• Manufacturing Month Proclaimed

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Proclaims October Manufacturing Month in Illinois!
    Dear Partner:
    Governor JB Pritzker has officially proclaimed October 2020 as Manufacturing Month in Illinois, and we’re inviting you to join in celebrating our state's manufacturers. As a leader in next generation manufacturing, Illinois has a rich legacy and a robust ecosystem to showcase. We are the fourth largest manufacturing state in the country, with over 18,000 companies employing over 550,000 Illinoisans. In the years ahead, this industry is on pace to grow for the future – with Illinois offering viable pathways with industry salary above the national average. Another feather in our cap – the heroic efforts led by over 1,000 of Illinois’ own manufacturing companies to shore up the supply chain for our COVID-19 response.
    In a year unlike any we’ve seen before, I want to personally thank the manufacturers who rose to the challenges presented by the pandemic to protect their employees and the communities they call home. Throughout the state we have seen them step up and increase or pivot their production lines to create testing kits, medical equipment and PPE supplies.
    Manufacturing is and always has been vital to Illinois' economy and we are exceedingly proud of the high caliber work our companies are doing across the state and especially in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Our work at the Department is to help our manufacturers grow, expand and thrive and do it in a way which benefits our local residents – full stop. With manufacturing a key target in our Illinois 5-Year Economic Plan, over the last year we have worked with many world-class companies on plans to innovate and expand in Illinois. Throughout these expansions – we’ve worked with industry partners to ensure local residents benefit from the economic opportunity created through those projects – whether it’s through jobs, apprenticeships or through the solutions our makers provide in our everyday lives.
    Over the next few weeks our department, joined by fellow state leaders and industry professionals, will convene a series of virtual events to call attention to this critical industry, and to shine a light for young and aspiring makers on this viable career pathway.
    Please take this opportunity to participate in one of these virtual events and to learn more from the makers who keep our Illinois communities thriving.
    And companies, don’t forget to register your public awareness events HERE
    Please join us in the celebrating Manufacturing Month in Illinois! To see the full list of events...
    Visit our website
    Erin Guthrie
    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will join manufacturing industry leaders and members of the community at Crafts Technology on Friday October 2nd to proclaim October as Manufacturing Month in Illinois. Kicking off October’s National Manufacturing Month, the event will be held to recognize the contributions by Craft as well as the hundreds of other Illinois companies that have stepped up and joined the statewide response to the pandemic.
    Each year, National Manufacturing Month represents an opportunity to recognize the essential economic contributions manufacturers provide and to call attention to the importance of this growing industry and the 21st century job opportunities it can provide to Illinois residents.
    Manufacturing is the number one contributor to our economy, with the state’s 18,000 companies employing more than 550,000 Illinoisans and producing $108 billion in total output. Illinois companies manufacture a wide range of products including medical equipment and supplies, food products, automotive parts, plastics, pharmaceuticals, biofuels and machinery.
    For more information on webinars and manufacturing resources offered by the state of Illinois, Click HERE
    Additionally, DCEO encourages you to join the conversation on manufacturing by following us on social @IllinoisDCEO, using hashtag #ILDCEO.
    October is National Women’s Small Business Month
    In honor of Women's Small Business Month and Manufacturing Month, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will be hosting a series of webinars geared toward women business owners to inform them how to utilize national resources through government and the private and public business sectors in order to succeed amidst a pandemic. By way of example, the state of Illinois has prioritized support for women-owned businesses – with over 40% of Business Interruption Grant (BIG) funding, or $20 million, going to enterprises owned by women.
    Events for businesses begin TODAY and are FREE to join.
    To see the full list of events...
    Visit our website
    State of Illinois Brings Home an SBA FAST Grant!
    The State of Illinois has announced that EnterpriseWorks, the tech incubator at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Research Park, has been awarded a competitive grant through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to support the growth and development of tech companies across the state. The university-based tech hub is one of only 24 in the nation to be granted an award by the SBA’s Office of Innovation and Technology under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.
    “Illinois is already a leader in tech, and this new FAST Grant will position one of our leading drivers in tech innovation to help more bold Illinois entrepreneurs take their business to the next level,” said Governor JB Pritzker. 
    The FAST grant provides funding to expand training, mentoring, and assistance to help research and development focused small businesses access federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) seed capital. EnterpriseWorks will leverage its $125,000 grant to expand the reach of its incubator services and to improve seed funding outcomes for more entrepreneurs and companies across the state – with a focus on increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socio-economically disadvantaged small businesses.
    Local CURE Program Opportunity
    Applications are now open for the $15 million Local CURE Economic Support Payments Grant Program, which will help local governments provide economic support for businesses that have experienced hardships due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Local CURE was created specifically for counties & municipalities located outside of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will Counties to help recover their emergency costs.
    Click below to learn more about the program and apply.
    Apply Here
    COVID-19: Help for businesses, workers and residents:
    National Hispanic Heritage Month –
    Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana
    National Hispanic Heritage Month – Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana
    From September 15th - October 15th, we celebrate the accomplishments and the cultures of Hispanics. DCEO-OMEE will be hosting a series of events to celebrate the month in either English or Spanish.
    To see the full list of events, please...
    Visit our website
    Office of Minority Economic Empowerment
    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 and answer any questions you may have about other available resources.
    • Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Register HERE
    • Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    • Wednesday, November 4, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Register HERE
    • Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    • Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Register HERE
    • Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Register HERE
    Office of Trade and Investment (OTI)
    The Office of Trade & Investment (OTI) continues to offer Illinois businesses virtual services to support export promotion and international sales growth. OTI’s team of Chicago-based international trade specialists and our six foreign trade offices in: Belgium, Canada, China, Israel, Japan, and Mexico are ready to support businesses across the state looking to expand in international markets.
    To see a full list of upcoming Office of Trade webinars...
    Visit our website
    Illinois workNet Virtual Job Fair Opportunities
    Troy Chamber of Commerce
    Virtual Job Fair
    October 6, 2020
    1:00 p.m.
    Register Here
    Virtual Job Fair
    October 26, 2020
    10:00 a.m.
    Register Here
    In the News
    Nielsen Headquarters to Locate in Illinois
    After 95 years, this week, Nielsen Global Consumer Business announced they will be moving their global headquarters back to Chicago in January, pointing to Illinois’ elite technology talent and diverse workforce. With Illinois rapidly becoming the epicenter of tech and data, Nielsen will add more than 50 jobs to its current 600, including their most forward-thinking technologists who are helping to reshape the future of the business and inform the future of commerce. 
    The move is effective Jan. 1, 2021. Read More
    Brown Sugar Bakery in Chicago, is buying out a historic 84-year old candy factory called Cupid Candies
    Stephanie Hart, the owner and founder of Brown Sugar Bakery in Chicago, is buying out a historic 84-year old candy factory called Cupid Candies. To finalize the acquisition, she is using the funds from a $500,000 small business grant that she recently received from the state of Illinois.
    Stephanie had been planning to grow her business so when she heard that John Stefanos, the owner of Cupid Candies, wanted to sell the business, she immediately began taking steps to make the purchase. According to The Chicago Sun Times, she applied for a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and was approved for the maximum state grant of $500,000 – the exact amount needed to seal the deal. Read More
    All in Illinois
    Join Governor JB Pritzker to support Illinois and slow the spread of COVID-19 by wearing your face mask and go All in, Illinois! Let’s protect our progress, and pull together as families, friends and neighbors. This is our moment.
    It only works if you wear it. We’re all safer and stronger when we go All in, Illinois.
    Download the new mask safety toolkit
    Go #AllinIllinois
    Small Business Spotlight
    Elizabeth Cook, owner of Oasis Skin Care Clinic LLC, Murphysboro, IL
    Elizabeth Cook opened Oasis Skin & Wellness Center, Inc. in 2014 as a refuge for women of all ages in Murphysboro, IL. Surviving COVID-19 has not been easy, and when Jackson County's COVID-19 numbers began to climb, Elizabeth feared another shutdown might happen. "A lot of my employees don't have access to unemployment insurance. I applied for the BIG grant to ensure that no matter what happened we would be okay. My employees and I are so thankful we will be covered and they can continue to provide for their families." Elizabeth Cook, LE & CEO
    The State of Illinois could use your support with much-needed personal protective equipment as well as other supplies for our first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    To Donate: ppe.donations@Illinois.gov
    To Manufacture PPE in Illinois: ima@ima-net.org
    To Sell PPE: covid.procurement@illinois.gov
    To Volunteer: serve.illinois.gov or email dph.serveillinois@illinois.gov