pexels kaique rocha 331990 sPEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced an expanded state program will help connect Peoria-area small businesses to financial assistance to help them recover from COVID-19.

“Our community is built on small businesses,” Koehler said. “They were hit hardest by the pandemic, and we need to make sure that they have the resources they need to recover and move forward.”

The community navigator outreach program, which helps connect small businesses to economic recovery grant programs, is expanding to include an additional 13 support organizations across the state, which were selected through a competitive process.

Navigator organizations will perform extensive outreach to small and hard-to-reach businesses to ensure that they are aware of the relief available to them, and will provide one-on-one assistance on relief grant applications.

“I would like to thank the Economic Development Council for the Peoria Area and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation for stepping up and being a resource to small businesses in the Peoria area,” Koehler said. “I want to see as many local entrepreneurs as possible get back on their feet.”

Small businesses can visit the DECO website or call (800) 252-2923 to learn more about recovery programs available to them.

Category: Press Releases

The Illinois Department of Employment Security continues to monitor new phishing schemes targeting individuals. Bad actors posing as IDES representatives are trying to trick individuals into disclosing their personal information through text, email, and social media messages.

It is critical for claimants and the public to remain vigilant to detect fraudulent correspondence:

  • Follow steps from the FTC to recognize and avoid phishing scams. The examples below include tell-tale signs of a phishing scam, such as referring to the “Division of Employment Security” as opposed to the “Department of Employment Security” and directing to untrustworthy websites.
  • Strengthen and protect account information. Individuals collected unemployment insurance should maintain a strong password that is unique to their IDES login, and never share their personal information with an untrustworthy source. For example, information regarding an individual’s IDES account should never be shared on social media. Additional tips are available on IDES’s fraud webpage.

Phishing sample #1: Text Message

IDES Fraud Phishing One Pager June 2021

 

Phishing sample #2: Email

IDES Fraud Phishing One Pager June 2021 email

 

Phishing sample #3 – Facebook

IDES Fraud Phishing One Pager June 2021 3

 

Additional Resources:

IDES: Fraud and Identity Theft Resources
Federal Trade Commission: How to Recognize and Avoid Phishing Scams
US Department of Justice: Press Release on Unemployment Schemes
USDOL Office of the Inspector General: Unemployment Insurance Phishing Fraud Alert

Category: News

pexels styves exantus 6357617 rPEORIA – State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) announced that fire protection districts across the district will receive nearly $140,000 in grant funding to purchase necessary equipment.

“When our first responders have reliable and well-maintained equipment, they are able to address emergencies as efficiently as possible,” Koehler said. “By ensuring that the men and women who protect us have necessary equipment, we are keeping our communities and our first responders safer.”

The funding comes as part of the Small Equipment Grant Program, which was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 each for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment.

Local departments will receive the following amounts:

Cass-Putnam Rescue Service- $25,839
Copperas Creek Fire Protection District- $17,000
Peoria Heights Fire Department- $25,660
Cincinnati Fire Protection District- $24,774.76
North Pekin Fire Department- $21,741
Schaeferville Fire Protection District- $24,130.30

“Departments have had to make tough financial decisions, especially this year during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez. “Ensuring our first responders in Illinois have properly functioning lifesaving equipment they need to perform their duties safely, while protecting their communities, is our top priority.”

A full list of grant recipients can be viewed here.

Category: Press Releases

pexels pixabay 260367 rGovernor JB Pritzker and Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez are pleased to announce an innovative funding opportunity specifically addressing Illinois fire departments impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. A total amount of $1 million will be available to assist approximately 80 impacted fire departments that operate in diverse communities throughout the state. Under this one time grant opportunity, eligible Illinois fire departments could receive up to $15,000 in order to make up for lost donation revenues stemming from their inability to host local fundraising events during the periods of quarantines occurring in 2020. These fundraising events include pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners, and pay for necessities like fuel for fire trucks, utilities, and insurance.


In order to be eligible for the assistance grant the applying fire department must:

  1. Be an Illinois combination or volunteer fire department;
  2. Operate within a jurisdiction with a population at or less than 7,500 people;
  3. Have an approved annual budget at or less than $150,000;
  4. Have an OSFM Fire Department Identification Number; and
  5. Be current with their National Fire Incident Reporting System reports at the time of application

The Office of the State Fire Marshal is pleased to collaborate with the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association who will empanel a special committee to review the grant applications utilizing a blind review needs based analysis. The OSFM will facilitate and directly oversee the distribution of the grant awards to the lucky recipients. This grant is financed through the Illinois Fire Prevention Fund, a non-general revenue fund that is supported primarily by a 1% assessment of the gross fire risk premium receipts of all insurance companies operating in the state.
All grant applications must be received by August 13, 2021.


The application review process will begin on August 23, 2021 and end on September 3, 2021. Grant recipients are expected to receive awards by October, 2021.

The Illinois Fire Department COVID-19 Assistance Grant application can be found here.

Category: News

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
323B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8250

Peoria Office:
400 NE Jefferson, Suite 200
Peoria, IL 61603
(309) 677-0120