Dear friend,

As we move further into Phase 4, more businesses are reopening and Illinoisans are beginning to go back to work. But the road to recovery is long—many families are still facing economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Thankfully, support is available for businesses, community organizations and individuals struggling to make ends meet during this time. I’ve included resources below that I hope you’ll find useful. Feel free to forward the information to friends, loved ones and neighbors who may be able to benefit.

If you have any questions and concerns, please contact my office at (708) 848-2002 or click here to email me.

To keep our state moving in the right direction, I encourage you to continue washing your hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a safe social distance. It’s up to all of us to contain the spread of COVID-19. Together, we can save lives.



Don Harmon
Senate President, 39th District

Keeping small businesses afloat

The deadline for the federal Paycheck Protection Program has been extended to Aug. 8. Through the PPP, the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering up to $10 million in loans to eligible businesses to cover payroll costs, rent, utilities or interest on mortgages. Loans are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and if used as intended, the loans don’t have to be repaid. Find participating lenders here. If your business needs assistance with the application process, contact the local Small Business Development Center, located at 1140 N. Lamon, Chicago, IL, 60651 or online here.

Preparing Illinoisans for high-demand jobs

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is investing $4.7 million in 25 partner organizations to expand the Illinois Apprenticeship Program and train more residents for high-demand, well-paying jobs. Apprenticeship opportunities span a wide range of industries, including new programs in IT and medical assistance. Through the expansion, apprenticeship intermediaries will begin to operate for the first time in DeKalb, Sterling, Rock Island, Moline, Rockford, and Springfield. These investments will also provide existing programs in underserved communities with additional capacity. DCEO partners currently offer programming in East St. Louis, Southern Cook County and Southern Illinois. Residents and employers interested in joining the Illinois Apprenticeship Program can visit to learn more.

Protecting yourself against scams

Scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic by posing as contact tracers. Illinois State Police issued a warning on their Instagram page that included a screenshot of the most recent text scam circulating throughout the state. The message appears to be from a contact tracer and invites recipients to click on a link for more information—if you receive a text like this, do not click on the link. If you believe you are a victim or the target of a coronavirus scam, you should contact local police immediately.

Helping students continue their education at City Colleges of Chicago

Students who have had difficulty returning to City Colleges of Chicago due to unpaid debt may have an opportunity to return under the new Fresh Start program. Students who have dropped out and failed to pay may be able to have half of their outstanding debts waived, as long as they meet certain academic requirements. Most qualifying students are Black and Latinx and live in the neighborhoods hardest hit during the pandemic. To participate, students must enroll in at least one fall course by Aug. 20. Start the process here.

Testing locations


The State of Illinois operates community-based testing sites in all regions of the state. These sites are open to all, regardless of symptoms, and provide free tests. For a list of these locations and to find any other testing sites in your area, visit Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be tested. A full list of symptoms can be found here.