Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 Business and Economic Development Survey

The GLCEDC believes that the best way to understand the local economy, the needs of local businesses and gain valuable insight into the growth opportunities of local businesses is by seeking direct input from business leaders.  To this end, the GLCEDC has partnered with the local Chambers of Commerce to develop a survey for businesses so that we can collect and analyze data relating to the business climate of the county.  This data will lay the foundation for our analysis as we track the local business climate over time. 

It is important that we receive responses from as many businesses as possible. We want to hear from businesses of all sizes and types.  To encourage participation, the GLCEDC is offering a dozen FREE DONUTS to businesses that complete the survey.  Businesses will also receive a personal presentation of the survey results by GLCEDC staff.  Non-members will also receive two free tickets to the GLCEDC Annual Meeting being held on January 18.

If you own or operate a business, please take 15 minutes to complete the survey.  It only contains 25 questions and will provide important information to the GLCEDC, local chambers of commerce and civic leaders as we work together to facilitate success for our local businesses. Take the following link to complete the survey online.  

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is there an App for that job? Check with Rural Development

By Colleen Callahan, Director of Illinois USDA Rural Development

When we’re looking for an answer to something these days, it’s common to “google it” or ask, “Is there an app for that?” 
It turns out there is an app for job creation. It’s the intended application of USDA Rural Development. As a lender, rural development’s commitment is to finance the future of rural communities. To that end, USDA Rural Development has been working to pursue some of the same strategies suggested recently in the proposed American Jobs Act. 
In Illinois, rural development has assisted rural communities to provide the infrastructure and support for innovative businesses that are the key to job creation and retention.  
USDA Rural Development assists with building basic infrastructure that supports economic development in rural communities, including electricity, water systems, broadband and housing.
We create and sustain rural job opportunities and support entrepreneurs from the micro-enterprise level to large-scale manufacturing, so those who live in rural communities don’t have to commute to metropolitan areas in order to support their families and pay their mortgages. 
In partnership with other public and private sector businesses, the loans we are providing to rural businesses have created or saved more than 5,600 jobs in Illinois. And we continue to improve the economic climate of rural areas by helping develop additional job opportunities for the underserved rural areas and populations.
Those of us in rural America know that in difficult times, we need to come together to work out a solution that benefits everyone, not just a few or just those in certain geographic areas.
It’s about balance.
What happens when our atmosphere gets out of balance? We have storms.
What happens when our systems get out of balance? We get sick.
And what happens when we don’t use a balanced approach to our governmental decision-making? We create our own demise.
Elected leaders in Washington need to acknowledge the consequence of one-sided initiatives as they work to support job growth and build a stronger future for all Americans. 
A wise man once said that nothing can ever be sliced so thinly as to not have two sides. His wisdom can be applied to how we find solutions to our current needs.
Consequently, there is an app for job creation. It’s called common sense.
And partnering with rural development, when rural communities and businesses want to create and sustain jobs, makes good sense.