• $15 Million Rebuild Capital Grant Helps Jumpstart Metra's Newest Station

    $15 Million Rebuild Capital Grant Helps
    Jumpstart Metra's Newest Station
    On Monday, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's (DCEO) Acting Director, Sylvia Garcia, joined Metra, elected officials and members of the community to break ground on the new Peterson Ridge Station in Edgewater. Funded in part by a $15 million Rebuild Illinois capital grant - construction on the brand-new station will provide more accessible and equitable transit options in the area, generate economic activity, and create local jobs.
    Rebuild Illinois is Governor Pritzker’s historic, bipartisan plan making $45 billion worth of investments to modernize roads, bridges, railroads, universities, early childhood centers and state facilities, creating and supporting an estimated 540,000 jobs over the life of the plan, improving quality of life, and revitalizing local economies across the state. 
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    State of Illinois Launches First-Ever Statewide
    Black Business Survey
    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE), along with partners from Chicago State University (CSU) and the Chicago Urban League (CUL), have launched a new survey to gather direct feedback from Black and African American business owners across the state. The survey is designed to gain insight into the challenges and opportunities facing small businesses amid the pandemic and the current economic climate.
    Through the survey, DCEO will obtain the perspectives of business owners about the current challenges they face, pandemic resources that have helped meet their needs and how to improve resource allocation, outreach and business-related programs and services in future initiatives.
    The survey will remain open through the end of the year with findings released in early 2022. DCEO will leverage survey findings as part of our efforts to tailor resources to meet the current needs of the business community.
    For questions about the survey, contact Matt Simpson at Matthew.Simpson@illinois.gov, Dean Derrick Collins at dcolli25@csu.edu or Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler at SBechteler@chiul.org. More information can be found on the DCEO website.
    $3.5 Million in Tax Credits Available for Investors
    The Angel Investment Tax Credit Program has been a springboard for startups that range the entire spectrum, from tech and life sciences, to manufacturing - bringing innovative products and services to fruition. In Illinois, venture funding is at an all-time annual record of over $5.5B raised, and to finish the year strong, DCEO is reminding investors there is currently $3.5 million in tax credits still up for grabs for the remainder of the year on a first-come first-served basis.
    The program is still accepting applications from new businesses, as well as investors for the 2021 program. For more on applying, visit DCEO’s website.
    Illinois to Kick Off 2021 National Apprenticeship Week
    November 15th - 19th
    In partnership with multiple agencies from the State of Illinois, join the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training, Office of Illinois Works, the Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board in celebrating g National Apprenticeship Week (NAW).
    This week-long celebration starts on November 15th and highlights the benefits of apprenticeship in preparing a highly skilled workforce to meet talent needs of Illinois employers across diverse industries by showcasing programs, facilities, and apprentices in their community.
    Apprenticeship Week Webinar Series                                          
    For more information on the series or to learn about additional events scheduled throughout the state, visit the Apprenticeship Illinois website
    Back to Business Grant Recipient
    Congratulations to Back to Business Grant (B2B) recipient Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine. Located in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, Tesfa Ethiopian Cuisine serves fresh, healthy, authentic Ethiopian food to its loyal customers. Tesfa, meaning “hope” in Ahmaric, is what owner Samuel Sake found in a COVID-19 Back to Business economic recovery grant from the State of Illinois. “Thankfully, the B2B grant will help us keep our doors open by supporting overhead costs, purchase of PPE, and retaining our dedicated and hard-working staff,” said Samuel. “B2B will allow us to continue to provide a gathering place for friends and family, while sharing in the hope for a better tomorrow.”
    During the month of November, DCEO celebrates Native American Heritage Month with a series of webinars and Facebook Live events focusing on business resources available to Native American business owners. Partnering with the Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, DCEO’s Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) will discuss technical assistance, financial resources, and spotlight Native American business leaders and their success stories.
    Register for a Native American Heritage Month Event.
    Office of Trade Webinars
    During Export to China week: November 8 – 12, 2021 Illinois exporters, are invited to join the Illinois Office of Trade and Investment (OTI) for several opportunities to help highlight this important market.
    Logistical Solutions for Exporting to the Asia-Pacific region 
    November 9, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Register
    Fireside Chat with Illinois exporters who have succeeded in exporting to Asia-Pacific
    November 10, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM Register
    Get more information on these webinars and other upcoming events.
    Virtual Job Fairs (VJF) are part of the GET HIRED initiative. Job seekers can find a hiring event near them, learn how to prepare for, and what to expect when attending the event.
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