DCEDC Members and other Businesses/Organizations:
Thank you for your support of local restaurants, retailers, and hospitality providers during the initial COVID-19 stay-at-home order in the Spring. As you know, the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases has resulted in the shutdown of indoor dining once again, critically endangering the survival of our local restaurants and hospitality providers. Regretfully, some have already announced closures.
We believe now, more than ever, heightened support of local restaurants and hospitality providers is critical. We kindly request that you continue to patronize the local business, and consider an increase of your support to our local restaurants and hospitality providers by ordering carryout meals and box lunches as well as purchasing gift cards.
Restaurants are ready and able to do a daily meal replacement program at your site or to your employees’ homes in DeKalb County. A full list of restaurants can be found here Daily Chronicle take-out dining information. Grassroots organization, DeKalb County UNITES is offering a raffle to win a local restaurant gift card. Please see their information below, on how to be entered into their raffle.
Support local restaurants by ordering pick-up, curbside, delivery, or dining outdoors! Enter your chance to win a local restaurant gift card through DeKalb County UNITES by taking a picture while supporting a local restaurant and posting it on your social media with the hashtag #DKCUnites. Winners will be drawn every Friday! Visit dekalb.org for a list of restaurants to support.
Attached, please find an invitation to participate in a survey that is being conducted by DCEDC’s Business Retention/Talent Pipeline Committee. We are interested in identifying and addressing your needs by conducting a COVID-19 Business Resource & Needs Survey. If you have recently taken this survey, we thank you for doing so. If you have not taken this survey, we welcome your participation in completing it. For your convenience, please see the link to our page where you can view, and take the survey. Click here to take the brief COVID-19 Business Resources & Needs Survey
We look forward to your survey response and invite your engagement in the dialogue to address needs, challenges, as we seek solutions. Please contact me if you have any questions or recommendations.
My best regards,
Paul Borek-Executive Director, DCEDC
During the early weeks of fall, DCEDC Executive Director gave an interview to freelance writer, D.M. Herra. To read this well-written article to learn about the timeline and all that went into bringing these mega projects to DeKalb, please click on the link to read the article. Ferrara & Facebook DC Magazine Article September 2020 (Shaw Media)
Business Friendly, Speed to Market, Location, Transporation, Shovel Ready Sites, Incentives, Illinois Enterprise Zone, Skilled Labor Market, Higher-Learning Institutions.
For Immediate Release:
Kishwaukee College awarded TRIO Grant
The U.S. Department of Education renewed and awarded Kishwaukee College the TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant. The grant will provide the College with $1.3 million over a five-year program cycle. The award for the first year of the grant is $261,888.
The TRIO SSS program is available to first-generation college students who meet income eligibility requirements, as well as students with documented disabilities that impact academic performance and achievement. The program has three main objectives for students: increase persistence; maintain good academic standing; and graduation and transfer with an associate’s degree or certificate within four years.
Dr. Michelle Rothmeyer, Vice President of Student Services at Kish, stated, “The College is excited to begin our second cycle of the TRIO SSS grant. During the first cycle of the grant, the program exceeded benchmarks for persistence and completion and contributed to the success of the students enrolled in the program.”
Students enrolled in the program receive support through tutoring, advisement in postsecondary course selection, transfer assistance, learning communities, success coaches, career awareness, and job shadowing. “Each participating student will undergo a comprehensive needs assessment to develop an individualized Student Success Plan. Providing wrap around services to meet student needs, has proven to be successful in the overall retention and completion rate of TRIO SSS students,” says Dariana Lee, Director of Student Success. TRIO SSS Grant Aid may also be available in select circumstances to assist students whose academic progress and retention may be adversely affected by financial challenges.
For more information on the TRIO SSS program at Kish, contact Savannah Ilenikhena, Director, TRIO Student Support Services, at 815-825-2950 or at email@example.com.
Facebook, Ferrara Candy, and Syngenta have announced plans or begun construction of 2.6 million square feet of development on 700 acres of land valued at nearly $1 billion creating 700 jobs.
These developments will impact host communities and townships by creating career jobs and generating significant property tax revenue. However, these developments alone will not transform the DeKalb County economy and improve prosperity and the quality of life for residents.
To sustain business attraction throughout DeKalb County, we need to promote business assets and communicate our successes across the region, state, and nation. To ensure the success of new and established businesses, we need to attract young people, students, professionals, and entrepreneurs to live, buy homes, raise families, and start businesses in DeKalb County.
During the past decade, DeKalb County has lost population in the 18 – 34 age group (-2.4%) and the 35 – 49 age group (-7.4%). To reverse these trends, we need to recognize what makes DeKalb County attractive to current residents and communicate these attributes to the marketplace.
With the support of the DeKalb County Community Foundation, DCEDC contracted with DCC Marketing to develop a brand positioning, creative, messaging, and marketing strategy for that will: recruit businesses to locate to DeKalb County from strong and growing industry sectors and to Increase the population of young professionals and families. Targeted industries include agriculture, food processing, technology-based companies, and research & development in partnership with NIU.
Extensive grassroots, community, business, and leadership focus groups contributed to brand development. Most agreed that one of DeKalb County’s challenges is a lack of identity. Nonetheless, these residents expressed that they choose to live in DeKalb County and aren’t going anywhere because of the strong quality of life attributes including affordable housing, convenient commute to work, employment opportunities, safe communities, and quality education systems.
When asked to characterize DeKalb County with keywords, the most common response was “opportunity.” When asked to elaborate, respondents expressed that there was no limit to what could be achieved.
Hence, the word “unbound” acknowledges that while DeKalb has always had a lot to offer, we’re taking it to the next level. It connotes a feeling of adventure, excitement, and optimism about what’s to come, all of which are appealing to the target audience of young professionals and families.
The brand “Opportunity Unbound” provides a set-up to talk about lesser-known aspects of the county and to promote new initiatives. DeKalb County is a growing, vibrant community where residents and businesses flourish. The county’s unique location and talented workforce attracts top-tier international corporations and provides residents abundant opportunity to excel in one of many growing sectors. With affordable housing, quality healthcare, and exceptional education, DeKalb County is truly a place to “live, work, play, and repeat.”
The mission of the branding initiative for DeKalb County is to create a countywide collaborative business climate that delivers a consistent message and narrative which contributes to business and population growth.
“A thoughtfully-developed brand and consistently-executed marketing plan are necessary to ensure future success,” according to the Opportunity Unbound Branding Playbook. “The responsibility and authority to steward the marketing activities through a collaborative, strategic, and long-term effort must be embodied in a County Marketing Manager.”
The Opportunity Unbound branding strategy specifies how to reach target audiences, such as prospective businesses and corporations through LinkedIn, and community organizations, workers, and people in surrounding counties through Facebook and YouTube. Tactics also include brand ambassadors, news and radio, fliers and collateral, promotional signage, public relations, website, digital marketing, and advertising, video, and organic social media.
Sample messaging for business would be: “Land of opportunity. That’s got a nice ring to it. Shovel-ready development sites with preapproved incentives, extensive supplier networks, easy access to Chicago and Mid-American markets, and a skilled workforce ready to boost your bottom line. We don’t know what kind of list you have, but we’re pretty sure that ticks all the boxes. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it here in DeKalb County.”
For prospective and current residents: “We get it. You want affordable housing, good schools, access to quality healthcare. Job opportunities in a growing local economy and access to modern amenities without losing that small-town charm. An environment where you can truly live, work, and play. What if we told you there’s all that and more in DeKalb County? That sounds like a home run to us, but we’re biased.”
For prospective visitors: “Some may say there is nothing to do here, but they couldn’t be more wrong. You see, in DeKalb County, we believe only boring people get bored. Microbreweries, farm-to-table dining, art, antiques, orchards galore. We’ve got all the buzzwords. What more could you really want? So, get out there. Leave no stone unturned, no festival unattended. It’s an adventure if you make it.”
To execute the plan, DCEDC is meeting with business and community leaders to generate funding required to hire a County Marketing Manager, prepare collateral and fund the diversified advertising and promotional campaign
Daily Chronicle Article-Opportunity Unbound
DCEDC is proud to support and promote our manufacturers! As we celebrate National Manufacturing Month, please let us know if your plant is hosting (physically or virtually) events and activities that are inspirational to the next generations of manufacturers, as well as your dedicated and hard-working employees.
DCEDC would like our manufacturing members to be the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus in delivering the message of modern manufacturing.
During National Manufacturing Month, please share with us your company’s recent blogs, news, and social media posts about how you help your communities and future generations thrive so that we can promote them on our social media platforms.
DCEDC applauds all the manufacturers and associated groups, educational organizations, individuals, and pledges to continue to be a valuable resource to all.
Most importantly, please let us know if you have common concerns and challenges so that we can assist in identifying opportunities for you. Together, we can address collective challenges to help our DeKalb County communities, and the future generations thrive!
To participate, please contact Karen Hoyle by clicking and on this link- to participate with the subject line ” National Manufacturing Month” Thank you!