May/June Commerce Connection

Page 1

MAY / JUNE 2020

Volume 27 | Issue 3




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

p u b l i c at i o n





BUSINESSES REOPEN AS ILLINOIS MOVES INTO PHASE 3 INSIDE: PG. 7 Insights During COVID Travels PGS. 12-14 Navigating What’s Next: The Post-COVID Workplace 1

We are happy to have HELPED OUR CENTRAL ILLINOIS BUSINESS PARTNERS navigate the SBA Paycheck Protection Program.

WE APPRECIATE YOUR TRUST IN FIRST MID and look forward to helping more businesses in the future.

Look for us in these area communities: CHAMPAIGN 398-0067 | URBANA 367-8451 SAVOY 351-3526 | MAHOMET 318-3750 MANSFIELD 318-3771 | MONTICELLO 762-2111 RANTOUL 893-8100


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

FY20 TOP INVESTORS TOP INVESTORS GOLD Busey SILVER Carle University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center BRONZE A & R Mechanical Contractors Amdocs BankChampaign, N.A. Christie Clinic First Mid Bank & Trust Health Alliance Hickory Point Bank & Trust Midland States Bank Napleton’s Auto Park of Urbana

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

150 PERCENT CLUB Awards, Ltd. / Stamps Direct Dish Passionate Cuisine Hyatt Place LongHorn Steakhouse TrophyTime, Inc. W.K. Cooper II Asset Management Corporation

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

Mike Estes

Chip Craddock Clark Dietz, Inc.

Deb Reardanz Clark-Lindsey Village

Kyle Emkes

Linda Difiore

Julianna Sellett

Tonya Horn

Dan Hurley FedEx Ground

Amie Smith

Dan Kirby

R.J. Hynds English Brothers Company

Bill Walter

Dr. Jared Rogers

Curtis Orchard, Ltd.

Silgan Closures

Susan Jepsen

Martin Hood LLC


BankChampaign N.A.

A & R Mechanical Contractors

Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon

Pradeep Khanna University of Illinois

Chair, Fisher National Bank

First Vice Chair, Dodd & Maatuka

Second Vice Chair, Rogards

Treasurer, CliftonLarsonAllen

Past Chair OSF HealthCare Heart of Mary Medical Center

Laura Weis

Secretary, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce

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 March 1 - April 30 The Grounds Guys of Champaign 6 Hale Haven Ct. Savoy, IL 61874 217.600.4141 Landscape Contractors

The Grounds Guys is a full-service grounds care company. Our established systems allow us to deliver industry-leading lawn care and landscape solutions to commercial and residential clients. Built on a family tradition of caring, we are driven by a passion to exceed customer expectations and consistently deliver client satisfaction. We offer the following services for both residential and commercial customers: lawn and bed maintenance, landscape/hardscape, outdoor lighting and spring and fall clean up.

Holly’s Country Canning and Craft Kitchen 1204 Bear Lane Monticello, IL 61856 217.841.1071 Food Products

Owner, Holly Miller recently opened a brick and mortar store in Monticello. Holly’s Country Canning and Craft Kitchen offers fresh take & bake meals daily along with a fully stocked freezer of meal options. There are also vendors at the store selling home decor, furniture, jewelry and of course Holly’s jams, jellies and salsas! The restaurant serves lunch and dinner elevated country meals. The store is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

It’s A Wrap Automotive

2026 Glenn Park Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 217.531.7799 Automobile Body Repair & Painting Owners Jordan Butts, Francisco Ambros and Trenton Weaver met while attending Parkland College in the automotive technology program. The drive behind our business is the passion we each share for the automotive industry. We wanted to bring something new to Champaign-Urbana. We’ve established a 4

unique set of services offered under one roof. We offer vehicle wrapping for both aesthetic and commercial advertisement purposes. We can help local businesses advertise their services via their fleet of vehicles. Our high-end auto detailing services have proven to be very beneficial to the community. Our coatings last anywhere from two years to the lifetime of the vehicle.

VitalSkin Dermatology 1111 West Kenyon Rd. Urbana, IL 61801 630.418.5591 Management Consultants

VitalSkin is a world-class dermatology and aesthetics practice management firm built from the ground up to align with the clinical, financial, and lifestyle priorities of physicians, and help them grow and prosper.

Help Us, Help them.

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses in our community are feeling the effects economically. Temporary closures can be devastating to these businesses and to those that own and work at them. Help us, help them. The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit charitable foundation. Donations made to the Foundation will be used for micro-grants to help our small businesses get back on their feet in the aftermath of COVID-19. Contributions to the Foundation’s Business Relief Fund are tax deductible. Our foundation also supports the chamber’s efforts in the areas of education, workforce development and leadership development. The foundation supports its mission by developing strategic partnerships and initiatives with schools, businesses, community leaders and other supporters. Support our economic development, education and workforce through a tax deductible donation to the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. 5



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


What Encouraged Me

Insights During Covid Travels

The spirit to overcome was everywhere I went.

By Rhonda Proctor

In early May, my daughter and I trekked cross country to retrieve belongings from her dorm at school. The alternative was to fly-in, box-up, ship-out and fly-home, but that required a 14 day quarantine before we would be allowed on campus. So all sanitized-up and facemasks in tow, we drove. Since then, people have asked me what the ‘Covid response’ was like along the way. Perhaps gently skewed by working in the foodservice industry, the truth is, I’m both alarmed, and encouraged by what I saw. What Alarmed Me While attempts to do the right thing were evident, the outcomes didn’t always align with the intent. •

Gas station counters draped in Saran Wrap. Yes, I did see this and yes, it scares me. I appreciate the creative problem solving needed on a strained budget during tough times, but a billowing fragment of plastic wrap protects nothing, and no one.

No ice, anywhere. I understand that ice is food; machines cost money to operate; an open bin touched by many can harbor the ‘Ris’ as my college age son calls it. But the inability to overcome ice accessibility was a huge surprise. Hotels and fast food drive-ups were ice-free zones, too.

Drivers wearing facemasks alone in cars. This was perplexing. Then I remembered that sometimes you really do need to protect yourself from yourself in your own car that you drive alone....

Plexi-glass register guards, pushed aside so cashiers could talk. So, I guess it offers the perception of safety?

People were friendly. Talking to people felt good. I saw more smiles – in their eyes.

Gratitude abounds. Staff seemed genuinely glad to serve the customer. Some staff said they were grateful to have kept their jobs.

Customers were patient. I was in a hotel in MO when its continental breakfast reopened. Instead of the herd converging around the feeding troughs, people respectfully waited, 6 feet apart. If social distancing also gives us the return of social decorum, I’m all in.

Our industry has pivoted. Traditional restaurants have made the shift to take-out, delivery and pick-up to garner a meager 25% of their former business. They’ve packaged signature cocktails (absent ice), and become grocers (absent plastic wrap shields), as well. Communities have rallied around restaurants, and some folks are budgeting for takeout. Those who can, tip big. While the bar business has been decimated, one man told me about a much needed deep cleaning and renovation underway at his local pub and how he would be ready ‘the light turns green.’ These are all signs of how central local eateries and watering holes are to the soul of a community.

We’ve all had to pivot – when business tanks 80% in a day, it’s necessary for survival. And let’s be clear business survival means people survival. For business owners the two are not mutually exclusive. I am encouraged by the relational nature of our industry and how even with Covid realities around, it’s still really all about the people. We’ll emerge safer and stronger, I’m certain of it. But let’s hurry it up already….

Shower curtain liners between tables in reopening restaurants. This is just a no-go for me. In our postCovid world we have to practice safety and instill trust. This does neither. Effective, safe and affordable seating dividers are available now. May 17, 2020

© All rights reserved.

Rhonda is president of KECdesign, a foodservice equipment & supply company in Champaign, IL. She’s also a spouse, mom, part-time poet and dog whisperer, sometimes.


GRATITUDE. We’re honored to serve you.

To our healthcare workers, first responders and local businesses—you’re central to the communities we’re proud to call home. Busey’s grateful to partner with you and your families through life’s ups and downs. Today, and for generations to come. Busey. Grateful to Serve the Communities We Call Home.

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. 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.When you volunteer one-hour a week, you’ll be helping to improve Champaign County’s future workforce. Please consider volunteering next school year. Many volunteer opportunities will be available in both Champaign and Urbana elementary schools.

HIRED Series:

Navigating the Job Market Post-Coronavirus Navigating the job market can be difficult at any time, let alone post-pandemic. This series of workshops will give attendees the knowledge and skills that they need to get hired. All webinars will be held from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. via Zoom and are complimentary. Those that wish to attend must RSVP ahead of time. Sponsored by:

Sessions: June 11 Online Job Search Strategies June 18 Video Interviews - Skills to be Successful June 25 Veteran Job Search Workshop July 9 Topic TBD

To RSVP, visit



The 101st Illinois General Assembly is one for the history books. When this year’s session started in January, COVID-19 was a yet-to-benamed novel coronavirus. Just five months later COVID-19 is a global pandemic that temporarily halted the General Assembly and kept us at home. In late May, legislators returned to Springfield for a whirlwind, five-day session. House members met in the Bank of Springfield Center—a large concert/arena venue. The Senate met in their chamber at the capitol. All legislators were asked to wear masks, limit contact with others and practice social distancing. On the next page you will find a summary of relevant, business-related legislation that passed both Chambers. Some of this legislation is awaiting the Governor’s signature to be enacted into law. The scope of Session was limited primarily to COVID-19 related legislation, the budget and a few other matters. The Clean Energy Jobs Act, the Data Modernization Bill and rent control measures did not gain traction this Session. We were carefully watching the emergency rule Governor JB Pritzker filed that would have made it so businesses could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor should they reopen outside of the Restore Illinois guidelines. The rule was withdrawn after significant opposition, including


the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce’s on behalf of our members, from across the state. While Gov. Pritzker called for the legislature to codify the intent of the emergency rule and establish penalties for businesses that reopened out-of-compliance, the Assembly did not. The rule remains withdrawn. Illinois legislators passed a budget in the early morning of Sunday, May 24. The budget totals over $40 billion dollars. The measure passed on an almost entirely party-line vote. One contention point of the budget for those that opposed the passage was that the budget relies on the federal government allocating $5 billion to Illinois. Opposition also stated that a small spending spike during this uncertain time was cause for their concern. Supporters approved the budget as key to aiding the state and beginning to rebuild amid the financial hardships during COVID-19. Session adjourned shortly after the budget’s passage until November for Veto Session. In terms of legislative activity, now eyes turn to the federal government to see if the HEROES Act will pass as the next phase of COVID-19 relief. If you or your business has any questions relating to this or other public policy matters, please contact Madeline Herrman, Director of Public Policy, at

PUBLIC POLICY 2020 SESSION BRIEF Below is a summary of pertinent, business-related legislation that passed both the Illinois House and Senate last week. This is not an exhaustive list. Many of these bills will be sent to Governor Pritzker to potentially sign them into law. We encourage you to click the links provided for more information on a specific piece of legislation. Should you have any questions about these or other actions taken by the General Assembly, please contact Madeline Herrman at COVID-19 Response House Bill 2682- Provides that cocktails and mixed drinks placed in sealed, tamper-proof containers can be sold via takeout if certain requirements are met. For liquor license holders affected by COVID-19 pandemic, the legislation provides guidelines for extensions and deferrals of certain fees. WGEM House Bill 2455- Establishes rebuttable presumption for first-responder or front-line workers if an employee’s injury or occupational disease results from exposure and contraction of COVID-19. The bill also waives benefit charges to individual employers resulting from benefits paid because of and caused by COVID-19. Rockford Register Star Senate Bill 471- Provides various COVID-19 response measures including provisions that provide battery of a merchant is aggravated battery when a merchant is performing their duties including relaying directions for healthcare/safety guidelines and during a disaster or emergency as declared by Governor or mayor of municipality in which the merchant is located due to a public health emergency. Chicago Daily Law Bulletin Budget Senate Bill 264- Outlines the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Estimated total of over $40 billion. Senate Bill 2099- Creates the Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency Borrowing Act which provides that the Governor, with approval of Comptroller and Treasurer, is authorized to borrow funds (not to exceed $5 billion outstanding at any given time) from the Federal Reserve. The legislation sets forth the purposes for which funds can be borrowed. Daily Herald, Bloomberg 2020 General Election Senate Bill 1863- Provides that each voter from the 2018 Mid-Term Election to the 2020 General Primary Election will be provided a mail-in ballot application for the 2020 General Elections. Establishes 2020 General Election Day as a holiday for public schools and state/local government offices. Additional provisions contained. The Southern Illinoisan House Bill 2238- Provides guidelines for the review of voter signatures for mail-in ballots should Senate Bill 1863 become law. Provides additional guidance for mail-in ballot collections. Various Senate Bill 2052- Extends the expiration deadlines for a number of TIF districts including but not limited to redevelopment project areas in the Village of Mahomet. Senate Bill 156- Provides regulations and guidelines within tax code to allow for a casino in the City of Chicago. ABC 7 Chicago Senate Bill 685- Provides counties with less that 3,000,000 inhabitants can waive interest penalties on late property tax payments. WTTW 11

feel safe.

Navigating What’s Next: The Post-COVID Workplace

Navigating What’s Next

Planning for the unknown: safety first

Today’s workplace challenges

As we plan to return to work, we need to make choices carefully and responsibly. Employee safety and wellbeing must be paramount — people need to be safe and feel safe.

The dominant characteristics of the pre-COVID workplace were designed to support new ways of working and high levels of human interaction to fuel creativity, innovation, speed and agility. These attributes now pose challenges for the post-COVID workplace, as organizations strive to limit physical interactions. They include: • Open plan: The open plan is the dominant form of office design around the world. The degree of openness varies, but within these spaces air and pathogens can travel freely.

Wellbeing happens when there is an intersection between our physical, cognitive and emotional health — safety is foundational to all three. Organizations need to take action to ensure that: • Physically: People can work in places where they are able to stay healthy overall and minimize exposure to pathogens that cause illness. • Mentally: People are not in fear for their personal safety because that distracts them from being focused and productive. • Emotionally: Everyone needs to feel safe at work. They need to be confident that their employers have done everything possible to create a safe environment — especially for those who may be at higher risk.


• High density: Over the past decade, the allocation of space per person substantially decreased, yet high density increases the likelihood of spreading infections. • Shared spaces: Organizations recognized that people wanted choice and control over how and where they work. This has led to a broad range of spaces that are shared by people throughout the organization. • High mobility: Mobile technologies and power solutions enable people to move freely around the workplace. Workplaces have now become highly dynamic environments, with lots of energy. • Communal spaces: Cafés and social spaces have been intentionally designed to bring large groups of people together – increasing density and the likelihood of spreading infection.

• Residential aesthetic: Workplaces feel less “corporate” today and now include a wider range of sofas and lounge seating. The scale of these settings tends to be more intimate, bringing people together more closely.

These characteristics created Wellbeing happens whe a competitive advantage for an intersection betw organizations – aismeans to foster cognitive and new work styles,physical, build culture and attract talent. While many health — safety is foun organizations prepared for employee to all three. Organizatio safety in other ways, the workplace to take action to ensur was not designed to mitigate the spread of disease. Companies People ca • Physically: around the world were not prepared places where they are to think about the workplace as healthy overall an an environment thatstay needs to adapt exposure quickly to health risks that can to pathogen rise unexpectedly. Going causeforward, illness. they cannot take the risk that rapid Mentally: transmission of a• virus could People are n cause a facility or entire theirbusiness personal safety b to shut down. distracts them from be

and productive.

• Emotionally: Everyon to feel safe at work. T be confident that their have done everything to create a safe enviro especially for those w be at higher risk.

© Steelcase Inc.

feel safe.

The now, near and far As we work with our global network of leading organizations and experts, we recognize the importance of looking at the return to work across the time horizons of now, near and far. For many organizations this will happen in waves and differ across geographies, as they bring segments of their workforce safely back into the office.




This will be the first wave, with portions of the workforce continuing to work from home. Planning for now also means retrofitting the workplace, based on a common-sense approach that adheres to governmental and global health guidelines, including physical distancing, adding barriers, cleaning and safety measures.

At this stage, organizations may be ready to bring back most or all of their workforce. Building on what we learn from our experiences and science, organizations can begin reconfiguring the workplace. This will involve new ways to lay out space and change work settings to offer longer-term solutions for enhanced safety.

Work environments inisthe anfuture intersection betw will require reinvention as sciencephysical, cognitive and based evidence and emerging health — safety is foun technologies offer new solutions. Planning paradigms of tothe allpast three. Organizatio were driven by density and cost. to take action to ensur Going forward they need to be based on the ability to easily • adapt Physically: People ca to possible economic, climate and places where they are health disruptions. The reinvented healthy overall an office must be designedstay with an even deeper commitment to the exposure to pathogen wellbeing of people, recognizing cause illness. that their physical, cognitive and emotional states are • inherently Mentally: People are linked to their safety.

Key principles for these first two stages will be to focus on: • Density of the workplace and its population • Geometry of the furniture arrangements • Division using screens, panels or other barriers

More on the Post-COVID Workplace:

Wellbeing happens wh

their personal safety b distracts them from b and productive.

• Emotionally: Everyon to feel safe at work. T be confident that thei have done everything to create a safe enviro especially for those w be at higher risk.

Sample floor plan considerations can be found on the following page.

More information about Steelcase or configuring your workplace to meet COVID-19 needs visit © Steelcase Inc.

Edition 1 | The Post-COVID Workplace / 6

© Steelcase Inc. 13

feel safe.

Navigating What’s Next

Floor Plan Considerations The key to preparing the office for the return of people requires changing the density, geometry and division of the space.


Wellbeing happens when th is an intersection between physical, cognitive and em health — safety is foundati to all three. Organizations n to take action to ensure tha

1 2


• Physically: People can wo places where they are able stay healthy overall and m exposure to pathogens tha cause illness.

8 3 4

• Mentally: People are not in their personal safety beca distracts them from being and productive.

9 10 5


Higher space division and natural elements create separation and psychological comfort.


Changing the arrangement (geometry) of the desks reduces face-to-face orientation.


Decreased density in the café allows people to safely interact.



Sanitation stations provide easy access to cleaning supplies.

Individual seating in lounge spaces helps to maintain a safe distance.


Mobile boundary screens protect a team’s territory and their backs.


Individual workstations have been separated to provide 120 sq ft./ 11.15 sq m of personal space. Screens provide additional division.


• Emotionally: Everyone ne to feel safe at work. They be confident that their em have done everything pos to create a safe environme Added video conferencing especially for those who m enclaves enable remote at higher collaboration,be allowing fewer risk. people to work in the office at a single time.


Movable boundary screen protects personal space and reduces exposure.

10 Reduced guest seating and adjusted orientation creates distancing in the private office.

© Steelcase Inc. © Steelcase Inc.


Edition 1 | The Post-COVID Workplace / 12

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





MEMBER ACCOLADES & NEWS RSM US LLP RSM US LLP, the nation’s leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market – is honored to support the communities of Central Illinois with the donation of $20,258 to local food banks by the RSM US Foundation. The organizations receiving benefits are the Peoria Area Food Bank, Eastern Illinois Foodbank, Central Illinois Foodbank and FISH of Galesburg. These donations are part of a larger firm-wide initiative to support our local communities during these unprecedented times. Through the end of April, RSM employees were given a per diem which could be donated directly to a local food banks or used to support grocers and restaurants – some of the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, and a significant number of the firm’s client base – in the cities where RSM’s 11,000+ people live and work nationwide in the U.S. and Canada. To date, RSM has donated more than $1.8 million to local food banks across the country through this effort, and $2.9 million was spent by RSM’s people nationwide to support local restaurants and grocers. ILLINOIS AMERICAN WATER Illinois American Water and the American Water Charitable Foundation are together providing over $58,000 in donations to COVID-19 relief funds to organizations across Illinois. Examples of projects eligible for the grants include social service organizations; pandemic relief funds; medical equipment, supplies, testing and treatment efforts; food banks and meal programs. The funds will be allocated to 25 organizations across the state in Illinois American Water’s regional operating divisions. This is in addition to a $100,000 donation American Water and the American Water Charitable Foundation made to Feeding America.


Both OSF HealthCare Foundation and Amita Healthcare Foundations will use the funds to procure personal protective equipment and supplies for frontline healthcare workers. The following organizations will put their grant funding toward providing meals and stocking local food pantries as well as supplying residents in need with face masks, toiletries and needed resources. - Daily Bread and Soup Kitchen in Champaign-Urbana - Eastern Illinois Food Bank They also announced the following promotions of two employees into key statewide roles: Rachel Bretz, Director of Water Quality & Environmental Compliance Rachel Bretz has been promoted to Director of Water Quality and Environmental Compliance. She is responsible for the management of all laboratories, water quality, environmental stewardship and environmental rules and regulations. Additionally, she will lead the Water Quality and Environmental Compliance team across the state. Bernie Sebold, Senior Program Manager, Health & Safety Bernie Sebold has been promoted to Senior Program Manager, Health and Safety. In this role, Sebold leads the company’s safety team and is responsible for planning and directing the Health and Safety Program in compliance with federal and state Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA) regulations. FIRST MID West Bend Mutual Insurance Company recently honored First Mid Insurance Group’s Commercial Division with their President’s Award for earning top status in the company’s 2019 agency incentive program, Partners In Excellence. This marks the second time in three

years that First Mid has earned this prestigious award, the first time in 2018 when the agency was known as J.L. Hubbard Insurance & Bonds. Partners In Excellence is a program that measures five areas of agency performance, including profitability, premium volume and agency management. About 1,600 independent insurance agencies participated in the program. HOMEFIELD ENERGY Homefield Energy today announced it is committing $60,000 to support Illinois communities as they begin the process of economic recovery from COVID-19. “As with so many states, COVID-19’s impact on Illinois has been profound, and Homefield Energy and its employees are honored to do our part to help meet critical needs in the communities we serve,” said Brad Watson, Homefield Energy’s director of community affairs. “Our company is inspired by the organizations working on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. We stand with you – now, more than ever before.”

to non-profits and social service agencies across the country from Homefield Energy’s parent company, Vistra. Serving nearly 5 million residential, commercial, and industrial retail customers with electricity and natural gas, Vistra is the largest competitive residential electricity provider and the largest competitive power generator in the U.S. COLDWELL BANKER COMMERCIAL DEVONSHIRE REALTY Zach Wetherell of Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty has earned the organization’s Bronze Level Circle of Distinction based on transaction revenue for 2019. The Circle of Distinction is an honor bestowed upon the top ranking producers among Coldwell Banker Commercial® professionals. This is the fifth year Zach has earned this prestigious award. 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, LindsayQ@

The $60,000 donation will directly support communities and individuals to meet their most pressing needs, including funding for food banks, community assistance funds, domestic violence prevention, and more. • $25,000 will go to Peoria organizations, including the Community Foundation of Central Illinois and the Center for Prevention of Abuse • $15,000 will go to St. Louis metro area organizations, including O’Fallon Community Food Pantry, Community Interfaith Food Pantry, and Collinsville Food Pantry • $10,000 will go to Bloomington-Normal organizations, including the United Way of McLean County and The Midwest Food Bank of Illinois-Bloomington-Normal • Food banks and community assistance funds in Champaign-Urbana and Decatur will also receive donations Homefield Energy’s donation to communities in Illinois is part of a $2 million commitment 17



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

• Golf Day- A few opportunities are still available. Additional information available upon request. Contact LindsayQ@champaign or call 217.359.1791 with any event sponsorship inquiries.

Contact Stephanie Smith-Jeffries at


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


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.

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,



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 upgrade: included w/membership Enhanced Listing: $79/year Contact Lindsay Quick for more information,

calendar of events

Fast Facts

2.5% Champaign County Unemployment Rate in March 2020

Thursday, June 11 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. HIRED Series: Online Job Search Strategies

Tuesday, June 23 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. BSSS Webinar: Restaurant Considerations for Selling Online

Tuesday, June 16 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. BSSS Webinar: Timing is Everything

Thursday, June 25 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. HIRED Series: Veterans Job Search

Thursday, June 18 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. HIRED Series: Video Interviews Skills to Be Successful

Friday, July 3 Independence Day Holiday Chamber Closed For more information or to register for an event, visit events/calendar/

Monday, June 22 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Chamber Golf Day

In adherence with the Restore Illinois guidelines regarding large events and mass gatherings, the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce has CANCELLED the following upcoming events and programs: Thursday, June 18 Come Wine With Us Curtis Orchard

Thursday, July 16 Business After Hours Alice Campbell Alumni Center

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

22 business licenses applied for in Champaign County in May 2020


April 2020 U of I Flash Index for Illinois


rides were taken on CUMTD in April 2020 *Nearly an 85% decrease in rides compared to April 2019

8,019 visits to the Chamber’s website, in April 2020

8,412 number of unique searches on the

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Online Business Directory in April 2020

2014 The year that the Champaign County

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

Your Local Banking Partner Simply Better Service. Simply Better Hours. Simply Better Banking. Our commercial team is here for you!

Champaign 101 Windsor Road 217-239-3000

Jan Irwin NMLS ID 1197570 Gerry Smith NMLS ID 1634176 Brice Hutchcraft NMLS ID 1634177

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