CHICAGO – Today, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. announced that 200 businesses across the 17th district were awarded nearly $4.5 million in funding from the Back to Business program thanks to his advocacy and support.

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“As we continue to deal with the impact COVID-19 has had on our daily lives, we are also seeing local businesses face tremendous financial distress as they also work to bounce back,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “The Back to Business Grant program has continued to be a nation-leading small business assistance program that has provided thousands of businesses across the state with millions of dollars in assistance to help them through these challenging times.”

A total of $4.475 million was awarded to 174 businesses in the 17th District. 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.

DCEO has provided $250 million in B2B grants – thanks to strong support from Senator Sims – to small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on hard hit sectors, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, barbershops and salons, and disproportionately impacted areas.

“Small businesses enrich our communities,” Sims said. ” I am proud to have led efforts in the Senate to ensure this much-needed funding assistance reaches our hardest-hit areas.”

With strong leadership from Sims, the state has seen five Illinois’ General Obligation bond rating upgrades in the last year from all three of the nation’s primary credit rating agencies. The latest two-notch upgrade comes from Fitch Ratings, as a result of the state paying down its bill backlog from over $16 billion to less than $3 billion in a course of just a few years.

Because of the fiscally responsible budgeting approach taken by the state, Illinois saw an increase in funds available to assist small businesses.

Sims urges small businesses to visit the DCEO website for additional resources or contact DCEO’s First Stop Business Information Center Services at 800-252-2923 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – For the fourth time in a year, Illinois has seen another improved bond rating. Fitch Ratings – one of the nation’s major credit rating agencies – announced upgrades Thursday thanks to the fiscally-responsible decisions made by Illinois Democrats.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) – who serves as the Senate’s lead budget negotiator and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee – released the following statement in response:

“When I look at the budget we passed last month, I see the work and years of fiscal responsibility paying off. We were able to pay down our bills and put money back in the pockets of the state’s hardworking families. Illinois is a stand-out state when it comes to putting the needs of our residents first – and we do so in a responsible, equitable way.

“Fitch’s two level rating upgrade shows our fiscally responsible budgeting approach is working and is independent proof that our state is headed in the right direction, our unemployment rate is down and we’ve added thousands of new jobs in key industries, like hospitality and professional services. Our future looks bright and I look forward to continued collaborative efforts with my colleagues to keep Illinois on this upward economic trajectory.”

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) issued the following statement after a draft Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked:

“A woman’s right to choose is just that – a fundamental right that should not be stripped due to antiquated politics or an attempt to disregard the progress we’ve made in the area of human rights. In reading the decision, it is clear that other fundamental rights in this country are in jeopardy so silence in this moment is not an option. Each of us, regardless of your feelings on reproductive rights, should be concerned. This type of activism by judges, to push a culture war driven agenda, should be concerning for us all.”

“Should this long settled law be overturned, women in Illinois can take solace in knowing that Illinois respects their right to choose and that this fundamental right still hold value. As always, I hope other states are looking to Illinois for leadership in this fight for protecting a woman’s right to choose.”

Category: Press Releases

022422HAO00528 SPRINGFIELD— County coroners and local medical examiners could potentially receive federal assistance in identifying missing persons after a measure sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) passed the Senate on Wednesday.

“When you hear pleas from a family for help, we should be using all the tools at our disposal to bring them the support that they need to help find or identify their loved ones,” said Sims. “Unfortunately, some smaller counties and police departments do not have access to the same technology and resources as larger cities, and this bill will help with that.”

Senate Bill 3932 would require a coroner or medical examiner with custody of human remains that are not identified within 72 hours of discovery to immediately notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance in identification.

The legislation was filed to address the devastating death of Jelani Day, a 25-year-old graduate student at Illinois State University. Day was reported missing on Aug. 24, 2021, discovered on Sept. 4, 2021 and wasn’t identified by the LaSalle County coroner until Sept. 24, 2021.

“Jelani lived a beautiful life,” said Carmen Bolden Day, the ISU graduate student’s mother. “While he was here with us he made a difference and even in his absence he will continue to impact many people. I am so grateful for Senator Sims and this initiative. My son will be remembered and I will not let his name go in vain. ”

Senate Bill 3932 passed the Senate on Wednesday

Category: Press Releases

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