Bouncing back from business closures
February 04, 2020

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:

Using calculator at desk
March 20, 2020

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.

Using calculator at desk
March 26, 2020

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?

April 22, 2020

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.

retail photo
May 08, 2020

Business owners should take a close, hard look at the long-term prospects for profit. Does it make sense to continue, or should you limit losses, close the doors for now, and save your time and energy for a future business?

Retailing in the U.S. has been transitioning for the greater part of the last decade. Since the recession, retailers both small and large have had to adapt or dissolve. COVID-19 forced shutdowns of non-essential businesses, including most retailers. Unless your store had an online presence, your sales have probably dropped to near zero.

June 02, 2020

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.

Restaurant staff in front of window.
June 03, 2020

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.

June 08, 2020

The Scaling Up Restaurant Operations: Safety Considerations webinar held on June 2, 2020 is now available in archive format.

Business owner wearing a mask with an open store sign
August 26, 2020

You have worked hard to stay in business and prepare to reopen during this pandemic. Now, you are challenged with the fact that many customers are nervous about returning to their favorite restaurants and retail stores.

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November 07, 2020

Morton Economic Development Council and Moreton 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 ap