Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

From September 15th through October 15th, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment celebrates the accomplishments and the cultures of Hispanics. DCEO-OMEE will be hosting a series of events to celebrate the month.

Below are the events DCEO will be hosting in either English or Spanish:

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., “Access to Capital”
– We will be discussing financial resources for your business. To register please visit: gr.pn/hhmcapital.

  • Hosted by: DCEO, Groupon, LULAC Illinois and in partnership with Hispanic Chamber of Lake County (HCLC) and The Latino Round Table of Southwestern Illinois.

(Spanish Webinar) Thursday, September 17, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., “Access to Capital” – We will be discussing financial resources for your business. To register please visit: https://bit.ly/2QMZ42Y.

  • Hosted by: DCEO and LULAC Illinois and in partnership with Hispanic Chamber of Lake County (HCLC) and The Latino Round Table of Southwestern Illinois

(en español) jueves, 17 de septiembre de 2020 a las 9:00 a.m., “Acceso a Capital” – Hablaremos de recursos financieros para su negocio. Para registrarse visitehttps://bit.ly/2QMZ42Y. Folleto adjunto.

  • Coorganizado por DCEO y LULAC de Illinois en alianza con HCLC y Latino Round Table for Southwestern Illinois

(Spanish Webinar) Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., “SBDC Assistance & Best Practices for Business Owners” – Free assistance for business owners and discussion on best practices for businesses. To register please visit: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec44db572a4e019d8cf5c6f02dca41a53

  • Hosted by: DCEO and Illinois SBDC Network

(en español) miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2020 a las 10:00 a.m., “Asistencia de Centro de Desarrollo de Pequeñas Empresas (SBDC por sus siglas en inglés) y Mejores Prácticas para Propietarios de Empresas” – Asistencia gratuita para propietarios de empresas y diálogo sobre mejores prácticas para propietarios de empresas. Por favor regístrese aquí: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec44db572a4e019d8cf5c6f02dca41a53
Alojado por DCEO y Red SBDC de Illinois

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 3:00 p.m., “OMEE Grant: Best Practices” – We will be discussing best practices for applying for state grants, specifically, OMEE grant. To register please visit: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=eeee454aec05b5a5ea612ef491fb86752

  • Hosted by DCEO-OMEE and Office of Accountability

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 4:00 p.m., “Equity in Film: Latinx Perspectives” – We will be discussing equity in film. To register please visit: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e2f9a0ed3b4b16fef0845c55b6322ff94

  • Hosted by DCEO-OMEE and DCEO Film Office

Thursday, October 1, 2020 at 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., “The Brank of U & How to Work It” – from you as an individual, as an entrepreneur, a business person that works for a company, & how to utilize tech to be your best friend & 24/7 employee. Today’s Covid 19 environment has caused many challenges, but it has also caused amazing miracle opportunities. We will discuss the “unique” approaches for pivoting, working your brand while sleeping, & how to capitalize your brand for elevated recognition. Learn directly from the disruptors & consider this time well spent on yourself & “UR Life, UR Way.” To register please visit: gr.pn/brandofu.

  • Hosted by DCEO, GROUPON and LULAC – Latina Entrepreneurs NOW, in partnership with Latina Executive and Entrepreneur Network (L.E.E.N.), Mujeres Latinas en Accion and Chicago Latina Moms

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., “Regulations, Workforce, and Finances” – Come here how to obtain applicable business licenses from IDFPR, how to hire and expand workforce, and business finances. To register please visit: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=eaa1b61a1805868a0632fd8820084f4c5

  • Hosted by DCEO-OMEE and DCEO-OET in partnership with the Greater Peoria Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Northwest Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 2:00 – 3:30 p.m., “Latinas in Manufacturing” – Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, National Women Business Month, and Manufacturing Month, this webinar will discuss how Latinas in manufacturing got into the business, pivoted, and expanded into leadership roles. To register please visit: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0b15756d98d9c637b79c2c7a0dc9d0cb

  • Hosted by DCEO-OMEE, DCEO-OET and Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., “Certification and Government Contracting” – come here about how to get your business certified and expand into government contracting. To register please visit: https://illinois.webex.com/illinois/onstage/g.php?MTID=ec5e4abb62381a2edf8f299a07bc6b771

  • Hosted by DCEO-OMEE, Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in partnership with CMS-BEP, Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

(Spanish Webinar) Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m., “Certification and Government Contracting” – come hear about how to get your business certified and expand into government contracting. To register please visit: gr.pn/herencia-hispana

  • Hosted by DCEO-OMEE, Groupon, Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in partnership with CMS-BEP, Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Mujeres Latinas en Accion.

(en español) jueves, 15 de octubre de 2020 a las 2:00 p.m., “Certificación y Contratación Pública” – venga a escuchar cómo certificar su negocio y expandirse a la contratación pública. Por favor regístrese aquí: gr.pn/herencia-hispana
Coorganizado por DCEO-OMEE, Groupon, Caucus Legislativo Latino de Illinois, Cámara Comercio Hispana de Illinois en alianza con CMS-BEP, Aurora Cámara de Comercio Hispana Regional y Mujeres Latinas en Acción.

OMEE Events:

The webinars are open to everyone; however, please note that there are webinars that do target specific communities. We are working towards conducting more webinars; therefore, if you don’t see one that appeals to you below OMEE or DCEO’s Regional Economic Development office may have one for you in the near future. Feel free to contact us at CEO.OMEE@illinois.gov.

Online with OMEE – The Business Development Managers from Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) are excited to host you for Online with OMEE – an open online conversation with OMEE constituents (racial/ethnic minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and veteran owned businesses). We will provide you with the latest updates regarding federal and state programs, share information about other resources available, and answer any questions you may have about available state or federal programs.

For information please contact:

Diana Alfaro, Latino Business Development Manager (si hablo español)
Diana.alfaro@illinois.gov
312.919.3620

Matthew J. Simpson, African American Business Development Manager
Matthew.simpson@illinois.gov
312.520.0434

Ibie Hart, Woman’s Business Development Manager
Ibie.Hart@illinois.gov
773.951.8542

Tiffany T. Hawkins, Cannabis Loan and Grant Program Manager
Tiffany.Hawkins@illinois.gov
312.793.9702

Contact the First Stop Business Information Center Helpline at: 1-800-252-2923.  Spanish speaking assistance is also available at that number.

Celebrating National Black Business Month

Join us as we celebrate National Black Business Month in August and recognize the Black-owned businesses in our community, state and across the country. Below you’ll find both statewide and local events.


Local Events
Please see the list of local event(s) below presented by the Greater Decatur Black Chamber of Commerce.

  • September 12th: Criminal Records Sealing & Expungement Seminar – Criminal records 101; sealing vs expungement; records that are available for assistance; alternative remedies; information on Cannabis Control Act. The event will take place at the INC.SPOT on 269 West Eldorado Street in Decatur from 3-5 PM. Please RSVP by email to: theincspot2020@gmail.com.

Statewide Events

The state of Illinois is celebrating August’s National Black Business Month by teaming up with Groupon to host a series of workshops for Black-owned businesses across the state.

Groupon, the Chicago-based company, and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will host three virtual panel discussions for businesses and entrepreneurs during the month of August. Business workshops are FREE to attend and will bring together an all-star line-up of government officials, business industry groups, and Black business community leaders. That list includes: Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Groupon’s Interim CEO Aaron Cooper, DCEO Acting Director Michael Negron, Marc Morial, President, of the National Urban Leagure, and local Small Business Administration (SBA) officials.

All of the Black Business Month events will take place every Monday at 2:00 PM, Wednesday at 10:00 AM, and Thursday at 2:00 PM. Please see the list of events below and click the appropriate links to register.

  • August 3: Define BOSS– A high level discussion on entrepreneurship, and success stories from Black business bosses from across the state.  Click Here to Register
  • August 5: Open Forum – Join the African American Business Development Manager, Matthew Simpson and the Women’s Business Development Manager, Ibie Hart in an open forum in which you can ask questions and get answers. We are here to support you! Click Here to Register
  • August 6: Open Forum – Join the African American Business Development Manager, Matthew Simpson and the Women’s Business Development Manager, Ibie Hart in an open forum in which you can ask questions and get answers. We are here to support you! Click Here to Register
  • August 10: Black Women in Business– A discussion on Black women’s experience in the world of business, will include conversations on the challenges as well as success stories from Black woman entrepreneurs from across the state. Click Here to Register
  • August 12: How to best position yourself for Government Grants –  This webinar is for black women who are interested in preparing their business for government grants. We will be discussing GATA certification, NOFO writing, as well as best practices and common mistakes. Click Here to Register
  • August 13: Doing Business w/ Government – Fostering an inclusive and competitive business environment that will help Black Business Enterprises increase their capacity, grow revenue, and enhance credentials. Click Here to Register
  • August 17: Access to Capital – A conversation on business finance, and how entrepreneurs – from start-ups experienced business owners – can put themselves in position to tap into capital markets. Click Here to Register
  • August 19: Leveling up your marketing and operations for success during COVID. This webinar is for Black Women who want to learn how to market their business and improve operations for success during a pandemic. Click Here to Register
  • August 20: Black Business Lending – Access to Capital & Tax incentives: How Black Businesses can access financial resources and tax incentives to scale and grow a sustainable business that increases overall economic opportunity and growth in communities of color. Click Here to Register
  • August 24: Strength in Numbers– Discussing the need for collaboration in business development, and how unity brings success and facilitates growth. Will also touch on the reality that we cannot do it alone. Click Here to Register
  • August 26: OMEE & Illinois SBDC Presents ADME – Each month we will offer a dynamic discussion on a business topic and highlight one of OMEE’s focus communities. This month the discussion is marketing and the highlight is National Black Business Month! Click Here to Register
  • August 27: Federal and State Financial Resources for Black Businesses amidst COVID-19 and Civil Unrest – How Black Businesses can take advantage of federal/state COVID-19 grant/loan relief programs and rebuild damaged businesses post Civil Unrest.  Click Here to Register
  • August 31: A Vision for Your Brand– A conversation on branding and ensuring that entrepreneurs understand how to present and position their company in the best way possible. Click Here to Register

For more information on the Illinois Office of Minority Economic Empowerment, click here. Please email any questions to: ceo.omee@illinois.gov

SBDC Starting Your Business Webinar

Join the Illinois Small Business Development Center and the EDC as we co-host a free webinar on “Starting Your Business in Illinois.” The event will take place from 8:30 AM to 10 AM on Tuesday, August 18th via Zoom.

The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • feasibility checklist
  • sources of funding including financing and grant options
  • business formation and registering your business
  • how to create or improve your business and marketing plans
The workshop is free to attend but registration required to secure a spot. Please RSVP here.

Decatur Commerce Park Ranked Ninth in the Nation for Top Industrial Parks in Business Facilities Magazine

Decatur Commerce Park Ranked Ninth in the Nation for Top Industrial Parks in Business Facilities Magazine

Decatur, Illinois – Decatur, Illinois’ Commerce Park was recently ranked ninth in the nation in Business Facilities 16th Annual 2020 Metro Rankings Report for Top Industrial Parks.

For the first time ever, Business Facilities magazine ranked the nation’s leading industrial parks. The magazine states that size, turn-key logistics, and infrastructure were key factors in their Industrial Parks ranking.

“Commerce Park has all the right tools to help a business flourish in Decatur, Illinois,” said Jaime Weiss, president of Weiss Realty Co. and owner of Commerce Park. “Whether it be the strong, local workforce, unique transportation opportunities, access to the foreign trade zone or the cost savings associated with the Decatur-Macon County Enterprise Zone, this 147-acre industrial park invites businesses to take advantage of everything Decatur has to offer while allowing them to stay connected and get farther faster.”

“As an industrial park of this size, Commerce Park services massive markets and is able to access more than 99 million people for same-day delivery,” said Nicole Bateman, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County. “With rail on site, intermodal ramp across the street and room for a facility up to one-million square feet, it’s easy to see why Commerce Park was recognized as ninth in the nation. It provides rich economic development opportunities for Decatur.”

For more information on the 2020 Metro Rankings Report and Business Facilities, visit BusinessFacilities.com. For more information on Commerce Park, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County

The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County is a nonprofit public-private partnership responsible for non-retail business attraction, expansion and retention efforts in Decatur & Macon County. Composed of a combination of leading private sector employers, labor, educational institutions and a variety of governmental bodies, the EDC is uniquely positioned to address the needs of Macon County’s existing business and employer base along with prospective businesses looking to locate in and around the Decatur, Illinois area. The EDC works with local, state and federal partners to provide economic, technical and training assistance to businesses in the Macon County area.

 

3D Printing Entrepreneurs, Businesses, Non-Profits Produce 450 Reusable Face Shields for MCEMA

 

May 4, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nicole Bateman, President
Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County
Cell Phone: 217-369-1509

3D Printing Entrepreneurs, Businesses, Non-Profits Produce 450 Reusable Face Shields for MCEMA

Decatur, Illinois – Local 3D printing entrepreneurs, businesses and non-profits collaborated to produce 450 reusable face shields in response to the COVID-19 pandemic PPE shortage. Richland Community College, the Boys & Girls Club, and local community residents activated their 3D printers to print visors, while sharing information about materials and the process. With guidance from local health organization professionals, the 3D printed visors were attached to shields cut by Bendsen Signs & Graphics, with final assembly by MRI.

450 face shields were delivered to the Macon County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) on Monday, May 04, 2020. The Macon County EMA will distribute the masks to organizations in need of the PPE.

The project was organized by Jesse Blunt, owner of Tried & True Tattoo, and the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County, and funded by the Macon County Emergency Response Grant from The Community Foundation of Macon County.

“This is a prime example of what the power of collaboration and community spirit can produce,” said Nicole Bateman, president of the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County. “We’ve combined our resources in the 3D printing, health care, non-profit, education, and small business sectors to answer a critical need in Macon County. This effort is inspiring, and it brings awareness to the talent that exists in our community.”

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Project Involvement:

3D Printer Operators: Jesse Blunt, Scott Davidson, Preston Hein, Shelly Long, Eric Marsh, Chris Monroe, Doug Rohman, Jason Schimansky

Businesses Involved:

BLDD Architects: Sam Johnson, Kayla Peck

Bendsen Signs & Graphics: Tim Lillpop

Boys & Girls Club: Isaac Zuniga, Shamika Bond

The Community Foundation of Macon County: Natalie Beck

Decatur Memorial Hospital: Sharon Norris

Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County: Nicole Bateman

HSHS St. Mary’s: Libby Weber

MRI: Amy Bliefnick, Jacob Roddis, Tuesday Bilbrey, Rachel Moran

Richland Community College: John Oliver

About the Economic Development Corporation of Decatur and Macon County

The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County is a nonprofit public-private partnership responsible for non-retail business attraction, expansion and retention efforts in Decatur & Macon County. Composed of a combination of leading private sector employers, labor, educational institutions and a variety of governmental bodies, the EDC is uniquely positioned to address the needs of Macon County’s existing business and employer base along with prospective businesses looking to locate in and around the Decatur, Illinois area. The EDC works with local, state and federal partners to provide economic, technical and training assistance to businesses in the Macon County area.

 

Additional Media Coverage:
Herald & Review

COVID-19 Resources

 

 

 

 

The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur-Macon County has created this page full of business and community information as it relates to COVID-19. Please share this page with others as you see fit. We’re updating frequently as new resources become available.

We understand that each individual and business is different – and we’re here to help. If you have a question, want to share information about your company’s situation, and/or are in need of resources, please contact us here.

This page will be continuously updated with business and community information & resources.


 

 

Restore Illinois – Phase 4

Governor JB Pritzker released plans on June 22nd to safely continue reopening businesses and industries as Illinois moves into Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Working with public health officials and business representatives, guidelines were developed to keep workers and customers safe as the economy recovers. All four regions of the state are currently on track to move into Phase 4 on June 26 as the state continues to make significant progress in reducing new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, with the average 7-day statewide case positivity rate falling to just 2.5 percent as of June 20.

To prepare businesses and employers to implement new and updated safety guidelines in Phase 4, the state of Illinois has developed this business toolkit complete with signage, posters, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest public health recommendations.

Phase 4 guidelines include five new industry categories and updated recommendations for the existing categories from Phase 3. Each set of guidelines includes a common set of guidelines that are expected and encouraged among all employers and activity types, as well as workplace and program-specific guidelines.

Phase 4 allows for the safe reopening or expansion of several key business segments – such as health and fitness, movies and theater, museums and zoos, as well as indoor dining at restaurants. Phase 4 also allows for expanded gathering sizes, increasing the limit from 10 in Phase 3, to 50 people or fewer. This expanded gathering limit extends to key activities like meetings, events, and funerals.

Phase 4 Industries:

·     Meetings and Social Events

·     Indoor and Outdoor Recreation

·     Indoor and Outdoor Dining

·     Museums

·     Zoos

·     Theaters and Performing Arts

·     Youth and Recreational Sports Guidelines

·     Film Production

·     Manufacturing

·     Offices

·     Retail

·     Service Counters

·     Health and Fitness Centers

·     Personal Care Services

·     Day Camps

See an overview of the Phase 4 changes here.


BUSINESS FINANCIAL RESOURCES: NATIONAL LOANS

Paycheck Protection Program – Applications will be accepted again beginning Monday, April 27 at 9:30 a.m.
Click here for a message from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

CARES Act – The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Additional details will be released soon, but these guides are helpful to understand what to expect + how to prepare:

6/5/2020: Changes to the Paycheck Protection Program

The U.S. Senate followed the House yesterday and passed changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will allow small businesses more flexibility in using the program’s loan funds. The bill, H.R. 7010, extends the eight-week period – when proceeds must be spent for loans to be forgiven – to 24 weeks or until the end of the year, whichever comes first. Additionally, businesses can also have as long as five years, instead of two, to repay any money owed on a loan, and they can use a greater percentage of proceeds on rent and other approved non-payroll expenses. Currently, employers must spend at least 75% of their PPP loan on payroll expenses in order to qualify for loan forgiveness; under this bill, employers would have to spend at least 60% of the loan on payroll expenses to be eligible for forgiveness.

The bill now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature. The timing on this bill is urgent because the eight-week spending period began expiring last Friday for the first loan recipients after the Small Business Administration program opened April 3, 2020. For more information, check out this article

SBA Disaster Loan (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) 
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information on these loans, click here.

With additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis. Click here for further information on the availability of the EIDL portal to receive new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises).

Honeycomb Crowdfunded Small Business Relief Loan
To help deliver the working capital that businesses need, Honeycomb is offering 45-day payment free periods,  6-month interest-only periods and reducing our posting, success, and investor fees. Learn more here.

Womply & FundRocket Loan: $1,000 Interest Free Loan
If you own a U.S. business, you can receive a no-fee, no-interest $1,000 capital offer, with flexible repayment terms, through Stimulus 2020 capital partner FundRocket. To qualify for the capital offer, a business only needs to verify a legitimate business bank account. For more information, click here.


BUSINESS FINANCIAL RESOURCES: STATE OF ILLINOIS LOANS

LISC State Farm Small Business Relief Fund Loan Program
LISC provides loans from $75,000 to $500,000 to small businesses through the LISC Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund. The program allows LISC to make loans similar to banks, but with more flexible credit standards to reach businesses that might not qualify for conventional bank financing. Learn more here and complete the business questionnaire for eligibility here.

Bridge Loan Program
The Illinois State Treasurer has announced a bridge loan program.  For additional information on this program, please click here to connect to the Treasurer’s website or read the press release here.

Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan
Under the leadership of Governor JB Pritzker, DCEO and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) are establishing the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer small businesses low interest loans of up to $50,000. Learn more here.


BUSINESS FINANCIAL RESOURCES: GRANTS

Business Interruption Grants Program (BIG)
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will launch the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) by providing $60 million to businesses experiencing losses or business interruption as a result of COVID-19 related closures. The BIG Program is available for up to 3,500 businesses that experienced a limited ability to operate due to COVID-19 related closures. DCEO will begin distributing funds to qualifying businesses in early July. To learn more and for application directions, click here.

Ameren Small Business Assistance Grant
As part of the company’s COVID-19 Economic Hardship Recovery Program, Ameren Illinois is accepting applications from small businesses that are having difficulty paying their energy bills.  Now through June 30, qualifying customers can apply for a one-time grant, up to $500, to be applied to their Ameren Illinois electric account.

Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are depleted, or at the company’s discretion. Click here for more details.

Layoff Aversion Grant for Essential and Small Businesses
The Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has made some funding available for our local Workforce offices to prevent essential, small businesses from laying off or furloughing employees. They are looking for businesses for whom these potential grant dollars would make the difference between keeping workers on or having to layoff/furlough. Click here for more information and to apply.

Macon County Emergency Response Fund for 501c3
Based upon the charitable structure of the Macon County Emergency Response Fund, these grants are limited to 501c3 nonprofit organizations, groups fiscally sponsored by a 501c3 nonprofit organization, or other charitable organizations able to receive tax-deductible contributions, such as schools, faith-based organizations and other public entities. The Fund is for nonprofit organizations in Macon County. To learn more, click here

Arts for Illinois Relief Fund
The Governor introduced a new relief fund to provide grants for both individual artists and art/cultural organizations. To learn more, visit: artsforillinois.org/donate-and-apply. A special thank you to IMA member, Exelon, for their contributions to starting this fund.

Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program
Macon County businesses that exist outside of Decatur city limits* may qualify for this program. Businesses must have 50 employees or less (including the owner) and have been in operation for at least three fiscal years. Private for-profit small retail and service businesses, or businesses considered non-essential by the Governor’s Executive Order without the ability for employees to work remotely.  For more details and to apply, click here.

*Businesses within the Decatur city limits are not currently eligible for this grant. However, the City of Decatur is examining whether they can repurpose some of their CDBG allocation to be used for short-term assistance for businesses inside city limits impacted by COVID-19. The City will make an announcement soon, after obtaining clearance from the federal government.

Business For All: Apply for Grants Up to $50,000
Apply for grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. To apply, click here.

Red Backpack Fund: Support for Women Entrepreneurs
GlobalGiving will be overseeing the fund, making 1,000 grants of $5,000 each to female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to help alleviate the immediate needs and support the long-term recovery of those impacted by this crisis. Click here to learn more.

Nav’s Small Business Grant
Nav is the free way to monitor your personal and business credit in one spot. Over 500,000 business owners use Nav today. The Nav Small Business Grant was launched to give $10,000 to help a deserving business take their company to the next level. If you’ve ever dealt with a tough business challenge but refused to quit, apply today.

LISC and Verizon
LISC will use the Verizon funding to provide grants of up to $10,000 to businesses facing immediate financial pressure because of Covid-19—especially entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses and other enterprises in historically underserved communities who don’t have access to flexible, affordable capital. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Ad Credits for Google Ads
Google wants to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) stay in touch with their customers during this challenging time. That’s why they’re giving SMB customers worldwide $340 million in ad credits, which can be used towards future ad spend, until the end of 2020 across our Google Ads platforms. Click here for more.


RECENTLY UNEMPLOYED

Self-Employed & Gig Workers, Freelancers, and Independent Contractors Unemployment Assistance
Beginning May 11, the federal government will allow self-employed workers, freelancers, and independent contractors to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This program provides a total of 39 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals not typically eligible for unemployment benefits, including independent contractors and self-proprietors, who have become unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19. Read more here.

Affordable Care Act Special Enrollment Period
Governor Pritzker has joined colleagues in asking the White House to open a special enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to cover Americans during this challenge. Illinoisans recently laid off can enroll in the ACA now as the program allows those experiencing a qualifying life event to join. Learn more at: getcovered.illinois.gov. 

IDES Unemployment Benefits
IDES recently adopted emergency rules to try to make the unemployment insurance system as responsive to the current situation as possible. To learn more, click here. To listen to the IDES Conference Call hosted on Tuesday, March 24, click here. 


EMPLOYER RESOURCES

Business Operations, Human Resources and Legal Q&A 
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association have compiled answers for some of the most commonly asked questions and will continue to be updated as events unfold and laws change.

SBA Guide for Impacted Businesses
Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. To learn more, click here.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Here is some guidance from the United States Department of Labor with regard to the new federal laws surrounding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This link provides a detailed Questions and Answers.

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association and their partner, Scott Cruz and his law firm Greensfelder, have provided this article that includes information on tax credits for paid sick leave, the emergency paid sick leave act, and the family and medical leave expansion act. An additional breakdown of the tax credits from Plante Moran can be found here.

Legal Guidance: Work from Home, Employees Presenting Symptoms & More
Click here for answers to various questions all companies must know.

Sales Tax Deferral for Bars and Restaurants
To help alleviate some of the unprecedented challenges facing bars and restaurants due to COVID-19, Gov. Pritzker has directed the Department of Revenue to defer sales tax payments for more than 24,000 small- and medium-sized bars and restaurants — accounting for nearly 80% of all such entities statewide. Read more here.

Banking and Tax Payments
If your business has been affected and you are having difficulty meeting your loan obligations, please contact your bank or credit union on ways they can help you. We also suggest contacting your accountant to get information on tax return filing and payment extensions that may be available to you.

Working From Home Software
Although we may not be working at the office, there’s still lots of ways to connect and continue doing business. Here are some commonly used software platforms:


REQUEST FOR ESSENTIAL SUPPLIES

Requests for Essential Supplies
Illinois is facing a critical shortage of essential supplies needed by manufacturers, health care providers, and first responders. These include items such as N95 masks, gloves, gowns, ventilators, sanitizer, and more. All of these products will be used in Illinois to help our local communities. Check out the links below if you’re able to donate supplies or meals.

    • Production or Donations of Life Saving Supplies
    • Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) – The State of IL is looking for donations of MREs.  Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters (VOAD’s) like Salvation Army, American Red Cross, are asking for 1 million MREs. For more information, please contact Randy Prince with the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association at rprince@ima-net.org.

RETURNING TO WORK

Webinar: When to Return and Reopen
The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association hosted a webinar that covered many points related to when to return and reopen businesses. The webinar covers topics like who should come back to work first, what employers can do if an employee doesn’t want to return to work, what considerations employers need to make, and more. To listen, click here.

Reopening Guides
As businesses prepare to open their doors, several reopening guides have been published:

Illinois Manufacturers’ Association Safety & Reopening Guide (click here for the PDF document)

Decatur Regional Chamber of Commerce Reopening Guide – including guidance for industry specific businesses (click here for the PDF document)

Additional Business Resources
Here are some additional helpful resources for your business:
COVID-19 Employee Rights Workplace Poster 


 

 

Macon County Health Department
For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Macon County and preparedness resources, please visit the Macon County Health Department (MCHD) website

United Way’s 2-1-1
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects callers with free information and referrals for community services in Macon, DeWitt, Moultrie, Piatt & Shelby counties. If you’re looking for help and assistance, give 2-1-1 a call today. For more information, click here. Also visit the United Way’s COVID-19 Resource page here

Restaurant Guide
To help our local restaurants during the mandated COVID-19 shutdown, the City of Decatur has created a delivery and curbside guide.

Food Resources
Businesses and school districts have worked together to help provide food resources for families who may need it. Here is a list of food resources.

Coronavirus Scams
Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the COVID-19. Check out some of these listed scams to help you stay safe.

Crisis Counselors
Anxious about Coronavirus? If you are needing help and would like to talk to an anonymous crisis counselor, text HELLO to 741741 to connect.  For more information, click here.

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Human Services’ Mental Health Division has launched a free-of-charge emotional support text line, Call4Calm, for Illinois residents who are experiencing stress or mental health concerns related to COVID-19. Individuals who would like to speak to a mental health counselor can text TALK or HABLAR for Spanish to 552020.

State of Illinois Website

 

Economic Development Corporation of Decatur – Macon County Names Nicole Bateman President

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DECATUR, IL (March 12, 2020) – The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Decatur – Macon County today announced Nicole Bateman has been named President of the organization, effective May 1, 2020.  Bateman has been the Executive Director of the Midwest Inland Port since 2017 and Community Marketing Manager, Limitless Decatur & Macon County since 2015.

Current EDC President Ryan McCrady, has accepted a position as President / CEO for the Springfield-Sangamon Growth Alliance. Ryan, a Springfield area native, has worked with the EDC board over the last five years to activate a strong strategic plan that has been focused on building new jobs, population growth, reducing unemployment, expanding workforce training initiatives, and creating a stronger regional economic network. “I am grateful for the opportunities this community has provided and I have been extraordinarily proud of the growth the local economy has seen. The new position in Springfield affords me the opportunity to be closer to family,” commented McCrady. “Nicole has been a key player for this organization since 2015, and her leadership, along with board support, will continue to drive this community forward at record pace.”

In their new roles, Ryan and Nicole will continue to work together in a regional capacity. “I am honored to accept this position and believe this is a critical time for our region to continue to look for collaboration and growth strategies throughout our central Illinois gateway. My work with the Midwest Inland Port and Community Branding and Marketing, in conjunction with our collaborative partners, has brought recognition to  Decatur & Macon County as 2nd in the Nation for MSA Economic Strength, Top City to Watch, Top 25 City for Global Trade, and 3rd in the Nation as Emerging Logistics and Distribution Center,” commented Bateman.

With the strategic hire of Bateman as President, the Economic Development Corporation will continue to aggressively position itself. “This is good news for us all,” says EDC Board President Dennis Whalen. “With Ryan continuing to be a collaborative resource and Nicole driving our organization it puts us in a unique and strong position to strengthen our regional economics, and leverage the diverse competitive advantages of our region,” continues Whalen.

The organization is in the process of expanding its strategic plan and will continue to focus on key objectives such as the Job Growth, Midwest Inland Port, Community & Corporate Development & Retention, Community Marketing, and Education & Workforce Development.  For more information or questions please contact Brandy Poshard at the EDC at 217-422-9520.

About Economic Development Corporation for Decatur & Macon County
The Economic Development Corporation of Decatur & Macon County (EDC) is a nonprofit public-private partnership responsible for non-retail business attraction, expansion and retention efforts in Decatur & Macon County. Composed of a combination of leading private sector employers, labor, educational institutions and a variety of governmental bodies, the EDC is uniquely positioned to address the needs of Macon County’s existing business and employer base along with prospective businesses looking to locate in and around the Decatur, Illinois area. The EDC works with local, state and federal partners to provide economic, technical and training assistance to businesses in the Macon County area.

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Cast Your Vote for Decatur-Made Products

 

 

 

The Illinois Manufacturers’ Association (IMA) recently announced Makers Madness, a brand new contest highlighting the innovative and diverse manufacturing sector in Illinois. In this bracket-style contest, you can vote for your favorite Illinois-made things every week.

Vote now through March 8th to get Decatur products into the First Round of the Top 16 Products. The list will then be narrowed to eight, and then narrowed to the Top 4 Coolest Products before announcing the champion on April 1st at a special ceremony in Springfield.

So, grab your foam finger and root for these Made in Decatur products:

  • ADM’s Bio-based FDME – The Ultimate Plastic from a corn-based molecule
  • Airfloat’s Aircaster – Easily move and position challenging loads on a film of air
  • Caterpillar’s 797F Large Mining Truck
  • Caterpillar’s Wheel Tractor-Scrapers
  • Prairie Farms’ Ice Cream
Voting is now open until 11:59 PM on Sunday, March 8th. Cast your vote now by clicking here

SBDC Info Session: Understanding the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act

Be prepared for grant opportunities! The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) provides uniform guidance for all State of Illinois grant programs. All grant applicants and grantees must comply with GATA grant requirements, which includes the following steps *before* receiving a grant award:

  • pre-qualification on the GATA Grantee Portal (must be completed before an entity can submit a grant application to the State of Illinois)
  • completion of two risk assessments (must be completed at any time before the issuance of a state award): fiscal and administrative – Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) and Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRAQ)

Each session will provide detailed information on all of the steps required as part of the GATA process + you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

Date: Thursday, March 12, 2020
Time: 
9 – 10 AM
Location: 
EDC of Decatur & Macon County – 101 S. Main Street, Suite 600, Decatur, IL 62523
Registration: 
Free to attend, registration is required to secure a spot – limited space (12 seats) available. All materials will be provided. RSVP here, call 217-378-8535, or email info@cusbdc.org.

United Express Jet Service Comes To Decatur This Spring

 

Daily United Express jet service, operated by SkyWest Airlines, will take off between Decatur (DEC) and Chicago (ORD) this spring.

Starting March 5, 2020, SkyWest will provide Decatur travelers access to United’s global network via the airline’s Chicago hub.

Tickets are available today at united.com. Read more about Decatur’s jet service here and learn more about how this service will help with the community’s economic development here.