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Illinois’ Lieutenant Governor checks in with some Rockford-area small businesses

llinois' Lieutenant Governor checks in with some Rockford-area small businesses struggling through the pandemic.
llinois' Lieutenant Governor checks in with some Rockford-area small businesses struggling through the pandemic.(WIFR)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 4:40 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Illinois’ Lieutenant Governor checks in with some Rockford-area small businesses struggling through the pandemic. 

“Our small business owners are important,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. 

Stratton arrived in Rockford to offer reassurance to small business owners and neighborhoods hurt by the pandemic. Her first stop, the Ethnic Heritage Museum.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for her to see not only Rockford but to see this neighborhood where Rockford began," said David Ruffin,on the  board of directors at the Ethnic Heritage Museum. 

Ruffin hopes Stratton can provide some resources to help revitalize the south side of town.

"We are going to continue working with legislatures and the illinois general assembly to continue looking at what we need to do all across the state," Stratton said. 

Stratton also met with Rockford Art Deli owner Jarrod Hennis who says any assistance is greatly appreciated.

"She did talk about there are possibly more rounds opening up for grants or loans. Really anything that can open up for us. We are not selling the normal amount," Hennis said. 

Stratton says a business interruption grant through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity could be that saving grace.

"We look forward to these funds helping business owners who had to stop operations during this pandemic," Stratton said. 

Stratton says while this pandemic is hard on everyone, she's amazed at how resilient small business owners can be.

"We are trying to do our part to help small businesses and give them support to stay open because we are a community and we all need to work together to stay here," Hennis said. 

"Wear your mask,  head out and support these businesses but continue to exercise caution," Stratton said. 

Stratton also took a tour of rock cut state park and pierce lake during her visit to the region. 

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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