Economic development corporation meeting held at courthouse
The Union County Economic Development Corporation, UCEDC, met Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro.
High school students from the Union County CEO program gave a presentation regarding their plans to produce a publication called “Hearing Our Hometown Heartbeat,” which will appear in a future edition of The Gazette-Democrat.
The students explained that businesses could contribute information for content in the insert and they have the opportunity to buy advertisements.
It was announced that several businesses, including Anna State Bank and Stegle Plumbing, have offered to underwrite the costs of Pumpkin Town.
The fundraising committee plans to meet once before the end of the year to plan for 2017.
The organization is looking to meet with Steve Hornbeak regarding Downtown Anna and an After Hours event.
Candy Eastwood, coordinator of the Shawnee Community College Center for Community and Economic Development, Cindy Cain, executive director of the Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau and Tabitha Smith, executive director of the Southernmost Illinois Delta Empowerment Zone, gave information about preparing Union County for the August 2017 solar eclipse.
The presentation focused on the opportunities the eclipse provides for local businesses. Some of the tips that were given include keeping prices low, expanding business hours and services, not starting a new business specifically for the eclipse, carrying promotional items, stressing customer service and more.
A regional website is intended to launch in the coming weeks that will promote 16 Southern Illinois counties for the eclipse.
The site, funded through the Delta Regional Authority, is slated to list all businesses in the area, including lodging, restaurants, attractions and shops. Business owners will be able to request a password to gain access to their portion of the site, allowing them to add more information and advertisements.
It is anticipated that use of the website will continue with modifications beyond the August 2017 eclipse.