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June 29, 2018



UI Extension’s Local Government Education (LGE) program is partnering with the Southeastern Alliance of Illinois and the Richland County Development Corporation to co-host a webinar by the Economic Innovation Group, presenting on the topic of Opportunity Zones.  The webinar is scheduled for July 25th at 10 AM.  The Opportunity Zone program is a new economic development program established by Congress in the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017.  This widely-supported program encourages long-term investment and job creation in low-income urban and rural communities, by allowing investors to re-invest unrealized capital gains in designated Opportunity Zones.  The webinar will cover an overview of the Opportunity Zone program explaining what it is and what it is not, how the program works, and what Opportunity Funds are allowed to invest in.  REGISTER HERE



University of Illinois Extension and Champaign Public Library is hosting a three (3) hour workshop on Tuesday, July 10th from 1-4PM.  The goal of the workshop is to inform and encourage small businesses to engage in funded research and development through the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program.  Small businesses participating in SBIR receive many benefits including funding to conduct the research and development without giving up equity in their company or the rights to their intellectual property. SBIR awardees have the opportunity to obtain additional funding to continue the development of their innovations and technology.  Anyone who has a novel idea, who owns or wants to start a business, or who supports business development can REGISTER HERE!



The Midwest Community Development Institute (Midwest CDI) August 6 – 9 in Moline provides top-notch training to those actively engaged in building a vibrant and better community. Participants include development professionals, community leaders, public officials, and entrepreneurs. Participating in CDI and meeting additional criteria also provides an opportunity to add to your credentials. You can earn certification as a Professional Community and Economic Developer (PCED) from the Community Development Council, (CDC) a nonprofit organization founded in 1995 to promote the advancement of standards of competence for community development professionals through accreditation of community development educational programs and professional certification. Register at Questions? Contact Sandy Wittig at (309) 298-2637 or (800) 526-9943, or



The Illinois Rural Health Association (IRHA) will host its 29th Annual Educational Conference August 8th-9th at the Hilton Garden Inn Champaign.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Breaking Down Barriers to Success.” The conference is an opportunity for rural healthcare administrators and clinicians to advance their professional skills, while networking and learning best practices from their counterparts throughout the state. Attendees will have over 20 concurrent workshops to choose from over the two-day conference, which are all geared towards rural practice including Emergency Preparedness Plan Compliance, NFPA Active Shooter Standards, Addressing the Opioid Crisis through Telehealth, Improving Care for the Aging Population, Overcoming Rural Recruitment Challenges and Regional Approaches to Population Health. Online registration and full conference brochure can be found at




July 10, 2018 - SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) Workshop

July 10, 2018 – Rural Partners Showcase Lunch and Tour (Contact:, or call (217) 529-6503).

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

July 25, 2018 - Opportunity Zones (Webinar Series)

August 6-9, 2018 - Midwest Community Development Institute

August 8-9, 2018 - IRHA (Illinois Rural Health Association) 29th Annual Educational Conference