I’ve noticed that many of our rural Illinois communities have a vacant or derelict building in the heart of their downtown or on main street. While the missed opportunities of a property sitting vacant seem basic, the concept is complicated. Intent, code, statute, and insurance classification may be used to determine whether a real property is classified as vacant, unoccupied, abandoned or derelict. Despite the definition, this category of properties can overshadow neighborhoods, business districts, and communities large and small.
In Illinois, we’re familiar with the phrase “A winter weather advisory is in effect for your region.” Snow has blanketed the state from north to south and more snow is predicted.
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.
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.
Morton Economic Development Council and Morton Chamber of Commerce identified “the advancement of its economic development efforts” and the “creation of a livable community for all” as key priorities, and subsequently engaged with University of Illinois Extension and UIUC Department of Urban and Regional Planning in an app
Streator is a forward thinking city. Successful incubation programs operate like the businesses they help launch, whether they’re located in rural areas or more urban areas. When budgets are tight, best practice programs identify efficiencies to conserve scarce resources. But they also develop new programs and implement innovation ideas that can bring additional revenue.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Rural community and economic development professionals are working furiously to share the latest information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
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?
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:
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.
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
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.