measure advanced by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) that will help install essential rescue equipment.

“All people deserve to feel safe when they head to the beach this summer,” Peters said. “This is an essential step that we need to take to keep our families safe on Lake Michigan.” 

House Bill 4165 requires owners of a pier or drop-off on Lake Michigan to install public rescue equipment such as life- saving rings and buoyant lines.  The measure also establishes tracking and reporting requirements for local governments that own a pier or drop-off on Lake Michigan.

Nationally, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 5, the second leading cause for children under 15, and the third leading cause for people under 30. 

The measure originated from a controversy between residents of the Rogers Park neighborhood and the Chicago Park District over a lack of life saving rings on lakefront piers.  After 19-year old Miguel Cisneros drowned last summer, residents installed a life-saving ring on the lakefront pier, which was subsequently removed by the Chicago Park District, creating significant tension in the community.

“We have had too many tragic and, in many cases, preventable deaths on Lake Michigan,” Peters said. “This is a long overdue safety measure that will help make all of us safer when we enjoy the lake this summer.” 

The measure passed the Senate Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

Category: Press Releases

MuseumofScienceandIndustryChicago – Major Chicago cultural centers including the Museum of Science and Industry, the Art Institute and the Chicago Children’s Museum have been awarded grants totaling more than $1.5 million  to make improvements and improve visitor experience, thanks to support from State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“Museums provide excellent opportunities for our youth and families to learn and grow together,” Peters said. “This grant program is making a significant investment in our most prominent local museums  that will ultimately attract more visitors, support research, and serve the community for generations to come.”

Overseen by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program is open to any museum operated by a local government or built on municipally owned land. The maximum grant award for projects is $750,000, and matching funds are often required based on museum attendance.

The program will distribute a total of $19.7 million in grants to 36 Illinois museums for facility improvement and development of new exhibits.

“Museums across the state have been negatively impacted in the last two years,” Peters said. “I am glad to see that three of the most important museums in our community receive this important assistance.”

Investments for the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program are funded by Rebuild Illinois. More information about the program is available here.

Category: Press Releases

PetersZoomChicago - To inform residents on various violence prevention initiatives, State Senator Robert Peters(D-Chicago) hosted a panel discussion with anti-violence advocates on the SAFE-T Act and the importance of community-centered solutions for violence prevention in Illinois Tuesday.

“We need public safety for all and not just the few.  Instead of reversing the progress that we’ve made before parts of this legislation has even had a chance to take effect, we need to think about those who are still left behind by the failing status quo,” said Peters. “I want to uplift the voices of advocates and empower them to help create real solutions to violence in our communities and not surrender to the political theater of the past.”

Before the implementation of the SAFE-T Act, the traditional criminal legal infrastructure put special need areas such as domestic violence, mental health and homelessness in the hands of traditional law enforcement, which has often lacked the training and approach to deal with these issues, particularly in a way that is responsive to the needs of the community. 

Many groups who advocate on behalf of domestic violence victims say more state funding is needed to meet an increase in demand for domestic violence resources as a result of the pandemic.

“We supported the SAFE-T ACT because it benefits survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking,” said Madeleine Behr of the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation.“Right now, if a person has enough money, they can walk out of jail. The current system is a system rooted in racism and classism and decisions are often not made with the safety of the community or with survivors' interests in mind. After the SAFE-T Act takes effect, the voices of survivors will be listened to in the courts.”

“I lost my son to violence in 2017 and at the time I found there to be very few resources available to survivors and their families,” said Bertha Purnell of Mothers on a Mission28. “I started this organization to try to work to bring resources for survivors in my neighborhood and to help survivors heal from trauma.” 

Peters was joined by panelists from the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Mothers On A Mission28, The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence and Crime Survivors For Safety and Justice.

To view a recording of the panel, visit here.

Category: Press Releases

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