1. Published
    photo of downtown

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

  2. Published

    Updated 4-6-2020

    University of Illinois Extension's Community & Economic Development Team is dedicated to helping small businesses across Illinois navigate this difficult time. Check out this list of grants and loans available for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

  3. Published

    Illinois has announced $14 million for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. Grant funds are available to support working capital, such as payroll and rent, as well as job training, retraining, and technology to support shifts in operations, such as increased pick-up and delivery.

    What types of businesses are eligible?

  4. Published
    resiliency framework

    We’re adjusting to a “new normal.” We hear it daily on the news, in our virtual meetings and at the dinner table, but how can we make sure we stay connected durin

  5. Published

    Updates from the SBA webinars

    SBA is encouraging small businesses and nonprofits interested in the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to apply as soon as possible. The loans are first come, first served. Applicants can ask for an increase later if additional funds are needed. The webinar covered the following points:

  6. Published

    UPDATE:  The State of Illinois has received a federal disaster designation, allowing Illinois businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis to apply for low-interest loans from the US Small Business Administration.

  7. Published

    Many small business owners, especially those required to close, are wondering how to finance their businesses during these difficult times. This series, Financial First Aid, will provide accurate and credible information for small business owners attempting to navigate through hard times.

    US Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Loans

  8. Published

    A word list to cover all challenges that local economies face would be an interesting group exercise. I have recently focused on topics like building vacancies, business closures and recovery from disasters. Please see these and other articles on our Building Entrepreneurial Communities blog.

  9. Published

    A Farm Bureau lawyer, a Sierra Club scientist, and a wastewater treatment plant operator walk into a conference room . . . It’s no joke. On December 3-4 in Springfield, these three and about 120 more people gathered to hear the latest on Illinois’ Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy (NLRS). “We were happy to see such a great turnout. Since its adoption in 2015, we have focused on stakeholder partnerships to move the strategy forward.

  10. Published

    Working and living in small towns makes business closures personal for community leaders. Whether the reason is owner retirement, changing trends or international competition, closures stick with us. Communities suffer each loss in tax revenue, jobs, leadership and morale. To address the voids, University of Illinois Extension shares insightful counter strategies in various ways. Please see related articles archived at www.extension.illinois.edu/blogs/building-entrepreneurial-communities:

  11. Published

    There is a lot of discussion surrounding the Agricultural Economy right now and its potential impact on both farmers and rural communities.  In late summer 2019, the American Bankers Association and Farmer Mac collaborated on a survey.  Over 450 bank managers, executives and Ag Lenders participated from across the nation.  Bank size ranged from under $50 Million in assets to over $5 Billion.

  12. Published

    Many of us are willing to do something different with our front yards if it results in a positive environmental impact, according to a survey by the Extension CED Sustainable Communities team.

  13. Published

    This is a repost from the Just Transition Fund.

  14. Published

    During the summer of 2019, the University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development team hosted two undergraduate Extension interns. Gabe Harper-Hagen and Rhea Bridgeland were funded through the Extension Internship Experience that pairs talented undergraduates with Extension professionals to work on an applied project over a 10-week period.

  15. Published

    Startling facts show that many local businesses and livelihoods will not recover from a catastrophe. It's not because they don't want to, it's because the task is huge. Planning to survive and being prepared go a long way towards improving the odds of re-opening and money flowing. Along with a written, recovery playbook, talk to family, insurance providers, first responders and employees about this serious topic. They all need to help plan, plus understand responsibilities and details.

  16. Published

    By Susan Odum, Extension Educator, Community Development and Planning

    In an October 2018 Report, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) outlined the complex issues surrounding taxation of remote sales, including Supreme Court rulings that set precedent on remote sales tax policy for decades. As a result, an ever-growing volume of sales tax went uncollected, resulting in billions of dollars that states and local governments do without each fiscal year.

  17. Published

    This summer, communities in Illinois with coal plants or mines will have a unique opportunity to imagine a future with alternative energy – to reimagine their communities after coal mining. The conference, Climate Economy in Southern Illinois – Creating Resilient Businesses, Jobs, and Communities, will be held in Carbondale on June 12-13, 2019. The conference is for city and county governments, non-profits, entrepreneurs, and anyone interested to discuss how to maintain, reimagine, and/or rebuild our rural economies.

  18. Published

    Assessing Downtown Canton report represents a collaborative effort between Illinois Main Street, Canton Main Street, Uni­versity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Illinois Extension. The assessment was conducted to provide technical assis­tance for revitalization efforts in Canton, Illinois. The analysis was utilized to guide downtown economic development initiatives.

  19. Published

    You probably don't think Illinois has much to offer in the natural resource department. We don't have soaring mountains or endless oceans, but Illinois's natural resources probably impact your life more than you think. I am not going to argue with you about whether or not our sliver of Lake Michigan, the Shawnee National Forest, or the Mississippi, Ohio, Illinois and other rivers stack up against surrounding states.

  20. Published

    By: Delayne Weston

    Are you curious about using social media to grow your business? According to sproutsocial, a social media software business, people are "57% more likely to buy from a brand they follow" on social media. But where do you start and what do you need to know? Keep reading to find out.

    Why should you have a social media presence?