1. Published

    Local eateries, restaurants, cafes, pubs, and coffee shops are the social and economic lifeblood of many Illinois communities.

  2. Published

    You have worked hard to stay in business and prepare to reopen during this pandemic. Now, you are challenged with the fact that many customers are nervous about returning to their favorite restaurants and retail stores.

  3. Published
  4. Published

    Support for climate action, and renewable energy in particular, seem to be on the rise in Illinois and around the country. A recent survey of Illinois residents found that 82% support proposed legislation (HB3642) that will put the state on a path to 100% renewable energy by 2050 and create thousands of related jobs for Illinois residents. The poll, conducted by the Global Strategy Group and released by the Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Coalition, was conducted May 18-21, 2020.

  5. Published

    Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development Specialists Zach Kennedy and Susan Odum were interviewed about the 2020 Census on WOC 1420 radio. They shared an overview of Census 2020 as well as discussing why participation is so important.

    Listen to the interview here: All About the Census

  6. Published

    Community leaders across Illinois are working hard to adapt to and overcome challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey conducted by University of Illinois Extension. Town, city, and county leaders across the state are concerned about the health of residents and economic impact on local businesses, employers, and local governments.

  7. Published
  8. Published

    In the last few months, there is a good chance you might have seen someone wearing a t-shirt with the phrase “farmers are my kinda people.” This is one of the latest designs from Rendleman Orchards of Alto Pass. Their locally-grown-and-farm-themed t-shirts are popular, but their latest trademarked design has taken the country by storm. In just under 90 days, the shirt has been shipped to 49 states. 

  9. Published
    The 2020 Census

    This blog post is the first in a series that will highlight the U.S. Census 2020. Participating in the U.S. Census is critically important for several reasons that will be addressed in this series. Key things to remember regarding the Census include:

  10. Published

    The Scaling Up Restaurant Operations: Safety Considerations webinar held on June 2, 2020 is now available in archive format.

  11. Published

    Local eateries, restaurants, cafes, pubs, and coffee shops are the social and economic lifeblood of many Illinois communities. Following the stretch of statewide shutdowns that began in late March, residents may be eager to see their favorite food and drink establishments reopen and employees return to work.

  12. Published

    As local restaurants prepare to reopen in Illinois, a taped webinar from Part 1 of Scaling Up Illinois Restaurant Operations: Financial Considerations held on May 28, 2020 is now available. Included on the broadcast is Gretchen Ernst from Gordon Food Service, providing broadliner perspective about supply and demand effects on restaurant food and kitchen supplies.

  13. Published

    In every community throughout Illinois, restaurants represent a critical element of our social and economic well-being. We’re all eager to see restaurants reopen and employees back to work. In these two webinars, we’ll address management issues and plan for ways to make the reopen safe. This webinar series will be offered in two parts, Financial Considerations on May 28 and Opening Safely on June 4. 

    Part 1 – Financial Considerations

    Thursday, May 28, 2020 at 10 AM CST

  14. Published

    The shopping experience has diminished as customers adhere to in-store social distancing guidelines, curbside pickup, scheduled delivery, and online ordering. While certain business activities are restricted, connecting with the customer is not.

  15. Published

    Business owners should take a close, hard look at the long-term prospects for profit. Does it make sense to continue, or should you limit losses, close the doors for now, and save your time and energy for a future business?

    Retailing in the U.S. has been transitioning for the greater part of the last decade. Since the recession, retailers both small and large have had to adapt or dissolve. COVID-19 forced shutdowns of non-essential businesses, including most retailers. Unless your store had an online presence, your sales have probably dropped to near zero.

  16. Published

    During the past several weeks, families and businesses around the country have endured tragic loss of human life, modified their way of life, and lost vital economic resources. Many of us stay at home “doing our part” not to risk exposure and illness that might further burden our hospitals, as others work to save lives and provide needed food and products.

  17. Published

    Life has been doling out lemons to our small, locally owned businesses, so they are busy making lemonade. While social distancing, they are thinking outside the box, engaging through social media, transitioning to online shopping, and identifying new ways to interact with their customers. They are resilient!

  18. Published

    Overwhelmed, inundated, backlogged. These are just a few of the words employees, employers, government officials, and community leaders are using to describe working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

  19. Published

    Unemployment claims nationwide are soaring. According to the Department of Labor, in the week ending March 28, 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits – doubling the previous week’s level of 3.3 million.

  20. Published

    Rural community and economic development professionals are working furiously to share the latest information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.