pexels tim mossholder 1706018 rLOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) is congratulating local businesses struggling from the pandemic that were awarded grants from the latest round of the Back to Business program awards.

The B2B program allocated $250 million in American Rescue Plan dollars for small businesses negatively affected by the pandemic. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $150,000 per business and can be used to cover a wide range of operations such as staff and overhead costs.

“For the last year and a half, small businesses continued to serve our communities even in the face of unprecedented challenges and loss,” Connor said. “Their dedication deserves recognition and reward, and I’m glad to see so many local businesses reap the benefits of this great opportunity.”

Twenty-two businesses in the district have already received over $1 million in grants. They include local restaurants, hotels and salons, highlighting the diversity of the local small business community.  For a full list of businesses that received Back to Business grants, visit the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity awards list at

Category: Press Releases

Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway dedicationLOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) attended a highway dedication Monday morning to memorialize a local fallen state trooper.

“Our first responders take a tremendous risk every day when they put on their uniforms and go to work—a risk that very few people can appreciate fully,” Connor said. “Trooper Warner was courageous and selfless in his duty, and he made the greatest sacrifice for a community that still feels his loss even half a century later.”

A veteran of the Battle of Okinawa, Trooper Richard G. Warner was shot to death at the Illinois State Police Headquarters District 5 in Lockport on April 21, 1969 after responding to a traffic incident where a fellow Navy combat veteran had attempted to kill himself. The man had been hospitalized two years prior for what was then called a "nervous breakdown."  Trooper Warner took the man into custody at the District 5 headquarters, where the man then grabbed another trooper's handgun from a desk and fired two shots, fatally wounding Trooper Warner and injuring another. The man then turned the gun on himself.

“It meant the world to our family to hear this resolution read on both the Senate and House floors, and to attend today’s dedication ceremony. I am impressed by the steps that Senator Connor, Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Police have taken to memorialize my father and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” said Sharon Warner Hare, Trooper Warner’s daughter. “Fifty-two years ago I heard the bagpipes play Amazing Grace and listened to taps at my father’s funeral and cried. Today I listened to the bagpipes and taps and cried again. But this time, it felt healing knowing that so many people had come together to honor and remember my father.”

The stretch of Route 53 that passes by Illinois State Police Headquarters District 5 will now be designated Trooper Richard G. Warner Memorial Highway. This dedication comes as the result of Senate Joint Resolution 8, sponsored by Connor in the spring of 2021.

“My family appreciates the many hands that have come together to remember my grandfather and the sacrifice he made,” said Amber Franklin, Trooper Warner’s granddaughter. “Today we witnessed the power of a grateful community firsthand.”

The full resolution can be accessed on the Illinois General Assembly website.

Photo, left to right: Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, Illinois State Police Brendan Kelly, State Senator Meg Loughran Cappel (D-Shorewood), Assistant Majority Leader Natalie Manley (D-Joliet), Thomas Warner, Stephen Warner, Janis Warner McTee, Sharon Warner Hare, State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport), State Representative Dagmara Avelar (D-Bolingbrook).

Category: Press Releases

joliet regionalJOLIET – Due to its accomplishments, including a strong commitment to customer safety and satisfaction, the Illinois Department of Transportation selected Joliet Regional Airport to receive a 2020 General Aviation Airport of the Year award, State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) announced.

“The Joliet Regional Airport is a great resource for our community, and I congratulate all airport staff on this well-deserved recognition,” Connor said. “Their continued commitment to safety and service even in the face of the unprecedented difficulties of the last year and a half is commendable.”

Joliet Regional Airport is one of 12 airports across the state selected to receive an Airport of the Year award from the Illinois Department of Transportation. Award considerations include cooperation and coordination with the state, the airport’s safety record, maintenance of the facility, and promotion of aviation and educational events. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, awards were based on the achievements of the last two years.

"We are honored to be chosen for the award, especially during the height of the pandemic. The changing guidelines throughout the year were challenging to say the least, but my staff rose to the occasion and we are proud to know that our efforts did not go unnoticed,” Airport Superintendent Jennifer McFarland said. “Our continued relationship with the IDOT Division of Aeronautics will be beneficial to all current and future members of the aviation community."

More information and resources for the Illinois aviation community can be found on Illinois Aviation’s website.

Category: Press Releases

pexels cottonbro 6115038 rLOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) is encouraging local small businesses to take advantage of Back to Business grants by submitting applications before the Oct. 13 deadline.

Connor and the General Assembly allocated $250 million in American Rescue Plan Act dollars for small businesses experiencing COVID-19 losses, and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will continue to award grants on a rolling basis.

“Small businesses supported our communities through the darkest days of this pandemic,” Connor said. “Even during unprecedented challenges, they kept their doors open and kept their employees and the community safe, incurring losses along the way.  Now is our chance to support those small businesses, and reward their dedication and resilience.”

Eligible businesses are encouraged to apply by visiting the DCEO website. To help restore operational losses incurred during the pandemic, the B2B program will provide grants ranging in size from $5,000 to $150,000, commensurate with losses experienced. DCEO will continue to accept applications for B2B grants through Oct. 13, 2021.

“Our community has already received over $950,000 in Back to Business grants, which has been a great help,” Connor said. “However, I know we still have businesses that are hurting from the pandemic, and I hope that they’ll take advantage of this great opportunity before the deadline.”

Connor encourages residents to reach out to his office at 815-207-4445 or with questions or concerns.

Category: Press Releases


Office Info

District Office:
20660 Caton Farm Road, Unit D
Crest Hill, IL 60403
(815) 207-4445

Springfield Office:
M122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8800

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