DCEO office presents to downtown Centralia businesses

May 19, 2023

Downtown businesses learned about grants, loans, tax credits, and technical assistance available through the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).

Business owners, bankers, developers, and community leaders were in attendance on Wednesday, May 3, for the monthly Downtown Business Group meeting held by the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce. The presenter was Kala Lambert, Southeast Regional Manager, for the DCEO Regional Economic Development office.

“It is very important for the businesses in Centralia to realize the high quality of resources that we have gained in the past few years, and the best ways to take advantage of these resources,” says Marcus Holland, Executive Director of the Centralia Chamber.

Kala Lambert explains that the DCEO programs fit into five buckets “Economic Development, Workforce Development, Tourism, Film and Community Development.”

The presentation primarily focused on funding sources for small businesses. Community development grants, workforce development grants, training grants, and COVID relief grants are available through DCEO. Business loans and tax incentives are also available to help offset lender risks as well as increase investment in new businesses and technologies in our region.

“Through the chamber of commerce, businesses have access to connecting with DCEO and other government agencies that have the sole purpose of helping businesses. Our members benefit through this shared knowledge with our ongoing communications and meetings. Business owners and decision makers should reach out if they need assistance and we can help point them in the right direction,” says Holland.

Centralia touches three separate regions within the DCEO Bureau of Regional Economic Development, with the majority of the community in the far corner of the Southeast Region. This region contains Marion, Clay, Richland, Lawrence, Fayette, Effingham, Jasper, Crawford, Cumberland, Clark, Moultrie, Coles, and Edgar counties.

The DCEO Regional Economic Development (Team RED) mission is to “promote economic development in the State of Illinois through attraction, retention, and expansion programs” and the objective is that “Team RED lives and works in the communities they serve and are charged with facilitating economic development efforts in their regions, in addition to providing communities with frontline access to state programs and services.”

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