March / April 2021 Commerce Connection

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THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: ONE YEAR LATER INSIDE: PG. 7 COVID-19 Business Impact and Recovery Project PG. 11 Grow Your Workforce PGS. 12 - 17 The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Timeline of Events Permit No. 29 Champaign, IL


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Volume 28 | Issue 2







PG. 20 Rebuild • Reenergize

A Webinar Series for Business Leaders In a Post-COVID-19 World 1

Take your business new places with

SBA Financing

your d n a Exp iness! bus Get acc to capi ess tal!

Save money with SBA’s 7(a) or 504 Loan Program when your loan is approved between

February 1, 2021 - September 30, 2021. Benefits for New SBA 7(a) and 504 Loans: Pay Less Out of Pocket* • Temporary payment subsidies available for qualifying borrowers • SBA fees eliminated or temporarily reduced for approved loans

Lock in a low long-term fixed rate for up to 40% of project financing with a SBA 504 loan

First Mid is a Certified Lender and Express Lender with the SBA.

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

To learn more about SBA Financing, talk to Patrick or Kyle. Patrick Pfeifer

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

Kyle McFarland

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

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 Ramshaw Real Estate

CHAMBER STAFF Laura Weis President & CEO

Madeline Herrman Public Policy Director

Matt Bradley Business Growth & Development Director

Lindsay Quick Director of Marketing & Events Stephanie Smith-Jeffries Office and Accounting Administrator

Mindy Cain Director of Workforce Readiness


Justin Overstreet

Kyle Emkes

Chip Craddock Clark Dietz, Inc.

Deb Reardanz Clark-Lindsey Village

Tonya Horn

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

Linda Difiore

Dr. Jared Rogers

Dan Kirby

Stevie Jay Broadcasting - Q96-96.1FM, US105.9, Christian FM 95.3 & ESPN 93.5

Dan Hurley FedEx Ground


PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, Lite Rock 97.5 WHMS, Classic Hits 107.9 WKIO

Curtis Orchard, Ltd.

Silgan Closures

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 January 1 and February 28, 2021 Hyundai Transys Georgia Seating System 1101 Newton Drive, Ste. A Champaign, IL 61822 217.253.8884 Manufacturing-Automotive

Hyundai Transys Georgia Seating System, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group with customers around the Globe, is an automotive seat manufacturer located in northern Champaign. We currently have four US locations (GA/AL/AZ/IL) with Champaign, IL being our newest. Our Champaign facility will provide the seats to the new US-Based EV Manufacturer RIVIAN.




Ribbon Cuttings

>> held between January 1 and March 31

OSF Heart of Mary Medical Center celebrated the groundbreaking for their new helipad with a blessing and ceremony on March 15. The new helipad will allow quicker transport to the hospital in order to provide critical, life-saving health care to those in need.

Interested in hosting a ribbon cutting?

Chamber members have the opportunity to sign up for ribbon cuttings to celebrate a grand opening or groundbreaking. Along with your team, a Chamber representative will be present and we invite ambassadors to attend to help you celebrate. Thousands will see photographs of your event through this publication as well as the Chamber’s social media pages. Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, safety is our priority. Therefore, following the CDC/IDPH guidelines, attendees must wear masks at all times. Participants must follow other public health safety protocols (including social distancing when possible) as well. If your business is interested in hosting a ribbon cutting, contact Mindy at or call 217.359.1791.







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


Has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your business? As we start to re-open the economy, this is an excellent opportunity to have “fresh eyes” look at how your company has been affected and get recommendations on how to best move forward to economic recovery. Students from the University of Illinois Office of Volunteer Programs will be studying the effects of COVID-19 on business through the COVID-19 Business Impact and Recovery Project. All services completed by students are voluntary and free. The students seek to understand the economic impact and what they can offer to assist area companies as community supporters. Program Details: • Student volunteers from the U of I Office of Volunteer Programs (OVP) will explore the impacts of COVID-19 on local businesses and assist companies by developing usable recommendations to combat the pandemic’s challenges. • Student volunteers will work with businesses to understand how the pandemic has impacted them; how they’ve adapted their business plans; using resources available to the companies; the challenges that continue; and what information, tools, products and needs are necessary to aid in business recovery. • What students learn from meeting with the businesses will help develop recommendations (i.e., resources guide, articles students write advocating for local business needs, fundraising efforts, etc.) • Student volunteers will meet with businesses for a maximum of three hours spread across the project. • One hour to understand needs and business • One hour to present research findings leading to recommendations • One hour to offer the recommendations and take feedback • This is a spring 2021 project but has the potential to extend into the summer or fall semesters. Timing is subject to student volunteer and community business partner availability, research, and project progression.

Interested in participating? Contact April Garrison Senior Program Coordinator, U of I OVP or 217.300.8852 7

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 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 just-in-time and your consumers get it when approaching or entering your selected areas. It is location specific delivery. So, if the customer is shopping near your store, 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. 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

• Business community • Precision advertising via mobile • Digital membership cards • Video production and publishing • Contact: •

Thursday, June 3 Lincolnshire Fields Country Club 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. We have a LIMITED number of spots available for both sponsorship and golfing opportunities at this year’s outing. Don’t miss your chance to connect with fellow Chamber members out on the golf course.

To learn more or register now, visit



Growing your family. Expanding your business. Retiring to travel. Leaving your legacy. Since we opened our doors in 1868, Busey has built a foundation of broad financial capabilities, deep knowledge and close relationships that span generations. All with your peace of mind our priority. Busey’s right beside you. Member FDIC

New to entrepreneurship? The Chamber Has Your BACK. Starting a business can be intimidating, but you’re not in it alone. With free counseling services available and regular educational events, the Chamber has your back. We are here to help you get your business where you want it to be. 10

Grow Your Workforce The Unit 4 YES Program is celebrating 10 years! To celebrate this amazing anniversary, there are a few new developments:

You asked for a qualified workforce and we are going to help you build it. The Chamber continues to support our area high schools by assisting them with career programs to help prepare students to become your future employees. Here are the details of the summer youth employment program: • Youth Employment Services (YES) at Unit 4 connects employers with students for summer employment. • Get that extra help you need at your business while providing a student with an important learning experience for them. • The Regional Planning Commission is the employer of record, so you don’t have to add the student to your payroll. • You will benefit from the extra help in the workplace; help shape workplace skills for students; and possibly get that one project completed that never seems to get done. • You will have full support from the YES program staff.

To learn more or to participate, contact Mindy Smith, YES Program Supervisor

10 Years

YE$ Prep - A brand new paid training virtual component for our students where they will learn and earn. Students complete ten online modules covering the same content provided in person, but they’ll be earning money for each one. Each student’s summer job placement will be contingent upon them completing this training — so employers can rest assured that students will still be coming to the workplace with the same, if not better, preparation received in previous years. Virtual One Big Career Fair - This year there will be a completely virtual career fair experience later this spring. Attendance at this event will count as one of the modules for the students, and employers will enjoy the convenience of meeting and interviewing students from the comfort of their own office/ remote location. Mentor Connections - Mentoring has proved to be the best way to ensure lasting and meaningful connections for our students. This year, Unit 4 plans to develop a system where each student will have a mentor in their chosen career field which provides maximum opportunity for positive impact for the students. This is a great way for individuals to get involved and help shape the future of a young person in our community. We know that COVID-19 has impacted local businesses in a variety of ways that might make it difficult to commit. A request for information does not lock you in as a participating employer. We believe in creative problem solving and are happy to work with you in whatever ways possible to have you as a partner in this important program for student career development.


THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce is your source for current events and updates that affect you or your business. This role was amplified in 2020. Since January 2020 and continuing beyond, a global pandemic shaped our lives and Chamber publications. As we look forward to returning to normalcy, we look back to see how far we’ve come in a year with COVID-19. With all of the content, materials, events and updates, this timeline could easily have taken up the entire March/April Commerce Connection edition. Instead, you will find a selection of notices and headlines that marked the milestones of an unprecedented year, as it was shared in our Chamber Special Alerts, Public Policy Newsletters or COVID-19 Daily Updates. We continue to be committed to providing information and content that you need for your business to thrive today beyond COVID-19. March 6, 2020 An $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus spending package passed the House and Senate and heads to President Trump’s desk.

March 15, 2020 • Chamber Special Alert: At his daily press conference, Governor Pritzker announces statewide restaurant and bar restrictions to dine-in customers until March 30 in response to COVID-19.

February 14, 2020 Illinois becomes first state with the ability to test for coronavirus.

• Champaign-Urbana Public Health District confirms the county’s first case of COVID-19.


February 28, 2020 Coronavirus dominates headlines as President Trump names his taskforce with Vice President Pence leading the effort. 12

March 16, 2020 Chamber cancels all events for eight weeks and launches a restaurant website page to connect residents with options for takeout, delivery and curbside orders.



January 24, 2020 First mention of COVID-19 in a Chamber publication. Airport screenings begin at select US airports for passengers traveling from Wuhan, China as Coronavirus spreads.

March 27, 2020 A $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package, the CARES Act, has been signed into law by President Trump.

March 13, 2020 • Chamber Special Alert: Governor Pritzker issues order to close all schools both public and private starting March 17. Catholic Diocese of Peoria suspends all public masses. •

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares coronavirus a pandemic.

An Executive Order declaring the existence of a local emergency grants Mayor Feinen of Champaign executive power should it be necessary.

March 20, 2020 • Governor Pritzker issues a stay-athome order going into effect March 21 at 5:00 p.m. The issue was set to expire April 7, 2020. •

Chamber launches a COVID-19 resource page. Remote work begins across the state for many companies.

March 31, 2020 Chamber Special Alert: Multiple news sources report that Governor Pritzker will announce that the stay-at-home order is been extended through April 30. The order went into effect March 21 and, at the time, was set to expire April 7. The extension is announced.

By March 17, 2020,


of businesses reported that they were starting to restrict spending because of uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Source: Survey conducted by the Chamber

April 1, 2020 Chamber launches “30 in 30” social media initiative as a means to promote positive stories during the Stay-at-Home order. April 8, 2020 Chamber launches COVID-19 Daily Updates. April 9, 2020 The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District continues to provide data on COVID-19 cases including the number of cases, mobility data, patients recovered and more. On this day, April 9, Champaign County has a total of 74 confirmed cases with 4 currently hospitalized and 39 of the total recovered.

APRIL April 3, 2020 Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, announces that Americans should cover their faces if they go out in public.

April 21, 2020 As the demand for fuel declines while Americans stay home, the price of oil drops to a negative $37.63 a barrel.

We asked: Has your business been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? You answered: On March 11, 2020 - 65% said yes On March 17, 2020 - 94% said yes (a 29% increase in one week) On February 26, 2021 - 88% said yes Source: Surveys conducted by the Chamber

May 5, 2020 Governor Pritzker announces a five-phased, regionally-based reopening plan. Restore Illinois is a data-driven plan that outlines specific markers for different EMS-based regions to allow for different activities May 6, 2020 Chamber hosts a virtual townhall with the County’s state delegation. May 21, 2020 Champaign County Safe website launches with tools and resources to help area business navigate opening and operating in the COVID-19 pandemic. May 26, 2020 The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District reports a total confirmed case number of 568.

May 29, 2020 Illinois enters Phase 3 of the Restore Illinois plan.


May 19, 2020 A state-run, free COVID-19 testing site opens today at Market Place Mall in Champaign.

May 28, 2020 • The University of Illinois announces plans to test all students upon their return to campus. •

The United States’ death toll from COVID-19 passes 100,000.

May 18, 2020 Experimental vaccine maker, Moderna, announces that early vaccine testing results are encouraging. May 1, 2020 Starting on this day, Illinois residents must wear masks when social distancing cannot be insured. 13

We asked: Is the market causing you to draw on your line of credit? You answered: On March 17, 2020 - 74% said no On February 26, 2021 - 70% said no Source: Surveys conducted by the Chamber

June 17, 2020 The University of Illinois creates a saliva-based COVID-19 test and announces capacity to test up to 10,000 per day.


June 26, 2020 Illinois enters Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan.


July 7, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic sparks a national coin shortage. July 19, 2020 The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District reports a total of 1,177 cases of COVID-19.

JULY July 15, 2020 Chamber Special Alert: Governor Pritzker announced changes to the Restore Illinois plan to break down the state’s 4 regions into 11.

August 6, 2020 Dr. Anthony Fauci anticipates tens of millions of vaccine doses at the start of 2021. August 18, 2020 Chamber Special Alert: Champaign Mayor Deb Feinen announces two emergency orders aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19. One order will suspend indoor dining at Campustown bars starting Wednesday and Campustown restaurants starting Friday. The other emergency order will require all patrons to be seated when consuming food on restaurant or bar premises.


July 30, 2020 Johnson & Johnson begins human vaccine trials.

August 24, 2020 The FDA grants convalescent plasma treatment emergencyuse authorization. August 25, 2020 The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announces new guidelines for masking at bars and restaurants in Phase 4, so that masks are worn during all interactions with restaurant staff. August 10, 2020 President Trump signs four executive orders to provide COVID-19 relief. The orders include: an extension of the federal unemployment supplement, a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year for some eligible Americans, extended student loan relief through the end of the year, and a call for federal agency leaders to try to find funds to help curb evictions.

We asked: Are you able to find hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies for your office?


said yes on March 26, 2020


said yes on February 26, 2021

Source: Surveys conducted by the Chamber

September 1, 2020 The U.S. surpasses six million COVID-19 cases. September 17, 2020 The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Foundation announces its Scarecrow Hunt, a socially-distanced, safe activity to support iRead•iCount. September 16, 2020 The Big Ten announces its plan to play football beginning October 24.

September 18, 2020 Governor Pritzker announces that the second round of Illinois’ Business Interruption Grants open.

October 2, 2020 After a confirmed diagnosis, President Trump is reported to have mild symptoms of COVID-19. October 5, 2020 The CDC revises COVID-19 guidance and acknowledges airborne transmission of COVID-19. October 23, 2020 The U.S. sets a record for the second highest single day rise in new infections. October 19, 2020 Global coronavirus cases surpass the 40 million milestone.


September 3, 2020 Chamber hosts Coffee Circles - its first in-person, socially- distanced networking event since start of stay-at-home order.

September 24, 2020 The C-UPHD reports 65 new cases today. The total number of COVID-19 cases is 4,435, and the number of active cases is at 327. 4088 are considered recovered.

We asked: Is the COVID-19 pandemic causing you to make changes to the way your business operates?

OCTOBER October 14, 2020 For purposes of the Restore Illinois plan: Champaign County’s testing data is now distinguished from UI’s and included in Region 6 totals in relation to potential mitigation measures. UI’s data is still not factored into mitigation thresholds.

October 30, 2020 Chamber Special Alert: Effective November 2, 2020, at 12:01 a.m. the State of Illinois will implement new COVID-19 resurgence mitigations across Region 6, which includes Champaign County. These new mitigations are implemented because as a whole, Region 6 had a 7-day rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate of more than 8 percent for three consecutive days.

You answered: On March 17, 2020 - 92% said yes On March 26, 2020 - 94% said yes On February 26, 2021 - 89% said yes Source: Surveys conducted by the Chamber



of business say they had stopped traveling for business as of March 26, 2020. Source: Survey conducted by the Chamber

November 12, 2020 Moderna’s experimental vaccine results appear to show a 94.5 percent effectiveness rate. November 9, 2020 Pfizer states its vaccine may be 90 percent effective.

November 12, 2020 The C-UPHD reports that 1,164 COVID-19 cases are considered active, and 9,135 have recovered. There has been a total of 10,351 cases in Champaign County. 19 Champaign County residents are currently hospitalized.

November 20, 2020 Champaign County has conducted more than 1 million tests total as of today.

December 3, 2020 Chamber announces new initiative: Chambers All in for Economic Recovery. This campaign focuses on practicing health and safety measures particularly mask-wearing to keep businesses open and prevent another shutdown.

December 14, 2020 The first COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Illinois.

December 23, 2020 Over 100k doses of the vaccine have been given in Illinois at this point.

NOVEMBER November 11, 2020 IDPH releases new guidance urging Illinoisans to stay home and leave only for essential activities for the next three weeks.

November 17, 2020 Governor Pritzker announces new restrictions and mitigations for the State of Illinois as new cases continue to rise. Starting Friday, November 20 all of Illinois will be under Tier 3 mitigations.


November 30, 2020 The U.S. surpasses 13 million COVID-19 cases; it’s the fourth million-milestone in November.

December 11, 2020 A U.S. panel endorses widespread use of Pfizer’s vaccine; FDA emergency-use authorization is expected.

We asked: Do you anticipate a reduction in your workforce? You answered: On March 17, 2020 - 48% said yes On February 26, 2021 - 84% said no Source: Surveys conducted by the Chamber


December 15, 2020 An FDA panel endorses emergency-use of Moderna’s vaccine.

December 28, 2020 President Trump signs the COVID-19 relief package into law and averts a government shutdown. A vote on $2,000 stimulus checks is set to proceed.

2021 75% January 4, 2021 American airports see busiest day since the beginning of the pandemic.

January 12, 2021 CDC states that 9 million Americans are now vaccinated against COVID-19.

of business report a loss in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic as of Feb. 26, 2021 Source: Survey conducted by the Chamber

January 18, 2021 C-UPHD reports that 656 COVID-19 cases are considered active, and 15,250 have recovered. There has been a total of 16,012 cases in Champaign County. 24 Champaign County residents were hospitalized at the time.

JANUARY January 15, 2021 The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Restore Illinois Region 6, which includes Champaign County, has entered Tier 1 COVID-19 mitigations. January 29, 2021 9.8 percent of Champaign County residents have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

March 1, 2021 University of Illinois’ saliva-based COVID-19 test receives FDA emergency-use authorization. March 8, 2021 C-UPHD reports 236 active cases of COVID-19. In Champaign County, there have been a total of 18,418 confirmed cases with 18,051 having recovered. 12 Champaign County residents were hospitalized at the time March 18, 2021 Chamber Special Alert: Today Governor Pritzker announced all Illinoisans (outside of the City of Chicago) age 16 and up will become eligible for the vaccine on April 12, 2021 with additional vulnerable populations being made eligible prior to April 12. He also announced an update on Restore Illinois guidelines that includes a “dial-like approach.” Pritzker introduced the bridge phase today with increased capacity limits in both indoor and outdoor settings.

February 5, 2021 Johnson & Johnson requests emergency-use authorization for their vaccine candidate.

March 23, 2021 34.7 percent of adults 16 and older in Champaign County have received their first dose.

February 15, 2021 5.6 percent of all Champaign County residents are fully vaccinated.


FEBRUARY February 22, 2021 US COVID-19 death toll surpasses half a million. February 24, 2021 FDA analysis finds Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective.

March 11, 2021 President Biden signs the $1.9 trillion, American Rescue Plan, COVID-19 relief bill into law. March 5, 2021 19.3 percent of eligible adults in Champaign County are fully vaccinated.

February 25, 2021 COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expands to those aged 16-64 with certain health conditions in Illinois.


March 25, 2021 The CDC reports that at least a quarter of Americans have had one-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

March 29, 2021 President Biden announces that 90 percent of adults will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine within five miles of home by April 19.

of business say they have received some type of supplemental funding as of February 26, 2021. (PPP, grants, loans, etc.) Source: Survey conducted by the Chamber


MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS COMMERCE BANK Brent Eichelberger, CEO Illinois market announced Jeff Troxell has been named executive vice president in Champaign-Urbana. In his new role, Troxell will be responsible for leading and growing Commerce Bank’s commercial banking presence in the Champaign-Urbana region. This includes business development and relationship management delivering the bank’s full line of commercial banking products and services, including an extensive suite of payment solutions, commercial card and treasury for commercial clients. Jeff will also serve as a key leader for commercial real estate lending for the Illinois commercial team. “Jeff has shown he is an outstanding banker and leader in the community. With nearly 24 years of banking experience, he has deep expertise and knowledge of the ChampaignUrbana region,” said Eichelberger. “With his strong relationships and proven experience, we will continue to deliver exceptional solutions to our customers and community.” Troxell is a graduate of Miami University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology. He is active in the community on the Champaign Rotary Board of Directors and a member of the Champaign County Chamber Finance Committee. EXPRESS EMPLOYMENT PROFESSIONALS In their nearly 20 years with Express Employment Professionals, Richard and Lynn Yoerk have come full circle from working in a franchise to owning five in Illinois. After being recognized locally as a top employer and small business of the year, the pair was named Express Employment Professionals’ Franchisees of the Year at the company’s recent International Leadership Conference (ILC).


Express recognizes and honors franchisees who excel in building brand equity and a distinguished company reputation. A panel of executives at Express International Headquarters in Oklahoma City selected the Yoerks to represent Express as its Franchisees of the Year due to their dedication to the company’s values of people, teamwork, build to last and integrity. Today, Richard and Lynn have continued to build the Express brand in Illinois and now have five franchise offices in Champaign, Danville, Rantoul, Urbana, and Ottawa. In 2016, they were named the Small Business of the Year, recognized in their local business magazine as a top employer in 2018, and most recently received First Place in the local People’s Choice Award. Express is committed to the vision of helping as many people as possible find good jobs by helping as many clients as possible find good people. The company offers a full range of employment solutions, including evaluation hire, flexible staffing, professional search and human resources. Express focuses on a wide range of positions, including light industrial, office services, skilled trades, and professional. FIRST MID First Mid Bancshares, Inc. (“First Mid”) is pleased to present the 2020 Chairman’s Award for Excellence to Heather Werner, Market Manager of the Urbana banking center located at 601 S Vine Street; the Champaign banking center located at 913 W Marketview Drive; the Rantoul banking center located at 1500 E Grove Avenue; and the Mahomet banking center located at 502 E Oak Street. Based on her nominations, Werner is known for her teamwork, dependability, and commitment to First Mid, and she consistently demonstrates First Mid’s core values in her everyday work. She has also proven herself to be a strong

leader as she is always looking for ways to help her team members grow in their careers. The Chairman’s Award for Excellence is the company’s most prestigious award. Individuals are nominated by their peers and selected by the company’s executive committee. CLIFTONLARSONALLEN CLA believes the best way to serve our clients and communities is to support our people in building careers that match their personal and professional aspirations. We are thrilled to express our congratulations and announce the promotion of Jon Coffman to Principal.

Stay tuned.... Winner announcement and details regarding the 2021 ATHENA Awards® are forthcoming. We look forward to celebrating two incredible women. The ATHENA Awards® program is presented by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and:

Coffman, who joined the firm in July 2016, holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from North Central College and is a Certified Public Accountant. In his new role, he will continue to partner with client’s leadership on operational and strategic issues, providing recommendations based on financial and revenue analysis, as well as generating external marketplace growth and building new relationships for CLA from the community. We are proud of our CLA team members and the many ways they know and help our clients and our firm. Please join us in celebrating this achievement. 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,

As of January 1, 2020 all employers in Illinois are required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees each calendar year. Don’t wait until the end of the year to comply with the state requirements for sexual harassment prevention training. The Chamber offers trainings on a monthly basis. For more information vvisit: 19

Webinar Series

Rebuild • Reenergize:

A Webinar Series for Business Leaders In a Post-COVID-19 World

We have partnered with Chambers of Commerce from across the state of Illinois to create this series of five monthly webinars to aid in navigating a post COVID-19 world. This series will give businesd leaders helpful and practical tools to navigate the new normal.

Experts in their respective fields will teach you everything from legal considerations to best practices in digital advertising; brand identity to effective sales techniques; actionable advice on marketing and communication best practices to help your business succeed in 2021 and beyond. As part of the Rebuild • Reenergize webinar series, there will be a webinar held on the third Wednesday of each month from April through August. Webinars will be held from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. via Zoom. Each webinar costs $15 per attendee.

April 21: Return to Work - How to Navigate the Transition Successfully

Presented by Julie Proscia, Labor and Employment Practice Group-Partner, SmithAmundsen, LLC

May 19: How COVID Helped a New Coffee Shop Succeed Presented by Ryan Weckerly, Morningstar Media Group

June 16: Crucial Business Components to Success

Presented by Amanda Brinkman / Small Business Revolution, as seen on Hulu

July 21: The Art of Pivoting: Strategies for Developing a Flexible Business Model for the Future

Presented by Julie Shields, President, USASBE (United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship)

August 18: Sales and Marketing to Help You Dominate Your Market Presented by Bill Guertin, the 800 Pound Gorilla

To register or learn more about the webinars, visit Each webinar is $15 per attendee. If you would like to register for the entire series (5 webinars) please email our Director of Marketing & Events, Lindsay, at or call 217.359.1791. 20

FREE MASK PICKUP Thanks to a generous donation, a large quantity of masks are available for free to local businesses and individuals. You can pick up any quantity of masks you may need for your business from our office: Champaign County Chamber of Commerce 303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday–Friday 217.359.1791 It is critical that we continue enforcing masks, and promote testing to keep our community safe. Resources are available for download 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 Quick for more information,

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,


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

Reach thousands on a small budget. 22


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

5.1% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in February 2021

Rebuild, Reenergize: A Webinar Series for Business Leaders in a Post-COVID-19 World April 21 – Julie Proscia May 19 – Ryan Weckerly June 16 – Amanda Brinkman July 14 – Julie Shields August 18 – Bill Guertin Each webinar will be held on the third Wednesday of each month from 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. Via Zoom

Tuesday, May 18 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. State Required Sexual Harassment Prevention Training*

Friday, May 7 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Virtual First Friday Coffee Via Zoom

31 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in March 2021

Via Zoom *Trainings will be held monthly throughout 2021


Thursday, June 3 8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Chamber Golf Outing Lincolnshire Fields Country Club


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

5,278 visits to the Chamber’s website,

March 2021 U of I Flash Index for Illinois

rides were taken on CUMTD in March 2021 in March 2021

5,389 number of unique searches on the The Chamber office will be open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. We are now open to the public. Masks are required for entrance. We can also assist via phone at 217.359.1791 or by email.

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory in March 2021

2014 The year that the Champaign County

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 23



217-367-4227 711 E Kettering Park Drive Urbana, IL 61801 24