Skip to main content

Economic Development

Streator Incubator Blog with business icons

Streator Incubator Feasibility Study

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...
Finish this story
Photo of Michelle Sirles with farmer t-shirt

Farmers are my kinda people

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...
Finish this story
Restaurant staff in front of window.

Scaling UP: Restaurant Operations: Opening Safely

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...
Finish this story

Be ready when your doors reopen

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...
Finish this story

In a word, resilient

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...
Finish this story

Remote workforce creates challenge for business relief

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. Transitioning to remote work has created challenges for employees across the state, with kitchen...
Finish this story

Supporting local businesses during COVID-19

Rural community and economic development professionals are working furiously to share the latest information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. This information includes closings, new regulations, government orders, and information about resources for businesses. Local offices rely on various levels...
Finish this story
Farm field

What Lenders in the U.S. are saying about the Ag Economy

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...
Finish this story