Local News

Carroll County Mirror Democrat
Visit www.mycarrollcountynews.com for the latest news for Mount Carroll, Illinois and the surrounding area. 

Prairie Advocate
Visit www.shawlocal.com/prairie-advocate for the latest news from the Prairie Advocate.

Grant Awarded to Economic Growth for the Shimer Square Project
  • Shimer Square Early Childhood Development Center Grant
  • Shimer Square Economic Development Grant
Grant Awarded To Economic Growth For The Shimer Square Project
Shimer Square Early Childhood Development Center Grant
Early Childhood Development Center at Shimer Square ?

GROWTH was awarded an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for its Shimer Square Job and Daycare Creation Project that will be used to help construct a new daycare facility on the campus. Total project costs exceed $1.8 million. Pending the results of the survey, construction is anticipated to begin in 2023. The effort is also anticipated to create 27 jobs that are accessible to residents within the region.
Shimer Square is a multi-phased, mixed-use development by GROWTH that encompasses a mixture of housing, business, and community facilities. Family friendly services such as quality childcare can contribute to an environment of work-life support and can help raise the profile and attractiveness of Mount Carroll and Shimer Square.  It is well known that existing childcare centers in the community have been operating at capacity for years with a long waiting list. 
In January 2023, GROWTH sought to hire a consultant to conduct a childcare feasibility study.  The City of Mount Carroll agreed to fund the required market study early in 2023 and GROWTH commissioned Triangle 2 Solutions, an experienced childcare center market analyst, to investigate the potential services and physical space that will be needed for a new childcare center and early childhood programs to serve the area. The assessment will determine and ultimately enable GROWTH to successfully develop a new construction, childcare facility at its Shimer Square campus.

For more information on Shimer Square and the Childcare Development Center effort, please visit http://www.shimersquare.com/early-childhood-development-center.html .

Follow Economic Growth Corporation on Facebook for more information.
Shimer Square Economic Development Grant
Grant Awarded to Shimer Square

Logo_PritzkerOffice of the Governor

JB Pritzker
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021


Gov. Pritzker Announces $16.5 Million in Economic Development Grants to Spur Regional Investment

Rebuild Illinois Funded Regional Economic Development Grants to Support a Wide Range of Projects and Drive Total $75 Million Investment in Communities Across the State

CHICAGO – Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced $16.5 million in Rebuild Illinois capital grants have been awarded to fuel continued economic development across the state. Through the Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development program, or RIRED, DCEO is providing grants for 11 new projects that will unlock a total $75.5 million investment, while creating at least 1,465 jobs statewide.

“These projects are focused on supporting key, long-term economic development priorities for our state – and doing so with an eye for boosting investment in communities that previously were too often overlooked,” said Governor Pritzker. “I’m proud that $16.5 million in state funding will create nearly 1,500 jobs across the state through our Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development program. These local investments are yet another milestone on our journey toward the Illinois we’re committed to building – where no resident is left behind.”

A component of the Governor’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program, the RIRED program was implemented last year to generate long-term investment in communities by harnessing key priorities for economic growth as outlined in the Governor’s 5-year plan for economic growth – a blueprint for creating jobs, boosting investment in underserved communities, and leveraging growth in regional industry clusters.

“The RIRED program is about economic growth and inclusion,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “RIRED is a model for the nation and illustrates how collaborative action can create new jobs and improve economic development in underserved communities.”

“Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, DCEO is committed to bringing forward capital projects that will strengthen local economies, create new jobs and advance development in key industries as outlined in our 5-year economic growth plan,” said Sylvia Garcia, Acting Director of DCEO. “Through the RIRED program, we are proud to award these 11 new projects that will do just that. Looking ahead, our Department remains focused on strategic deployment of capital through our historic Rebuild Illinois program that will help spark investment in communities across the state.”

The average grant size awarded is $1.5 million, with all projects focused on supporting key economic development priorities for the state – including quality of life enhancements and job creation derived through major public works projects, roadway construction and development of brand new community resources, including recreation programming in LaSalle County, a business incubator in Chicago, and a new medical center serving Jefferson County.

Projects selected for grants include:

  • Bourdeau-Griffin Interiors & Architectural Supplies, Inc., Chicago – Business Hub and Development Center - $1,901,518
  • City of Effingham – Street expansion/water & sewer improvements to serve expansion of manufacturing facility - $1,464,019
  • City of Geneva – New Electrical Substation in preparation for industrial development of adjacent properties - $1,270,017
  • City of Monmouth – Municipal Water System Upgrades in support of expansion and modernization of business - $2,000,000
  • City of Quincy –Quincy Regional Barge Dock Improvements to elevate above flood stage - $743,200
  • Naperville Heritage Society, Naperville – New Visitor Center and Exhibition at Naper Settlement Museum - $765,000
  • New Med Diagnostics, Jefferson County – New Medical Facility – $1,615,366
  • Omni Ecosystems, Chicago – Green Infrastructure and business incubator - $2,000,000
  • Ottawa Young Men's Christian Association, Ottawa – New YMCA Facility including health care facility and classroom space - $1,990,880
  • Rock Island Economic Growth Corporation (DBA Economic Growth Corporation (GROWTH), Rock Island – Adaptive reuse of former Shimer College Campus for a business development education center for low-to-moderate income persons and affordable housing - $1,500,000
  • Village of Schaumburg –Public access road and bike path connecting major businesses to Metra Station- $1,250,000
Governor Pritzker joined the community today at Omni Ecosystems, a woman-owned green infrastructure company located in Bronzeville. Leveraging a Rebuild Economic Development grant of $2 million, the company will launch its next phase of development, with $7.2 million plans to expand office and co-working space for community businesses. This project will help convert a 50,000 square foot industrial manufacturing site and will create a total of 280 new jobs for the community.

“We are deeply grateful for this generous Rebuild Illinois grant funding, and for this vote of confidence from the State of Illinois. Omni Ecosystems’ work, and the work of our partners at Hatch 41 coworking, is wholly aligned with developing a workforce and creating economic growth in cutting-edge industries, including those critical to mitigating and adapting to climate change,” said Molly Meyer, CEO and Founder of Omni Ecosystems.  “The Rebuild Illinois Regional Economic Development grant will provide critical capital infrastructure funding, transforming a currently underutilized manufacturing site on the South Side of Chicago into a source of economic advancement, so that Omni and our neighbors can invest in people and in inclusive economic opportunity.”

“I couldn’t think of a better project for Rebuild Illinois than renovating a 98-year old bottling facility to invest in green infrastructure and business incubation in Bronzeville,” said Rep. Lamont Robinson (D-Chicago). “Because of the Pritzker Administration’s efforts, this investment will serve as an economic engine in the neighborhood by providing space for nearly 20 organizations in the community to develop and grow.”

“This Rebuild Illinois investment leverages $18 million to expand community space, access to healthcare, and recreation for residents across the Illinois Valley,” said Rep. Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa). “The Ottawa YMCA will revitalize the riverfront by bringing a much-needed community center near the heart of city, building on everything that makes Ottawa great place to live and raise a family.”

"Transit is the lifeblood our economy, so I am grateful for Governor Pritzker’s investment in the pedestrian, bike, and car access to the Schaumburg Metra station,” said Rep. Michelle Mussman, (D-Schaumburg).  “This project will create over 485 jobs, expand regional infrastructure, and increase opportunities for local businesses to succeed. This is a major step forward for the Schaumburg community.”

“The Quincy Regional Barge Dock is open for business all year-round, and I can’t think of a better investment for Western Illinois than helping it succeed,” said Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy). “With this Rebuild Illinois investment in our port, the City of Quincy will be able to operate longer during flooding and create the multimodal infrastructure needed to succeed in the 21st Century economy.”

"Thanks to Rebuild Illinois, the City of Geneva will be able to expand industry and capacity for economic growth with upgrades to their electric substation,” said Sen. Karina Villa, (D-West Chicago).  “By supporting essential utilities for the development of this 211-acre parcel, the City will be putting infrastructure in place to attract and create over hundreds of jobs. This is the kind of opportunity that business, residents and workers need right now.”

“Gerald Griffin and Frantzie Bourdeau-Griffin are truly trailblazers in the West Chatham community, already having succeeded in the worlds of art, design, and architecture. Now they are expanding their Bourdeau-Griffin Design Center to share their knowledge and success by creating a hub for interior designers, architects, contractors, artists, business owners and buyers on the Southside,” said Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago). “Rebuild Illinois is making an incredible investment in Black-owned businesses, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

Local governments, economic development organizations, non for profits, as well as private entities were invited to apply for funding through the RIRED program. Projects eligible for funding were required to demonstrate a long-term public use benefit. Scoring was based on Project Impact, Creation of Jobs, Regional Benefit, Regional Support, and Project Readiness.

All projects awarded will adhere to minority business participation requirements of the State of Illinois' Business Enterprise Program (BEP) and will make way for local hiring requirements through the Illinois Works program.

All new projects are supported by Rebuild Illinois - Governor Pritzker's historic $45 billion, 5-year capital program.  DCEO has been charged with spearheading a number of Rebuild Illinois programs, including investments to expand broadband capacity, fund new public works projects, incentivize business development, and other initiatives designed to promote economic growth for all communities across the state.