Commerce Connection_January-February 2021

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INSIDE: PG. 8 Attract New Customers by Helping Another Business PG. 11 Chambers All In for Economic Recovery PGS. 12 - 13 We Asked, You Answered: Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL


Presorted Standard US Postage

C h a m pa i g n C o u n t y ’ s

t ru s t e d

b u s i n e s s - to - b u s i n e s s

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Volume 28 | Issue 1







What Are You Looking Forward to in 2021?

PG. 16 Public Policy Update:

Ringing in the New Year with Lame 1Ducks

Where would you rather be?

Stay in and stay warm with

Remote Deposits!

• Bank on YOUR schedule and utilize extended deposit times • Eliminate valuable time away from the office • Save on transportation costs • Streamline deposits and your accounting process

Patrick Pfeifer

Commercial Lending 114 W. Church Street • Champaign 217-398-0512

Kyle McFarland

Commercial Lending 114 W. Church Street • Champaign 217-398-0067

Darlene Johnson

Vice President Treasury Management 114 W. Church Street • Champaign 217-373-8136

Look for us in these area communities: CHAMPAIGN 398-0067 | URBANA 367-8451 SAVOY 351-3526 | MAHOMET 318-3750 RANTOUL 893-8100 2

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809

FY21 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS GOLD Busey SILVER Carle University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign BRONZE A & R Mechanical Contractors BankChampaign, N.A. Christie Clinic First Mid Bank & Trust Fisher National Bank Health Alliance OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO

Madeline Herrman Public Policy Director

Matt Bradley Business Growth & Development Director

Lindsay Quick Director of Marketing & Events


Justin Overstreet

Kyle Emkes

Chip Craddock Clark Dietz, Inc.

Deb Reardanz Clark-Lindsey Village

Tonya Horn

Linda Difiore

Dr. Jared Rogers

Dan Kirby

Curtis Orchard, Ltd. IN-KIND CONTRIBUTORS CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE Illini Radio Group - MIX 94.5, WIXY 100.3, Rewind 92.5, WYXY Classic 99.1, True Oldies 97.9, Extra 92.1, Hits 99.7 Stevie Jay Broadcasting - Q96-96.1FM, US105.9, Christian FM 95.3 & ESPN 93.5 PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO

Stephanie Smith-Jeffries Office and Accounting Administrator

Mindy Cain Director of Workforce Readiness

Silgan Closures Dan Hurley FedEx Ground R.J. Hynds English Brothers Company

Susan Jepsen

Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon

Pradeep Khanna University of Illinois

Martin Hood LLC

OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center

Julianna Sellett Carle

Amie Smith

BankChampaign N.A.

Chair, Maatuka Al-Heeti Emkes LLC

First Vice Chair, Rogards

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Mike Estes

Past Chair, Fisher National Bank

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

Bill Walter

A & R Mechanical Contractors

Chuck McReaken TSM Ventures, Inc.

FINANCIAL SERVICES Provided by CliftonLarsonAllen

All information contained within this publication is property of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and cannot be reproduced without prior expressed or written consent. This publication contains paid advertising; the opinions expressed in those advertisements do not reflect the views of the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce. For advertising information, contact the Chamber at 217.359.1791.


WELCOME TO THE CHAMBER >> members who joined between December 1 and December 31, 2020 McAlister’s Deli

421 Town Center Blvd. Champaign, IL 61822-1299 217.355.6480 Restaurants Our food is our foundation—we wouldn’t be here without the 13 layers of our McAlister’s Club or our giant Spuds covered with your favorite toppings. Our goal is to serve handcrafted food and delicious sweet tea that is simple and satisfying for every palette, even mom’s pickiest eater. We take familiar flavors and add the special McAlister’s touch that you won’t find anywhere else. As our menu evolves and new flavors emerge, we’re always keeping one thing in mind – you. From our local produce vendors, and genuine Idaho Russet potatoes to our Rainforest Alliance Certified black tea sweetened with pure cane sugar, we’re committed to serving food that is not only crave-able but created with the finest and freshest ingredients.

The McGuire Home Collection

3301 Fields South Dr., Ste. 102 Champaign, IL 61822 217.991.0026 Remodeling Services When you enter The McGuire Home Collection, you’re taking your first steps toward realizing your design dreams. Whether you already have a design aesthetic in mind, or want to be inspired by our curated pieces and displays, we are ready to help you move forward. Come and experience our beautiful showcase displays and pre-designed rooms and set-ups. You’ll get to touch and examine our curated tiles, cabinets, vanities, backsplashes, fixtures, furniture and so much more. Engage your imagination with our exciting interactive technology that allows you to create a virtual space and fill it with your dream furniture and finishes. Change colors, textures, materials all with the touch of your finger. Meet with our design associates and take advantage of their experience and deep knowledge of every piece in The McGuire Home Collection. 4

Our team is poised and ready to assist you in realizing your personal style. We’ll help you find the best pairings and combinations of pieces and materials to create a cohesive look for your space. Whether you’re simply adding a new piece to a room, considering a remodel, or wishing to build a new home, our design associates will help you navigate the next step in your design/build journey. Our passion and privilege are to help you experience all the joy in being creative with your space, and The McGuire Home Collection is the perfect place to begin.

Wurth Chiropractic Center 201 W. Springfield Ave., Ste. 909 Champaign, IL 61820 217.552.1098 Chiropractic Physicians

Dr. David Wurth has been in practice for 30 years with a focus on low back and leg pain as well as neck, shoulder, arm and wrist pain. Chiropractors are well known for treating the spine however, David has found that total wellness is not limited to just the neck and low back, in fact, it has become his life’s passion to gain knowledge of how to administer treatment to the parts of the body that are away from the spine that we call the extremities. We all use our extremities, arms and legs, (and to be more specific, shoulders, elbows and wrists and hips, knees and ankles) to do every normal daily activity. He has focused his practice on the assessment, detection, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries to the spine and extremities for not only the athlete, but to people of all walks of life from any profession dealing with hard physical labor; professions that require prolonged hours sitting at a desk operating a computer to the full time parent and the weekend warrior. He has treated all ages and stages of life from birth to 101 years of age, to those in great health and those dealing with physical limitations due to illness or injuries.

SAVE THE DATE: 2022 BOOKING DAY MARCH 8, 2021 Beginning at 9:00 a.m. Interested in hosting a First Friday Coffee or Business After Hours? These events give you great exposure to the business community - don’t miss your chance to host in 2022. Reservations will be taken on a first call, first serve basis via phone call ONLY. No walk-ins, emails or early phone calls will be accepted.

To book your First Friday Coffee or Business After Hours for 2022

Call Lindsay at 217.531.4239






Right now, marketing your business is incredibly important. Now is not the time to go silent. We want to help you reach members of the business community with our affordable marketing opportunities. Reach thousands on a small budget when you choose one of our marketing bundles. Each bundle has been carefully created to give you the most bang for your buck in a specific marketing space. When you bundle, you save.

Digital Blitz Bundle

• Email Blast (1) • E-connection Banners (6 weeks) • Website Banner Ads (6 months) • Bundle Value: $1,900 • Sale Price: $1,500

Email Bundle

• Email Blasts (2) • E-connection Banners (6 weeks) • Bundle Value: $1,600 • Sale Price: $1,300

Chamber Website Bundle

• Enhanced Listing • Website Banner Ads (1 year) • Bundle Value: $1,579 • Sale Price: $1,300

Power of Print Bundle

• Commerce Connection 1/2 page Ads (6 issues) • Trends Report Full Page Ad • Bundle Value: $2,398 • Sale Price: $1,900

We’re ready to bundle! Business Name___________________________________________________________________ Contact Name: ___________________________________________________________________ Billing Address: ___________________________________________________________________ Phone: __________________________________________ Fax: ___________________________ Email Address: ___________________________________________________________________ Please complete this form and return to: Lindsay Quick, Director of Marketing & Events via email at


Workforce Internship Opportunity Providing area students with career exploration and opportunities for on-the-job experience is something the Chamber is actively involved with in order to provide our members with a qualified workforce. We support our area schools with their programs to give students the opportunity to have internships at local companies to help familiarize them with the world of work. Please consider participating in this program at Urbana High School which will provide students the experience they need to make their career decisions. Urbana High School Executive Internship Program What is it?

Why is it beneficial for students?

• Hands on unpaid experience in a career students are interested in • 5-10 hours a week, this depends on the intern and how many credits they wish to earn • Fall or Spring semester • Interns are seniors who must interview and submit an application for program, they represent motivated students who can make a positive impact in your organization

• Helps students realize if they like a career or not before spending time and money in college or postsecondary training • Resume building • Networking and working with sponsors • Looks good on a transcript • A different pace and increased responsibility then traditional high school courses • Improve soft skills • Exposure to opportunities in their community

Sponsor Commitments Pre-Placement

During Internship

After Internship

• Interview Student • Complete cooperative agreement • Provide intern/coordinator with any HR requirements that must be done before intern begins

• Allow for 1-2 site visits from • Complete evaluation of coordinator and photos student and program • Complete mid-semester • Serve on advisory committee evaluation if interested • Provide opportunities for • Potentially host an intern next intern (observe, assist, year participate) • Assign student a project • Sign off on time sheets two times a month • Mentor and meet with student on a regular basis • The Sponsoring Agency reserves the right to restrict any observations and activities when in conflict with the best interests of the Business/Agency’s clients.

Interested in learning more about the program? Email Amanda Perez-Rosser at Urbana High School:


Attract New Customers by Helping Another Business If you could attract new customers to your business simply by helping another business, would you do it? The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Ekey Technology to identify Beta testers of a unique technology platform that will help drive customers to your door. Ekey Technology is a start-up company, located in the Research Park at the University of Illinois. They are a marketing company providing location and consumer preference-based advertising that goes right to mobile devices of consumers. It is a web-based application that allows clients (you) to tell your compelling stories, publish videos, add introductions, and construct promotional offers which consumers receive on their mobile devices. What makes this unique is that your promotional offer is justin-time and your consumers get them when approaching or entering your selected areas. It is location specific delivery. So, if the customer is shopping near your store, but he/she has not planned to visit your store or restaurant, Ekey will find this customer and send them your offer while they are in your neighborhood. This immediate promotional offer will hopefully bring that customer in your door. Your offer will capture the customer while they are in the immediate vicinity of your shop or restaurant. Ekey serves small to medium sized businesses. Business clients can run just-in-time marketing campaigns and personalize offers to consumers. The technology is designed to reduce advertising costs, boost ad effectiveness, lower store overhead, and maximize sales revenue. Ekey surpasses other digital marketing platforms in that they provide precision location-based delivery. The key to success relies on more people using the Ekey mobile application. Please download and encourage your customers to download the free Ekey mobile application. Because Ekey is a start-up and still fine-tuning their technology, they are offering free advertising / participation initially to chamber members for the testing period. Please provide any feedback and suggestions to their platforms. Help us, help you. To learn more about Ekey Technology, please visit: If you are interested in participating (for free) on this platform as a Beta tester please contact 8

A very special thank you to the

150+ volunteers

who participated in the iRead • iCount program. Collectively, these volunteers helped

200+ kindergarten students

improve their literacy and numeracy skills throughout Champaign Unit 4 elementary schools. Community challenges can only be overcome with community participation. We are looking for volunteers to be virtual iReaders for 2021. Volunteers will be recorded reading a book which will be available for the students. The young students in our community will need extra help now more than ever — volunteer to provide them with an engaging educational experience. If you are interested in participating, please contact Mindy Cain at



You’ve built a strong, valuable team, and you want to invest in each member. Let’s talk about offering retirement plans that provide long-term peace of mind. Put Busey’s financial expertise to work through customized retirement plans that maximize your—and your team’s—investment.

Member FDIC

New to entrepreneurship? The Chamber Has Your BAC. BAC Complimentary Services

Business Counseling: With over 15 experienced advisors with backgrounds in a variety of fields, BAC is committed to growing business one idea at a time. One-On-One Banker Consultation: The Chamber has partnered with local banks to provide existing business owners or aspiring business owners a neutral space to discreetly discuss their financials on a one-on-one basis with a banking professional without the pressure of sales. 10

Chambers All In for Economic Recovery The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce continues their statewide campaign: Chambers All In for Economic Recovery. This initiative is done in collaboration with chambers of commerce from across the state. As Illinois’ Restore Illinois regions shift out of Tier 3 mitigations, many of our businesses are once again reopening and adjusting their practices to incorporate new guidelines and preserve the safety and health of both customers and employees. Over the past several months, we have been working to help keep your doors open and this campaign continues this effort. While COVID-19 case numbers are currently stabilizing, Illinoisans must continue to follow mitigation and safety protocols to stay open and prevent further mitigations or closures of our community’s businesses. It is our mission as a chamber of commerce to see your businesses thrive for years to come. The bottom line is that we cannot afford to see another business close its doors in Illinois temporarily or permanently. Going all in can prevent that. This initiative compliments Governor Pritzker’s All In Illinois campaign that focuses on actions that help reduce the spread of COVID-19. We recognize that our members may agree or disagree with the path that Illinois has taken thus far in the pandemic. However, science says that taking simple actions such as social distancing, staying home when possible and wearing a mask have the power to reduce the spread of COVID-19. A recent statistic says that if just 15 percent more Americans would wear a mask, it would have a one trillion-dollar impact on our national economy. In fact, the sooner we can get mask compliance, the sooner we can have an open economy. This is why chambers are all in. Our work to keep your business open does not stop here. We and our Chamber partners across the state are working to generate productive solutions that can keep our communities healthy and businesses open. We plan to work collaboratively with decision makers at every level of government to make balanced recommendations to keep the economy going and simultaneously safe. Our Chambers #allin is just the start of shaping a plan for our economic recovery. Should you have any questions, please contact us via email at info@ or call 217.359.1791.

#chambersallin 11

We asked, With th COVID-19 vaccine starting to be administered to residents in Champaign County, a renewed sense of hope and longing for what’s to come has spread accross the community. As we look to the year ahead and start to plan the time when we we’ll be able to regularly see our members in person again, we wanted to hear from you: What are you looking forward to in 2021? “I am looking to having ALL our Champaign County Forest Preserve volunteers back in action. Many of our volunteers were able to continue to help steward the trails and natural areas independently and accomplished a lot for our Forest Preserves. Nonetheless, not all our volunteers were able to do what they love and help in groups or with our in-person programming and recreational opportunities. Volunteering can be very social, so it will be wonderful to be able to have these social, service opportunities available once again. We miss seeing them, and I want to finally meet them fullface to full-face, because I started in this position of volunteer coordinator as the pandemic started and only know names or eyes!”

- Sue Gallo, Champaign County Forest Preserve District “The Urbana Free Library is very hopeful that as more people are vaccinated in 2021, we’ll be able to welcome more people back into our building. We miss having in-person programs - children coming for story time, families coming for concerts, and our wonderful special events like the Fairytale Ball. We’re proud of the programming we’ve been able to offer online, but seeing smiling faces is something we hope to see later in 2021!”

- Amanda Standerfer, The Urbana Free Library

“Traveling!” - Teresa Kelnhofer, Regency Multifamily

“Business-wise: being able to host more in-our store for events for our members and their friends and family! Personally: feeling more comfortable traveling to different states!”

- Katie Meyers, Profile by Sanford

MTD’s employees — from operators to technicians, from customer service representatives to service workers — getting a renewed sense of hope and safety as they continue to serve in year two of the pandemic. - Amy Snyder, CUMTD 12

you answered “I can’t wait to begin interacting with friends, family and community partners face to face (not virtual).” - Jonathon Davis, Health Alliance “On a personal level, I can’t wait to travel for vacation again, go to movies, out to dinner, shoot some pool, go see Illini and EIU football and basketball games in person, the Indy 500 and concerts. I miss the Illini Quarterback Club and Rebounder’s Club luncheons. For work, I miss the opportunity to see old friends and make new ones at conferences, lobby days, Chamber and mayors meetings. I believe we have all collectively made a positive difference for infrastructure improvements in Champaign County through our involvement with the Champaign County First. Looking forward to when that group can meet again in-person so we can continue to build on our past successess.”

- Matt Davidson, Farnsworth Group

“I’m looking forward to seeing community volunteers come back through our doors in greater numbers, and seeing our in-store gathering spaces full again with people enjoying each other’s company.”

- Lisa Sheltra, Salt & Light

“Getting back to normal. Looking forward to seeing our favorite restaurants and watering holes open to capacity. Here’s to 2021 may you make us forget 2020 soon.”

- Butch Dalhaus, SERVPRO of Champaign County

“I am looking forward to being ‘too busy to talk’ because we’ve all got something to do safely that isn’t work!”

- Greg Wolfe, Watts Copy Systems

“In 2021, the Sheriff’s office is looking forward to increased community interaction. Many of the proactive activities we are used to including Special Olympics Polar Plunge, Coffee with a Cop and even visiting businesses just to say “hello” have been reduced due to the virus. The community loves this interaction and so do we. We are looking forward to getting back into it!”

- Dustin Heuerman, Champaign County Sheriff

“We are looking forward to gathering again as a community. Specifically, we are hopeful for the success of the Mahomet Soda Festival that will be taking place on Saturday, September 18th, 2021 in downtown Mahomet.

- Lauren McFarland, Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce 13

MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS CHAMPAIGN-URBANA SCHOOLS FOUNDATION Aspiring future teachers set to graduate from Champaign Central, Centennial and Urbana High Schools in the spring of 2021 will have a chance to apply for a new $1,000 scholarship through the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation. With the philanthropic support of several local retired teachers, the foundation will offer the first Promising Educator Scholarships for graduating seniors headed to the teaching field. Kelly Hill, the foundation’s executive director, said “the scholarships are intended to help address the growing teacher shortage, and encourage students to return to teach in our community schools.” To help inspire more student interest in pursuing teaching careers, Unit 4 has been offering a teacher-education course at both Central and Centennial high schools. Urbana High School has plans to include a similar course in the near future. Students can obtain application information through their high school guidance counselors beginning in February. Anyone interested in supporting these scholarships directly, can go to the foundation’s website ROSECRANCE Rosecrance is pleased to announce that David Gomel, Ph.D., has assumed the role of President and CEO. Gomel has been with Rosecrance for 28 years, beginning as a counselor in adult substance abuse treatment. Since then, he has served in many roles, from supervisor at the former Alpine Campus to Regional President of Rosecrance, Inc. He most recently was President and Chief Operating Officer during a year-long transition to CEO.


“On behalf of the Rosecrance Health Network Board of Directors, we are pleased to welcome David Gomel, Ph.D., as the new President and CEO of Rosecrance Health Network,” said Dan Pecora, Chair of the Rosecrance Health Network Board of Directors. “Dave’s commitment to excellence in compassionate care has been evident throughout his decades of service at Rosecrance. We have the highest confidence in Dave’s leadership not only through these unusual times, but in the years to come.” Gomel holds a doctorate in public policy and administration with an emphasis in nonprofit administration, a master’s degree in health service administration, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He has overseen the daily services at Rosecrance’s many treatment centers and the expanding organization for several years. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the organization that has been a significant part of my life,” Gomel said. “I look forward to continuing Rosecrance’s legacy of care for those who need it most in our communities.” ILLINOIS AMERICAN WATER Rhonda Carter Adams, Workforce and Supplier Diversity Program Manager, Illinois American Water, has been recognized with a statewide award for her contributions to diversifying business in Illinois. On December 1, Adams received the Jerry Garland Award for Excellence in Supplier Diversity from the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council (IUBDC). The award originated in 2019 and is named in memory of former Illinois American Water Supplier Diversity Manager Jerry Garland. It is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates exceptional results in advancing the practice of inclusion and diversity. The award was

announced at the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council (IUBDC) annual Networking and Awards event virtually. Adams’ role on the IUBDC has included support and leadership of the council’s Advisory & Strategic Planning Committee, Education and Best Practices Committee, Events Committee, and Communications Committee. At Illinois American Water, she has been active in the NAACP-East St. Louis Chapter and has been involved in education and mentoring efforts at the Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation Youth Center in East St. Louis. She is also a board member of the Illinois Division of the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

The mission of the IUBDC is to serve the member Illinois utilities as a forum for best practice and information exchanging with a focus on advancing the growth and utilization of utility-based diverse businesses in the state of Illinois. IUBDC members include Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas, North Shore Gas, Illinois American Water and Peoples Gas. Have news to share with the local business community? Tell us about it and get featured in the Chamber’s next Commerce Connection. Email Lindsay Quick with your news,

Her nomination read, in part “Rhonda exemplifies the passion, professionalism, and knowledge that Jerry (Garland) once shared with Illinois American Water and the IUBDC. Jerry would be proud of his successor and that she has continued to expand his mission to ensure that diversity is a shared value and that minority contractors and businesses are treated fairly and represented at Illinois utilities.”

a very special Thank you. A very special thank you to the following businesses for their donations to our Paying a Membership Forward initiative. Your generosity enabled us to continue the work we are doing for the business community and in particular, help us better serve the industries hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses cannot operate in isolation. We Edward Jones, Mike Kessel Dodds Company are all interconnected. We are all part of Darlene the business ecosystem thatCounty makesExecutive our community work. West + Company Kloeppel, Champaign

Fertilizer Dealer Supply Kurland Steel Edward Jones, Mike Kessel Dodds CompanyInc Clark Dietz, Inc Frasca International, West & Company, LLC Darlene Kloeppel, Champaign County Executive Triple T Carwash Iroquois Federal Habeeb Habeeb, H Squared Leadership Institute Kurland State Steel Farm, Co. Kurt Lenschow Fertilizer Dealer Supply Obiter Lewis Wealth Management Clark Dietz, Inc. Frasca International, Inc. Country Financial Clark Lindsey Triple T Car Wash & Lube, Inc. Iroquois Federal BankChampaign, NA JH Findorff & Son, Inc Lenschow Habeeb Habeeb, H Squared Leadership Institute State Farm, Kurt Cozad Asset Management Fisher National Bank Obiter Research, LLC Lewis Wealth Management Group

Country Financial BankChampaign, N.A. Cozad Asset Management, Inc. Vital Education and Supply, Inc.

Clark-Lindsey J.H Findorff & Son, Inc. Fisher National Bank




November elections bring lame duck sessions. Every election will bring triumphs and losses that can change a government’s political landscape. Newly-elected, freshmen legislators must eagerly await their inauguration day while outgoing legislators say their goodbyes. Everyone regardless of their tenure spends the next three months working to tie up loose ends and prepare for the slate to be wiped clean when the new session commences in January. It is these three months that we call the lame duck session. In 2021 Illinoisans bore witness to two — both at the state and federal level. The term “lame duck session” is bred from the title given to legislators who are leaving at the end of their elected yet as they did not gain another term (whether by resignation, retirement or election loss): lame ducks. The dichotomy of incoming and departing legislators can have political implications. The degree of influence a lame duck session may have also depends on if one political party is losing or gaining majority over the other and if the unit of government is transitioning to or from united and divided. Often governments will wait until the new term to take up large or controversial pieces of legislation to allow for the newly elected officials a vote; however, that practice is not a hard and fast rule. In fact, some governments may intentionally choose to vote on larger issues in the waning months of the current term. From a legislative perspective, the late days of 2020 bore witness to key legislation at the federal government. As the nation prepared for the inauguration of President Joe Biden, the new Congress and continued battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress convened in late 16

December to pass the next phase of COVID-19 relief legislation after months of negotiations. The bill’s passage reopened the Paycheck Protection Program, the next round of stimulus checks, new targeted relief programs and other provisions aimed at helping the country’s citizens and businesses. Stateside in Springfield, Illinoisans saw the legislature take up law enforcement measures, a failed attempt to pass legislation that would decouple tax credits for small businesses from the federal government and the passage of a bill that would allow for third-party alcohol delivery to one’s door (which passed with bipartisan support). These lame duck sessions were juxtaposed against the headlines of transitions in political leadership as President Biden and Illinois House Speaker Welch began their terms. A new U.S. Congress and Illinois General Assembly have begun with the majority of legislators having at least two years left in their terms. This shifts the dynamic and paves the way for different issues to potentially be discussed. The lame duck sessions have ended, and the next lame ducks won’t be named until 2022 after both redistricting and the Midterm Elections. Whether it is a lame duck, regular or veto session, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce will continue its work in monitoring legislative activity and advocating for business-friendly policies at every level of government. Should you have any questions, please contact director of public policy Madeline Herrman at

From Surviving to Thriving Paid for by the Champaign County Business Empowered PAC

Businesses have felt the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. We must now turn our attention from simply surviving to recovery and economic growth. Champaign County’s Business Empowered PAC helps elect pro-business candidates for the purpose of creating a business-friendly environment so that our community can thrive. We invite you to apply to be part of a grassroots effort to shape the future of Champaign County and the state by serving on the PAC Board of Directors. The right candidates can help businesses in Champaign County go from surviving to thriving. We need qualified business leaders to help identify and select those candidates.

For more information on applying to serve on the PAC board, contact Madeline Herrman at

LEADERSHIP We stand out. With hundreds of years of combined experience from local owners, it’s hard not to. HICKORYPOINTBANK.COM






An exclusive benefit of Chamber membership, we sell mailing labels containing the names and addresses of Chamber member businesses for the purpose of member-to-member communication. Target the local business community. Two lists are available for purchase:

From monthly First Friday Coffee and Business After Hours to our annual Golf Outing, the Chamber hosts a number of events each month. By sponsoring a Chamber event, your business obtains great exposure not only at the event itself, but also within all promotional materials (emails, mailings, e-newsletters, Commerce Connection, website, etc.). Here’s what’s coming up:

Long list (approx. 2,000 names and businesses): $175 Short list (approx. 900 names and businesses): $125 Contact Stephanie Smith-Jeffries at

2021 Chamber Golf Outing - ask about sponorship opportunities.



Our electronic newsletter is sent to nearly 2,000 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County each week. Sponsor an e-Connection and get your business seen by thousands. Header sponsorship (one week): $100 Contact Lindsay Quick for more information,


With over 400 unique views PER DAY to the Chamber website, you’ll have the opportunity to reach thousands of customers each month. With pricing starting at just $300 this affordable and effective.Contact Lindsay Quick at


For a great price, place an ad in every email that is sent out of the Chamber office. That’s an average of over 12,000 emails per week. The best part? Link the footer wherever you would like. Contact Lindsay for details at,


Email Blast Advertisement: $500



Footer (one week): $75

Do you have a new product, service or information you would like to share with our entire Chamber membership? Take advantage of this exclusive offer to send broadcast emails to our entire nearly 2,000 email list. Contact Lindsay Quick for more information,

This is a bi-monthly publication that is distributed to over 2,000 businesses and businesspeople in Champaign County. Content varies, but is always relevant to local business. There are a variety of ad sizes available. Ads start at only $90. Ask about the exclusive cover package that allows your business to gain exposure before the reader even opens the publication. Contact Lindsay Quick for more information, or 217.359.1791.


Rental of laptop computer; conference space and LCD projector; Certificate of Origin; Notary service; information, assistance and resources.

Reach thousands on a small budget. 18

Enhance your listing on the Chamber’s online business directory. The directory gets hundreds of thousands of views each day-turn your standard (complimentary) listing into an eye-catching, search engine optimized advertisement. Basic Listing: included with membership Enhanced Listing: $79 / year Contact Lindsay Quick for more information,

calendar of events

Fast Facts

4.6% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in November 2020

Wednesday, February 17 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. State Required Sexual Harassment Prevention Training*

Via Zoom *Trainings will be held monthly throughout 2021

Thursday, February 25 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. Business Success Webinar: Performance Driven Selling

Presented by: Dr. Jeffrey Magee Sponsored by: Farm Credit

Via Zoom

Friday, February 26 3:00 p.m. ATHENA Awards Nomination Deadline

Friday, March 5 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Virtual First Friday Coffee Via Zoom

Monday, March 8 Beginning at 9:00 a.m. Booking Day 2022 Business After Hours & First Friday Coffee Call 217-531-4239

*Phone calls only. No walk-ins or emails will be accepted. Bookings will be taken on a first call, first serve basis.

For more information or to register for an event, visit events/calendar/

26 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in December 2020


December 2020 U of I Flash Index for Illinois


rides were taken on CUMTD in December 2020

6,018 visits to the Chamber’s website, in December 2020

4,820 number of unique searches on the

Please note: a staff member will be in the Chamber office Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory in December 2020

For the time being, our office will remain closed to the public. If you need assistance, please call 217-359-1791 or send us an email.

2014 The year that the Champaign County

In addition, the Chamber’s large and office conference rooms will NOT be available for outside use.

Chamber of Commerce was named the Illinois Outstanding Chamber of the Year

303 West Kirby Avenue Champaign, IL 61820 P 217.359.1791 | F 217.359.1809 19



217-367-4227 711 E Kettering Park Drive Urbana, IL 61801 20