The DeKalb County Community Foundation is pleased to unveil a new grant program to enhance economic development progress for municipalities and communities in DeKalb County, IL, as part of an overall renewed commitment to support economic development throughout DeKalb County.
Community Economic Development Implementation Grants will help communities build upon the progress made by creating their community economic development plans or continuing additional economic development planning.
Committing a total of $300,000, each community is eligible to apply for a maximum of $20,000 over the life of the grant program, which is expected to last up to three years. Grant applications will be required to reference a recently completed community economic development plan and connect to recommended implementation projects within the plan.
Applications are currently accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed quarterly. Applicants must be either a municipality, an organization working in partnership with the municipality, or the county government. Interested applicants are encouraged to review grant guidelines and apply online.Review grant guidelines and apply >
“Our goal is to support local communities in economic development, build upon the planning process, and put plans into action,” said Teri Spartz, Community Engagement Director. “We hope this grant program provides momentum toward positive change.”
In 2016, the Community Foundation began emphasizing the importance of economic development planning through collaboration with various community partners and generous donors. The first round of Community Economic Development Grants was offered throughout DeKalb County to help fund planning and resulting implementation projects through a commitment of $300,000 of board-directed grant funds. As a result, several communities throughout the county renewed or kickstarted their local community and economic development planning efforts.
The Foundation remains committed to supporting economic development and creating an equitable opportunity for local communities. In addition to the implementation grant program, the Foundation is proud to support another participant in the work of economic development, the Community Champions Committee. This committee, which operates as part of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) and its comprehensive economic development strategy plan, includes representatives from every corner of the county. The Community Champions group meets in various locations around the county to share practices and ideas for everyone’s mutual benefit. Funding is utilized from the Foundation to cover the cost of meeting expenses.
“Being a member of the DeKalb County Community Champions Committee has indeed been an asset in my role of Village Trustee,” said Mike Constant, Community Champions member. “The group has provided a network of contacts, countywide information, new ideas, and collaboration on problem-solving that will continue to be of great benefit to the economic development of the Village of Hinckley.”
For questions or additional information on Community Economic Development Implementation Grants, please contact Teri Spartz at 815-748-5383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Learn more about Community Economic Development Implementation Grants >
Pictured: An Economic Development Grant to the town of Hinckley resulted in a community-led project by the Harvesting our Future group. The completed project showcases a mosaic mural using individual scenes from the history of Hinckley. The mural was unveiled on Saturday, October 23, 2021, during the inaugural Hinckley Arts Festival.