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March 8, 2019



How the U.S. Census will invite everyone to respond

Nearly every U.S. household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or a census worker. Most areas of the country are likely to respond online, so most households will receive a letter asking you to go online to complete the census questionnaire. Less than 1% of households will be counted in person by a census taker; almost 5% of households will receive their census invitation when a census taker drops it off; and 95% of households will receive their census invitation in the mail. If you miss the initial letter in the mail, every household which hasn’t already responded with receive reminders and will eventually receive a paper questionnaire. For more information, visit the U.S. Census website.



The Hamilton Project’s Vitality Index is a measure of a place’s economic and social wellbeing. It combines a county’s median household income, poverty rate, unemployment rate, prime-age employment rate, life expectancy, and housing vacancy rate. In this map, blue counties have higher vitality scores and yellow counties have lower scores. Darker counties have higher populations. The interactive is based on a paper (The Geography of Prosperity) and enables users to explore—down to the state and county level—where and how places are struggling or thriving throughout the US. Gaps in employment rates, along with gaps in other variables like life expectancy and poverty rates, are immediately evident when comparing thriving places like Denver, Colorado with struggling places like Dayton, Ohio. Americans in many ways experience a different economy based on where they live, generating substantial gaps in life outcomes. The typical household income in the wealthiest 20% of counties is more than twice that in the poorest 20%, and that gap increased substantially from 1980 to 2017. Poverty rates are three times higher in the poorest 20% of counties compared to the top counties. Life expectancy is six years longer in top performing counties than those at the bottom. To put this gap into context, it has taken about four decades for U.S. life expectancy to rise six years, so the gap across counties is the equivalent of four decades of progress.



SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the impact America's Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) on the success of our nation's dreamers, innovators, and doers - America's small businesses. SBDC Day is Wednesday, March 20, 2019. SBDC Day will unite the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve by sharing, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will be celebrated with social media campaigns, public relations initiatives, online and in-person events and more. Illinois Small Business Development Centers are located throughout the state and provide information, confidential business guidance, training and other resources to start-up and existing small businesses. To learn more about what your local SBDC is doing to celebrate, locate them here.



Developing a Creative Economy, Thursday, March 14 at Noon (CST), will share how community leaders can foster a culture that appreciates and supports the creative business endeavors of residents, including those living in low-resource households. Creative entrepreneurs include artists, designers, musicians, boutique retailers, specialty food producers, and other creative enterprises. The webinar will address how a community can support business development from local entrepreneurs as they create start-ups and informal grassroots, “micro-activities” that contribute to the local economy. Accessing new markets and distribution channels allows creative entrepreneurs to test their markets while providing a unique shopping experience for consumers, increased opportunities for local tourism, and revenue generation for both the business and the community.



March 14 (Webinar) - Developing a Creative Economy

March 21-22 - 2019 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference

May 16 (Belleville) - Southern Illinois Volunteerism Conference

June 5 (Springfield) - Central Illinois Volunteerism Conference

July 14-17 (Columbia, MO) - Community Development Society Annual Conference

August 12-15 (Moline) - Midwest Community Development Institute