Skip to main content

Building Entrepreneurial Communities 2021

Opportunity Zones projects in Canton and Havana, Illinois

The Opportunity Zones incentive is a new community investment tool established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 to encourage long-term investments in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. Opportunity Zones provide a tax incentive for investors to re-invest their unrealized capital gains into dedicated Opportunity Funds. Opportunity Zones were conceived as an innovative approach to...
Read more

Remote work offers potential benefits for Illinois’ rural communities

Many rural areas in the U.S. Midwest have been experiencing net population losses for years, raising concerns about the survival of these communities.1 Fewer people mean not only a reduced workforce and diminished taxpayer base, but also fewer customers for local businesses, lower participation rates in community institutions (faith-based organizations, civic leadership, social service professionals2, etc.) and even reduced social-networking opportunities (lessening the community’s...
Read more

Perfect storm crashes Texas power grid; Can it happen here?

The massive mid-February 2021 winter storm brought dangerous cold, snow and ice to a large portion of the country. The effects were felt from southeast Texas to northern Ohio as the storm lifted from the Gulf Coast to the Ohio Valley. “This brutal winter weather, and our ability to withstand it, serves as a stark reminder of our reliance on the power grid to keep us safe and warm,” says Susan Odum,...
Read more

Central Illinois communities convening on coal plant transition planning

In the fall of 2019, the communities of Canton and Havana were hit with the shocking news that Vistra Corp. planned closing the local coal-fired power plants within three months. Community leaders were left to navigate the detrimental impacts to their tax base and workforce and they turned to each other to share ideas and resources. This scenario is happening throughout Illinois. In the central Illinois region, Hennepin, Ill. and Coffeen, Ill.  are experiencing similar challenges as Canton and...
Read more