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Campus Engagement in Our Unit

Small Business Toolkit - Canton, IL

Taking stock of the community's resources to support entrepreneurship growth and development is a critical element to creating a proactive environment for business development. Local Economic Development Organizations can take proactive approach to assisting existing and prospective business owners through permitting process, funding opportunities, and regional business resources. Creating a guide that covers the basics, from finding a location to outlining the permit process can be an valuable resource for new businesses. A quick list of resources within a community including Chamber of Commerce and other agencies, connect businesses to organizations that want to help them succeed.

Copies of the publication are being made available through local banks, Chamber of Commerce, Library, and local economic development organization.

This publication can serve as a great model for other communities looking for ways to be proactive in creating a supportive environment for entrepreneurship. 

Canton's Business Toolkit


As a community and economic development educator, Kathie Brown worked with community leaders, government officials, volunteer groups, small business owners, and others to help communities become stronger and more economically viable. She focused on leadership and organizational development; local government education and relations; economic development strategies; participatory community planning/visioning processes; group process facilitation; collaboration and partnership building; public issue education; and understanding, using and developing data.

Prior to retirement in 2021, Brown worked with organizations and local governments to help them: (1) analyze and understand their needs, (2) identify alternative courses of action, (3) make informed decisions, (4) plan for the future and (5) evaluate their development efforts.

Kathie worked for Extension for almost 40 years, contributing to programs related to community health, digital literacy, STEAM education, and more.