New grant program available for ag businesses hit by COVID-19

PEORIA – $5 million in financial assistance will be available to livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic via the Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced Thursday. 

Koehler, who serves on the Senate Agriculture Committee, advocated on behalf of this initiative during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“The economic wellbeing of our state depends so heavily of the success of our farmers,” Koehler said. “It’s our job to ensure our farmers with the financial resources they need to continue putting food on the table of all Illinoisans.”

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically reduced the processing of livestock throughout the state, which led to farmers holding animals for a longer period of time with further input costs and cancelled, delayed or reduced sales.

Financial assistance is available through three programs administered by the Dept. of Ag. Individuals and businesses are only eligible to apply for one program, and applicants located in a disproportionately impacted area will receive a 10% increase in funding. A list of DIA’s can be found on the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website.

Online applications are available at agr.state.il.us. Applications will close on Oct. 31, 2020. Questions about this funding can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Press Releases

TabletPEORIA – School districts in the 46th Illinois Senate District are set to receive nearly $2 million in government funding to improve students’ access to digital technology, including more than $700,000 for Peoria School District 150.

“E-learning is playing such an important role as we overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria). “I know our local school districts will use these funds to help ensure every student has access to the technology they need to continue their education during this difficult time.”

The Digital Equity Formula Grants, funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, are intended to help schools bridge the digital divide. School districts can use the funds to expand connectivity and provide students with devices like computers or tablets.

Local school districts receiving significant funding include:

  • Peoria SD 150 - $736,257
  • Pekin PSD 108 - $223,076
  • Canton Union SD 66 - $159,905
  • Pekin CSD 303 - $130,847
  • Farmington Central CUSD 265 - $100,292

Bartonville SD 66, Creve Coeur SD 76, East Peoria CHSD 309, Lewistown CUSD 97, Limestone CHSD 310, Monroe SD 70, North Pekin and Marquette Heights SD 102, Norwood ESD 63, Pleasant Hill SD 69, and Pleasant Valley SD 62 will also receive money to help their students.

Funding was distributed using a need-based formula. The full list of schools receiving funds is available on the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.

Category: Press Releases


PEORIA – To curb the devastating economic effects brought on by COVID-19, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is encouraging small business owners to apply for the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

“With the first round of Business Interruption Grants, several local businesses received financial relief and were able to keep their doors open,” Koehler said. “With so many businesses still struggling to maintain operations, it’s doubly important that the state continues to step up to help however possible.”

Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program will be made available this Thursday afternoon and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.

The second wave of funds from BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas. Application information for the second round of funds and can be found on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/dceo.

Category: Press Releases

SOS75Renewals FB

PEORIA — To reduce long wait times and to protect vulnerable populations, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) is encouraging older adults to take advantage of the driver’s license expiration date extension from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

“People should not feel compelled to put themselves unnecessarily at risk and should only venture into crowded spaces when they are entirely comfortable,” Koehler said. “This action from Secretary White’s office is the latest in a continued effort to keep at-risk populations safe and healthy, and I commend him for his dedication.”

In addition to being 75 years of age or older, the driver must have a valid license—drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension. Eligible drivers should soon receive a letter from the secretary of state as proof that they qualify.

For drivers under age 75, expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020. Customers who choose to visit a facility must wear a face mask. In addition, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and to be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

Residents are encouraged to visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to avoid waiting in line and take advantage of online services, including replacements and renewals of registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards.

A list of services currently provided by local Secretary of State facilities can be found at www.ilsos.gov/facilityfinder/facility.

Category: Press Releases

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