Business Interruption Grant Webinar2 To ensure businesses in 48th District with the information they need to apply for Business Interruption Grants (BIG) through the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Staate Senator Andy Manar will host an informational webinar on Wednesday, October 14 at 1:30 PM.

This webinar will be focuses on helping African-American owned businesses in Central Illinois, and in order to help reach as many business as possible, local leaders in Springfield and Decatur have been enlisted to help spread the word.

Registration is required for participants. Register and access the webinar here: https://bit.ly/34b5Eqj

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SPRINGFIELD – The Hillsboro Public Library is the recipient of a $643,186 grant from the Illinois secretary of state’s office, State Senator Andy Manar announced Friday.

The grant was awarded through the Secretary of State’s Public Library Construction Grant program, a program designed to assist community public libraries with construction costs associated with their facilities.

Hillsboro is receiving the grant thanks in part to a push from Manar, who serves as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, during last spring’s budget negotiations.

“The value a quality public library brings to rural communities cannot be overstated. Growing up and living in a small town, I know how important this is. This renovation project in the newly acquired facility will provide Hillsboro and the surrounding area with a modern library space for community members to take advantage of,” Manar said. “I’m thankful for the continued efforts of the Hillsboro public library board and Secretary of State Jesse White for their commitment to the Hillsboro community.”

Funding for Public Library Construction grants is approved by the legislature each year to ensure proper maintenance of public libraries throughout the state. Grants are awarded to public libraries in need of repairs, those that seek to improve access for those with disabilities, and those requiring repaired facilities due to damage from natural causes. Manar first met with local leaders in July 2019 to tour both the existing library facility, the new facility that requires renovation, and discuss how the state can assist in local efforts.

“As our library continues the transition to serving communities beyond Hillsboro, this project couldn’t come at a better time,” Dr. Barb Mulch, Hillsboro Public Library Board of Trustees President said. “Our facilities have been in need of renovation for some time, due to accessibility issues. I’m thrilled we are one step closer to seeing a project that will have such a huge impact on our community come to life.”

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BUNKER HILL - In an effort to incentivize businesses into calling downstate home, Macoupin and Christian Counties have been designated an Illinois Enterprise Zone, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) announced Friday.

“This is a time where we ought to be exploring every opportunity to rebuild local economies in rural areas. Making it easier to do business is a simple thing we can do to help when so many are struggling to make ends meet,” Manar said. “Approving Macoupin and Christian Counties' status as an enterprise zone is a necessary step toward improving the wellbeing of the business community in downstate Illinois.”

The Illinois Enterprise Zone Program encourages job growth and investment in economically depressed areas. Companies within a zone, or that agree to move into one, may qualify for tax incentives that include sales tax exemptions on purchases of building materials, an investment tax credit, and in some instances, an exemption for utility taxes. Each zone is administered by local officials under rules set by the State.

Incentives offered by the program also include:

  • An exemption on the state utility tax for electricity and natural gas
  • An exemption on the Illinois Commerce Commission’s administrative charge and telecommunication excise tax

“I’m thankful for the leadership of Taylorville Mayor Bruce Barry, Pana Mayor Don Kroski, Christian County Chairwoman Becky Edwards, and Carlinville Mayor Deanna Demuzio," Manar said. "They came together and put in the necessary work to update their county's status as an enterprise zone, a vital step toward improving the wellbeing of their respective business communities."

The new zones will become effective on January 1st, 2021. Once designated, an area may remain an Enterprise Zone for fifteen years, with a review by the Enterprise Zone Board after thirteen years for a possible ten-year extension of the zone designation.

For more information about DCEO’s Enterprise Zone Program, visit: https://bit.ly/2Z6iSms.

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DECATUR – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) offered his congratulations to Decatur Township Supervisor Lisa Stanley on her appointment to serve on the state’s newly formed Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security.  The appointment was recently made by Illinois Senate President Don Harmon.

“Lisa Stanley is a tireless advocate for the voiceless in and around her community and is an ideal fit for this appointment,” Manar said. “She understands the deep challenges associated with generational poverty, and with Lisa on board, I have no doubt that meaningful change can be achieved.”

The Commission on Poverty Elimination and Economic Security’s goal is to effectively inform the public policy making process by providing lawmakers with an understanding of the root social, economic, and cultural causes of poverty and economic insecurity in Illinois.

“I’ve dedicated my life to helping those in need, and serving on this commission gives me the chance to continue improving the lives of those who need it most,” Stanley said. “I’m thankful to President Harmon for the opportunity and to Senator Manar for his advocacy.”

Stanley currently serves as the Decatur Township Supervisor and has worked diligently to provide emergency services and assistance for clients who have no income. Through the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, she has worked with the Decatur Community Foundation and United Way to reoffer assistance for those struggling to pay for rent, utilities, and mortgages.

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