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June 22, 2018



University of Illinois Extension, with Champaign Public Library's Business Services LAUNCH at the Library, is hosting a three-hour workshop Tuesday, July 10th to introduce the USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant Program. SBIR encourages U.S. small businesses to submit for funding to support research and development of ideas that could be brought to the marketplace. SBIR was developed to stimulate technological innovation, provide seed capital for research and development, and increase private sector commercialization of innovations. Funding from SBIR provides funding to conduct research and development without requiring a business to give up equity or the rights to intellectual property. SBIR is not a loan, so applicants do not return the funding. Plus, they have the opportunity to obtain additional funding to continue the development of the technology.  REGISTER HERE to attend this FREE WORKSHOP.



As reported by the Urban Institute, national house prices in the first quarter of 2018 were 6.9% higher than in the first quarter of 2017, with house prices increasing over the year in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. (Changes have not been adjusted for inflation.) Nevada saw the largest price increase at 13.7%. Three other states saw prices increase more than 10.0%: Washington (13.1%), Idaho (11.1%), and Colorado (10.6%). In total, 34 states and the District of Columbia saw house prices increase 5.0% or more over the past year. House prices grew least over the year in West Virginia (0.9%) and Oklahoma (1.5%).



The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $3,016,500 million through Rural Development to improve water and wastewater infrastructure in rural areas of Illinois. “Rural prosperity is built on a foundation of reliable, modern infrastructure,” said Doug Wilson, USDA Rural Development State Director for Illinois. “We’re working with our partners and the communities they serve to ensure rural residents have the clean, safe water they need for health and community sustainability.” Funding through the Water and Waste Disposal program can be used to finance drinking water, storm water drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. Included in this Illinois investment are: the Village of Curran, receiving a $78,000 loan and $228,000 grant that will complete its sewer project so that residents will no longer need septic systems; the Kaskaskia Water District in St. Clair County, receiving a $650,000 loan on a project that includes renovations to an elevated storage tank, raw water intake, water transmission main, pump station and the water treatment plant itself; the North Morgan Water Cooperative, receiving a $1.2 million loan and $760,500 grant to construct an additional 32 miles of water line, serving 70 households in rural areas of Morgan County with safe, potable water; and the Clark-Edgar Rural Water District, receiving a $100,000 loan to complete the Stratton East phase of their project, extending water lines to serve 19 new users in Edgar County. For more information, visit



A new project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Southern Historical Collection (SHC) is making archive creation more accessible by offering resources that can easily launch community partners on memory projects. Called Archivist in a Backpack, it supplies compact kits with basic tools for oral history and material archives. “There’s this sense that there’s something arcane and a little mysterious about what it takes to preserve history,” said Josephine McRobbie, community archivist at SHC in the Wilson Special Collections Library. “Our experience is that history harvests are often the starter material that fuels larger archives aspirations in communities, and the backpacks contain what a citizen-historian might like to have to get started.” One kit is specifically for oral history interviews. While it has the expected audio recorder and tripod, it further assists DIY historians through interview question cards and a training guide from the Southern Oral History Program, as well as thank you cards to send participants. Another is designed for archival preservation and digitization of ephemera, whether photographs, letters, or diaries. A flatbed scanner, thumb drive for files, acid-free sleeves and folders, and cotton gloves for handling fragile photographs, are joined by user-friendly technical tips.




June 27, 2018 - Opioid Crisis Next Door (Workshop)

June 27, 2018 - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

                     July 10, 2018 – Rural Partners Showcase Lunch and Tour

July 22-25, 2018: Community Development Society Annual Conference

August 6-9, 2018: Midwest Community Development Institute