Durbin, Padilla Visit Little Village, Discuss Federal COVID-19 Relief Efforts With Small Business Owners

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, today met with the Little Village Chamber of Commerce and local business leaders to discuss several federal programs that helped workers and small businesses stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senators also visited area businesses including La Chiquita Grocery Store—which served as a vaccination site and provided gift cards for food for the community—and Dulcelandia, a family-owned candy store.  Both businesses received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the Small Business Administration.

“I was honored to host Senator Padilla in Chicago today and meet with small business owners in Little Village,” Durbin said. “Many of the mom and pop retail shops and restaurants that line 26th Street were among the hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why we worked to pass the American Rescue Plan and other COVID-19 relief bills to provide PPP loans and grants for restaurants, shuttered venues, and more. And that is why Congressional Democrats are working to pass President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda to provide additional investments to our neighborhoods.”

“Small businesses are the backbone of communities across the country—and Little Village is no exception.” Padilla said. “I’m grateful to Senator Durbin for the warm welcome to Chicago and for the informative tour to hear from small businesses that were hit especially hard during the pandemic. It was clear today just how critical the funding provided through the American Rescue Plan and PPP relief was to keep the lights on in these family-run operations. However, the work is not done to ensure that we continue to build back our country more equitably and even stronger than it was before, which is exactly what we’re going to deliver through the upcoming infrastructure packages.”

Photos from today’s visit are available HERE.