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Chambers Members Don't Miss Out! On the BIG Program

Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG) The Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program is a $636 million program developed by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois General Assembly to provide economic relief for small businesses hit hardest by COVID-19. BIG leverages federal funding provided by the CARES Act to help offset COVID-19 related losses for Illinois small businesses. BIG is the largest program of its kind in the nation – leveraging federal CARES Act funds to establish economic recovery programs: over $270 million for small businesses, and another $270 million exclusively for childcare providers, administered jointly by DCEO and IDHS. Funding may be used to help businesses with working capital expenses, including payroll costs; rent; utilities; and other operational costs as defined in the eligible cost list found below. Important Application Updates: Applications for a second round of funding are now live. A total of $220 million will be made available for small businesses of all types in Illinois. If you have questions or are experiencing technical difficulties, please submit a question to the BIG Helpdesk via the following forms for assistance with your application in either English or Spanish. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with funding priorities outlined below. Please take care to submit a complete and correct application. Additional time needed to submit will not impact your eligibility or chances of receiving a grant.

Cook County Board of Commissioners Approves $35 Million Fair Transit Pilot Program The three-year program begins in early 2021 and creates more affordable and convenient transit service in south Cook and north Will Counties. The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved $35 million today for a pilot program designed to enhance transit in south Cook and northern Will Counties. The County is partnering with Metra and Pace to launch Fair Transit South Cook to help make transit more affordable and convenient for residents in the Southland. As part of Fair Transit, Metra will reduce fares by up to 50 percent on the Metra Electric and Rock Island lines. Pace is expanding and extending hours of service on their 352 Halsted route. The pilot is scheduled to launch in early 2021. “Now more than ever, we must ensure that all residents have equitable access to transit,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “Not everyone has had the luxury of working from home during the pandemic. Metra’s fare reduction and the enhanced service on Pace will help essential workers in our Southland with more convenient and affordable transportation options.” The funding approved today will be used to offset costs incurred by Metra and Pace associated with the pilot implementation over the span of the program. The three-year pilot will be implemented in phases to give the County and transit partners the opportunity to evaluate fare structures, frequency and other enhancements to ensure the program is sustainable and meets the needs of residents. “At its core, Fair Transit is about what’s best for our residents and economic development in Cook County,” said Jennifer ‘Sis’ Killen, acting superintendent of the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways. “We have worked closely with Metra and Pace to ensure residents in traditionally underserved areas of the County are provided with robust and affordable transportation options.” The County is asking residents who frequently travel to or live in south Cook and north Will Counties to complete a short survey to gather ideas and better understand how the pandemic has impacted ridership. The survey is available online until December 31. For more information about Fair Transit South Cook, visit

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Featured Member of the Month

Franciscan Health Olympia Fields

At Franciscan Health Olympia Fields, we are dedicated to providing the best healthcare possible. We are proud to be a recognized leader in Illinois healthcare and the only center in the far south suburban region approved as a Teaching Hospital Cancer Program by the Commission on Cancer offering a full range of diagnostic and treatment services. We are at the forefront in services for cancer, heart and vascular, colorectal and diabetes.

Shoulder and elbow injuries in professional baseball has been a hot topic since the first Tommy John Surgery over 45 years ago. However, were you aware that shoulder and elbow injuries are not just a professional baseball problem, but the rate of these injuries has skyrocketed in youth baseball?
For many of the 5 million youth who participate in baseball each year, pain is a part of play. According to one study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40 percent of youth baseball players admitted to having pain with throwing or pain holding them back from performing at the best of their ability.

Our region has over 271,000 customers within a 15-minute drive spending $2.3 billion on retail purchases. There are three Interstate 57 interchanges offering quick access to over 91,000 average daily traffic.

Chamber 57 is a not-for-profit organization whose primary purpose is to promote and support the growth and development of the local business community. 


Join Chamber 57 now and connect with hundreds of business owners to build partnerships, increase your network and receive member to member discounts.


Stay informed with political, community, business events and networking engagements with our members and supporters through exclusive seminars.


As a member, you can be listed in our business directory. Join a tremendous group of business owners on a mission to build their business.


As a member, our goal is to help grow our community and be apart of community events through outreach programs that make a difference.



Percy Scott

Executive Director


Keeana Barber

Board Member


Marlene Garcia-Bell

Board Member


Patricia Mazique-Dale, MSW

Board Member


Nancy Johnson

Board Member

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Wendy Boston-Robinson

Board Member

Latest News

The Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a group of hubs across the state that aims to boost Illinois’ economy through entrepreneurship, research and workforce development, announced the addition of nine new members today. IIN now has 15 hubs, including all of Illinois’ public universities and spans the entire state.

Led by the University of Illinois System, IIN launched last August with its first hubs at the three U of I System institutions and a fourth at the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI) in downtown Chicago. Northern Illinois University joined IIN in September and Peoria, which is home to a regional academic medical center, joined in December.

Governors State University will establish a Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator in University Park, Illinois. The center will provide faculty consulting to businesses and startups in Chicago’s southland region, as well as employee training and management development programs to assist in the creation of new businesses and the creation and retention of jobs. Building on the university’s existing partnerships with industry and non-profit organizations in the region, the center will help drive both local and regional economic development, including underserved communities in the region.

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