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    Business and Civic Leaders Applaud Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly

    for Supporting Small Businesses and Immigrant Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the FY 2021 State Budget


    MEDIA CONTACTS Alia El-Assar |; (English, Spanish, Arabic) Irakere Picón |; (English, Spanish) Rebecca Shi | 312-576-8032 (English, Chinese, Basic Spanish)

    Chicago, Illinois – Last night, the Illinois General Assembly approved the FY 2021 State Budget with provisions to strengthen small businesses, immigrant workers and their families during the global Covid 19 pandemic. These provisions include small business grants, healthcare and financial assistance for immigrants. IBIC thanks Governor J.B. Pritzker, House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, Senate President Don Harmon, Executive Committee Chairman Emanuel Chris Welch, Majority Leaders Kimberly Lightford and Greg Harris, Assistant Majority Leaders Omar Aquino and Ram Villivalam, Leaders Lisa Hernandez, Fred Crespo and Representative Delia Ramirez, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Secretary Erin Guthrie and Illinois Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou for their leadership strengthening the lives and livelihoods of our state’s most vulnerable businesses and populations. IBIC Co Chairs are Exelon Chairman Emeritus John Rowe, Ingredion Incorporated Retired CEO and Chairman Sam Scott, Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch, CC Industries Executive Vice President Bill Kunkler, Crate and Barrel Co-Founder Carole Segal, MedGlobal President and CEO Doctor Zaher Sahloul, The Resurrection Project President and CEO Raul Raymundo, and National Partnership for New American Executive Director Josh Hoyt.

    “The advent of covid 19 pandemic and subsequent economic collapse has laid bare the disproportionate impact of health and economic crisis on communities of color, immigrant workers, small and underserved businesses,” said Sam Scott, Ingredion Incorporated retired CEO and Chairman, IBIC Co-Chair and Black Chicago Tomorrow Chairman. “The Governor and the General Assembly provisions for small businesses of color and immigrant workers are an immediate and targeted approach to rescue communities hit first, hardest and will take longest to recover. In particular, we would like to thank Chairman Chris Welch for his heroic efforts helping our state’s most vulnerable businesses of color and immigrants.”

    “We’ve seen in the last 9 weeks, while many Americans are home safe, well fed and quarantined, immigrants in this pandemic are providing “essential” work like farm labor, meat packing, food preparation, medical care, and grocery delivery that are helping the country endure,” John Rowe, IBIC Co-Chair and Exelon Chairman Emeritus, “Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly’s provisions recognize their labor, their sacrifice and their essential work to reopen and rebuild our economy.”

    “We thank Governor Pritzker and General Assembly leadership for supporting vulnerable small businesses and immigrant workers in the FY 2021 budget,” said Sam Toia, President and CEO, Illinois Restaurant Association. “Immigrants are the backbone of the hospitality industry and many IRA members are independent restaurants devastated by COVID-19. Both the small business and immigrant provisions in the budget provide critical resources for businesses and their workers to survive and hopefully thrive through this pandemic.”

    “Leadership is protecting the weak first. Thank you Governor Pritzker and Speaker Madigan for doing that” said Josh Hoyt, Executive Director of the National Partnership for New Americans

    “During a time of unprecedented Covid 19 challenges, we applaud the Governor and the General Assembly’s leadership for assisting small businesses, all Illinoisans, including immigrants, regardless of immigration status,” said Raul Raymundo, President and CEO of the Resurrection Project

    “The Little Village Chamber of Commerce applauds Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly for approving the FY 2021 budget that recognizes the hard work and entrepreneurship of our business community,” said Blanca R. Soto, Executive Director, Little Village Chamber of Commerce. ” There are over 350 grocery stores, restaurants, and small businesses in Little Village that provide thousands of jobs and substantial tax revenue to the state only second to Michigan Avenue. The COVID 19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on the lives and livelihoods of our community. We are ready and eager to work with the Governor, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and all of our legislators to support every business and ensure they not only survive but thrive through this pandemic.”

    “The Chinatown Chamber of Commerce applauds Governor J.B. Pritzker and the General Assembly for assisting our most vulnerable small businesses, minority owned businesses and their workers suffering from the economic shutdown of Covid-19,” said Tony Shu, Chairman of the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, “Chicago Chinatown is a tourism destination filled with over 200 restaurants, bakeries and gift shops. Our restaurant businesses, mom and pops were the first hit and have since been devastated by the Covid 19 outbreak. We are also resilient. We are prepared and eager to work with the Governor and the General Assembly to keep businesses open and workers paid.”

    The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition promotes commonsense immigration reform that advances Illinois economic competitiveness, provides Illinois companies with both the high-skilled and low-skilled talent they need, and allows the integration of immigrants into our economy as consumers, workers, entrepreneurs and citizens. For more information please visit

    Posted in Press Releases , Updates


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