Before DeKalb County entered Phase 3 of reopening, local grassroots organization, DEKALB County UNITES conducted a Consumer Sentiment Survey to learn about consumers’ behavior and preference change during the “Stay-at-Home” period.  It offers good insights for small businesses’ recovery when the county is taking steps to resume a new normal sense of life.  In the results of the survey which has 901 respondents, we can see that consumers take wearing a mask and social distancing as essential protective practices in outdoor activities.  The respondents support the local businesses keenly and are willing to pay a little more for unique products and services.  Pickup and drive-through offerings have become the most important way for them to dine out.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank conducted a business survey about the impact of COVID-19.  Among 420 businesses who have responded, we can see most have experienced a great decrease in profits and revenues, but over 60% continued their operations in the crisis.  They can tolerate a certain degree of social distancing while a certain portion of their employees has been telecommuting since the outbreak of COVID-19.

For more information, please read the two reports attached below.


CFSBC Covid-19 Survey Report for Illinois

Date posted: June 3, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Results of DeKalb County UNITES Consumer Sentiment Survey and the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank Business Survey

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

You are invited to a public community forum to discuss justice, equity, race, and systemic issues.

This forum is a gathering of community members and community leaders so that we can start a dialog and find ways to work together to achieve positive change in our community and outside of it too.

Our goal is for us to listen to each other and the stories and experiences we bring to the table and learn.

This does not have to be a one and done forum. The hope is it can help lead to new ideas, collaborations, policies and positive change.

This forum merely represents a start to the conversation that is in great need of being done all over the nation.

Hope you can join us on Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting: or

To connect by phone: 1 (312) 626-6799
Meeting ID: 837 3064 9623
Password: 411822


Mark Pietrowski Jr.
DeKalb County Board Chairman

Community Zoom Forum on Race Relations in the County

Date posted: June 2, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on On June 3rd, at 3:30 PM, Community Zoom Forum on Race Relations in the DeKalb County

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations

When the City of Rochelle approached Kishwaukee College to explore ways to support businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs in and around the surrounding area, Kish, in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College, formed a new partnership to help fulfill the City of Rochelle’s needs.

Initially, the partnership was designed to help people learn how to write business plans, understand financing options, and learn other business development strategies through a mix of one-on-one assistance and workshops. More recently, the partnership has been facilitating webinars to help the Rochelle business community navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

Services to support small business development in and around the City of Rochelle are currently available and more are planned. Various local organizations have invested in the partnership.

Rochelle businesses who are interested in supporting the partnership, please contact Peggy Friday, commercial & retail development Coordinator at the City of Rochelle, at

For more information about the Kish and SBDC at Waubonsee partnership, contact LaCretia Konan, Kish’s director of business & training partnerships, at

Thank you to the Illinois SBDC at Waubonsee and Kishwaukee College to support local small businesses to continue to develop and grow.  It’s especially important during this challenging time.

For more information, please read the whole story attached below.

WCE – SBDC Rochelle Kish partnership – May 2020


Date posted: May 29, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on NEW partnership announced between Kish and the IL SBDC at Waubonsee to support local business

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

Small businesses keep our economy lively.  They employ about half of all private-sector employees.   They create two-thirds of net new jobs and are the driving force behind U.S. innovation and competitiveness.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the mission of a Small Business Development Center is to promote growth, innovation, productivity, and revenue for small businesses through improvements to their business administration.  Special SBDC programs and economic development activities include international trade assistance, technical assistance, procurement assistance, venture capital formation, and rural development.  And the cost to the clients is ZERO.

The SBA has been particularly crucial to helping small businesses cope with the impact of COVID-19.  They administer the Payroll Protection Loan Program and the SBA Disaster Loan Program. SBDC counselors like Jock Sommese are working overtime assisting small business with loan applications and management decisions to help them survive the effects of closures and drastically reduced revenues.

The SBDC serving DeKalb County is funded through the SBA, the State of Illinois’ Department of Commerce & Economic Development Opportunity, Waubonsee Community College, Kishwaukee College, and other community stakeholders who want to see the business succeed.  SBDC counselor Jock Sommese can be reached at or 267-275-6950.

To learn more information, please read DCEDC’s Executive Paul Borek’s full article attached below.

SBDC Article

Date posted: May 29, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on SBDC organization crucial to small business development, growth, crisis management

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

On Tuesday, May 5th, Governor Pritzker released Restore Illinois, a five-phased plan that will reopen our state, guided by health metrics and with marked by distinct business, education, and recreation activities characterizing each phase. The Restore Illinois plan recognizes that the economy will start growing again when consumers feel that it is safe to return to work, shop, and dine out, and engage in social and recreational activities. Under the Restore Illinois framework, certain businesses and activities are allowed to resume in Phase 3 with IDPH-approved safety guidance in place.

Read the Plan

To prepare businesses and employers to implement the new safety guidelines and to bring many residents back to work, the State of Illinois has developed this business toolkit complete with signage, training checklists, and other resources to ensure business and activities are conducted in accordance with the latest and greatest public health recommendations.

Phase 3 guidelines span 10 different industry categories. 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.

Common Guidelines for all Phase 3 Businesses and Operations to follow can be found in the Phase 3 Business Toolkit.

For Industry definitions and guidelines, please click the link to the website of IL DCEO.

If you have other specific questions or comments about how Phase 3 affects your business or employees, please feel free to get in touch with DCEO. For direct support, contact the Business Hotline Monday through Friday at 1-800-252-2923, or email at

Other Resouces:

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:

Hotline: 1(800) 889-3931.


You can also email your questions to

Date posted: May 26, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Restore Illinois Phase 3 Tool Kit

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates

DeKalb Loves Local – 5/19/2020
Speaker:   Virginia Filicetti and Liz McKee, DeKalb Leadership Academy
Summary:   Virginia Filicetti and Liz McKee from the DeKalb Leadership Academy discuss the academy’s DeKalb Loves Local gift card promotion to support local businesses.​


Date posted: May 20, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on New “In the Loop” Video—DeKalb Loves Local

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

The Kish Foundation launched a COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund on April 20 with $50,000 from the Foundation. The Fund provides scholarship support to students impacted by the pandemic. To date, 88 students have applied, and the Foundation anticipates the number of applications to increase the longer the stay-at-home order is in effect.

The horticulture department at Kishwaukee College will be holding their annual Spring Plant Sale on May 8 from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm in the greenhouse located on the north side of campus. All proceeds from the plant sale will support the Kishwaukee College Foundation’s COVID-19 Student Relief Scholarship Fund to help students facing financial challenges due to the pandemic. Patrons must secure a 20-minute timeslot reservation by donating via Eventbrite to shop in the greenhouse.

For more information on how Kishwaukee College is assisting its students, please read the full press release below.

DCEDC is proud to share some more good news (SMGN’s) with our followers.  This is yet another example of how DeKalb County has UNITED!  Bravo to Kishwaukee College Foundation!

Be sure to purchase your time slot ASAP! A limited number of time slots will be offered.

FOU – plant sale fundraiser – May 2020

Date posted: May 6, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Kish Annual Spring Plant Sale Happening May 8 to Benefit the COVID-19 Student Relief Fund

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News

As small businesses and nonprofits are impacted by the “social distancing” to keep employees, customers, and themselves healthy in communities, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been authorized to “work directly with state governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits” to help them mitigate the damages.

“The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” according to the SBA website.  “The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for nonprofits is 2.75%.”

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity of Illinois is collecting information and data to use in requesting an economic injury disaster declaration from the SBA.  Small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to complete a form available using the link COVID-19 form.

DCEDC sent an electronic communication to our database that includes the link to the online form.  We hope by requesting an economic injury disaster declaration from the SBA, our small businesses and nonprofits can have the supportive resources necessary to assist them through this crisis.

Meanwhile, ComEd is providing “payment assistance programs and imposing a moratorium on service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges through at least May 1.”  The attached ComEd Press Release provides information.  ComEd Energy Assistance Release for the web For additional information, please visit or call 800-334-7661.

Exercising Social Distancing and following the recommended precautions issued by the CDC, the Spring Workforce Development Workshop,  scheduled on March 31st, has been postponed.  We are hopeful to re-schedule this complimentary workshop in the coming weeks.  Please stay tuned to the DCEDC News section of our website for updates.

For DeKalb County Health Department information-please visit DeKalb County Health Department Home Page

Input Needed for Economic Injury Disaster Declaration


Date posted: March 17, 2020 | Author: | Comments Off on Resources for Small Businesses and Nonprofits

Categories: DCEDC & Member Organizations Local Development News Regional Economic Updates