sign 5503310 1280 rNAPERVILLE – More than 20 small businesses across the 21st District were recently awarded over $850,000 in Back to Business grant funding, thanks to legislative measures supported by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

“Our small businesses have kept their doors open and served our community through the last two years of this pandemic against all odds,” Ellman said. “I’m pleased to know they are receiving this much-deserved assistance in recognition of their contributions and dedication.”

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity selects grantees, and the grants are funded through the American Rescue Plan. The DCEO has dispersed $111 million in B2B grants to nearly 3,000 small businesses across Illinois who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Twenty-one businesses in the district Ellman represents received grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 in this round of funding to help them recoup losses from the past two years, and continue to keep their doors open to the community.

“It’s a privilege to be able to support our local businesses and bring their interests and needs to the table,” Ellman said. “They keep our community vibrant and our economy strong—our small businesses truly are some of our most valuable assets.”

Grants will continue to be awarded statewide on a rolling basis. More information about the B2B program, as well as a full list of grantees, is available on the DCEO’s website.

Valentines for Health Care Workers Senator Laura EllmanNAPERVILLE – To show appreciation for all of their hard work, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is collecting Valentine’s Day cards to be distributed to health care workers in the community.

“Over the last two years, our health care workers have gone above and beyond the call of duty to protect our community,” Ellman said. “This is a great opportunity for us to offer care and support to our neighbors who have cared for and supported us, and who have been carrying the weight of this pandemic on their backs.”

Ellman is encouraging churches, schools and community members of all ages across the 21st District to write Valentine’s Day cards, which can be dropped off at drive-by drop-off events on Feb. 5 and 6. Once all cards have been collected, they will be delivered to various local health care facilities.

Cards can be dropped off at the following locations:

Parking lot of Fresh Thyme Naperville
790 Royal Saint George Drive, Naperville
Saturday, Feb. 5, 10-11 a.m.

Parking lot of Mariano's Wheaton
625 S. Main Street, Wheaton
Sunday, Feb. 6, 4-5 p.m.

Ellman’s office can be reached at 630-601-9961 with questions.

Muhammad Ali 1966 rNAPERVILLE – On Monday, Jan. 17, Illinois will be celebrating Muhammad Ali Day for the first time, thanks to a resolution sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

“Muhammad Ali set a fantastic example for us all by showing how to be dedicated to our passions and courageous in our convictions,” Ellman said. “Through both his athletic career and his philanthropic work, he spent a lifetime working for the betterment of society as a whole.”

Ali was well known for his successful career as a professional boxer. In his 21 year career, he won the Olympic Gold Medal and the heavy weight title three times, earning him the title “America’s Champ.”

Outside of the ring, Ali was a dedicated philanthropist who was known to have deliberate conversations with those holding opposing views as a means to unite people from all walks of life. He also worked with the Special Olympics and the Make a Wish Foundation, and assisted at local soup kitchens and hospitals.

“Ali truly was a champion, both in the ring and outside of it,” Ellman said. “He left behind a legacy that we are proud to commemorate here in Illinois.”

Ali was a devoted Muslim who worked to show the world that Islam means peace, and he credited his faith for giving him the courage to stand up against injustices worldwide. Even after retiring from the ring and being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Ali remained dedicated to his work as a global humanitarian and ambassador of goodwill.

This year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day also falls on Jan. 17, offering Illinoisans the opportunity to celebrate two American champions of civic justice, and to remember and perpetuate their courage and hope for a better world for all.

9179552635 79bf149f52 b rNAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is reminding Illinois drivers they now have an additional three months to renew their licenses.  

“Doing our part to reduce transmission of COVID-19 means staying home and staying safe when we can,” Ellman said. “Utilizing online and remote services when they’re available is the safest option, and usually the most hassle-free way to get things accomplished.”

Secretary of State Jesse Whites office announced that expiration dates for drivers licenses and ID cards have been extended to March 31, 2022, with the exception of commercial drivers licenses. The extension comes as secretary of state offices across Illinois continue to get caught up following COVID-19-related closures to their daily operations.   

To cut down on long lines and wait times, Ellman encourages people to take advantage of the secretary of states online services at These services include:  

  • Renewing a vehicle registration;  
  • Applying for a vehicle title and registration;  
  • Obtaining a duplicate driver’s license or ID card;  
  • Obtaining a driving record abstract;  
  • Renewing a standard driver’s license with the Safe Driver Renewal program.  

The secretary of state’s office can be reached via phone as well, at 800-252-8980. People calling are advised to listen carefully to all menu options, and to select menu option 8 to speak to a representative if they don’t have their registration ID or PIN on hand.

Ellman is also reminding residents the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the federal REAL ID deadline to May 3, 2023. Current Illinois drivers licenses or ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities.   

More information and online services, including license plate renewal, can be found at  

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Contact Info

District Office
475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 601-9961

Springfield Office
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192