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How Innovative Business Models Are Providing for Our Community During Social Distancing Period

As Elevate moves towards an open center to fully service our clients, a look at the real world application of innovative non-traditional business models in our community is helpful. Amid the current COVID-19 public safety concerns, one company is playing an important role in keeping our community safe and stimulating business for local restaurants who may be struggling due to the current closure of sit-in establishments through the end of the month.

Online service ‘DoorDash’ allows customers to order their food through their app or online which allows customers to order meals  without leaving their home. While this service has always enabled users to eat from restaurants in our area, it is especially relevant during this pandemic. For the elderly, disabled or parents tending to children who are home from school DoorDash provides food for many who could not otherwise support these restaurants or purchase food on their own in this time of need.

The following article was written by a Mattoon in Motion member when DoorDash first came to our area, and highlights the importance of business and economic development in our community.

“DoorDash

Mattoon In Motion would like to welcome DoorDash, the largest and fastest-growing on-demand destination for door-to-door delivery in more than 4,000 cities in the United States and Canada into our community. After winning the Google.org Impact Challenge Illinois grant, as a community, we are progressing our local economy by attracting new innovative business models and companies such as DoorDash.

After being contacted by a local restaurant inquiring about a food delivery service, Mattoon in Motion did a quick survey to several restaurants in the area. A number of them said they would be interested in utilizing a service such as DoorDash. Mattoon in Motion reached out to many other companies that provide food delivery services, many did not respond. DoorDash reached back out to us enthusiastically about coming to Mattoon/Charleston and stated that they advanced the schedule because of the achievement that the community has made and its goals towards the future.

We want to thank DoorDash for advancing their schedule and providing a needed service to our area that can support local restaurants, jobs, and citizens wanting to enjoy many of our local restaurants at home. If you would like more information about DoorDash visit https://www.doordash.com/

 Through the DoorDash platform, Dashers can work on their own schedule and enjoy flexible work opportunities to achieve their goals. If interested in onboarding as a Dasher to support the restaurant demand, view www.doordash.com/dasher/signup/  If interested in becoming a restaurant partner, visit https://www.doordash.com/merchant/apply 

And be sure to keep up to date with other projects Mattoon community is working on by visiting www.mattooninmotion.com

Services such as DoorDash provide economic stimulation to our community and provide jobs for many who benefit from its flexible scheduling model. While DoorDash mentions the achievements and goals recently made in our community as key factors in their decision to implement their service when they did it is important to continuously strive to improve the area in which we live. We at Elevate hope that this current situation will give birth to dreams of entrepreneurship for many who can use this opportunity to plan for the future.

In addition, the Mattoon Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of how local restaurants are continuing service in this current situation. This list is available on the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

As always, keep up to date with Elevate on social media, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC, Twitter and Instagram @elevate217

Construction Progress, Development

The History of Elevate: From Inception to Construction

Mattoon in Motion Robust Economy Committee was organized to “create a community of entrepreneurs who are passionate about developing their business.” As part of this initiative, Elevate CCIC, Inc. is supporting this goal by developing a grassroots economic development center that will encourage cross-collaboration of ideas and resources. To understand where Elevate is today, and our vision for the future, a look at our history is imperative.

Carlos Ortega, Executive Director
at Elevate CCIC, Inc.

In August 2019, Carlos Ortega accepted the Executive Director position at Elevate CCIC, Inc., the brainchild organization created by the Robust Economy Committee to encourage the growth of small business development in the Coles County area. Carlos says he took the position because he is “passionate about community development and supporting people with the resources they have available to them.” His experience with the Illinois State Senate, four years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and obtaining his MPP at Western Illinois University has prepared Carlos with the expertise needed to organize a center that brings the best parts of the community and region together.

As a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, Elevate is funded by the goodwill of investors who see the potential of a business incubation center in our community. In the early stages of the Elevate, three organizations supported the inception of our business incubation center through substantial grants and in-kind awards.

On February 15th, 2019, Elevate was awarded the Google.org Impact Challenge Illinois Grant and People’s Choice award for $325,000 to fund the full renovation of the center. As described by Google.org, “The Google.org Impact Challenge asks local nonprofit innovators and social entrepreneurs how they would make their community and beyond an even better place.” In alignment with the award granted by Google.org, Rural King provided Elevate with the open space in the Cross-County Mall to host our vision.

On August 5th, 2019, Elevate was awarded the Rural Business Development Grant by the United States Department of Agriculture. This $98,000 grant was able to fund the furnishing of the space as well as all equipment in the center. The USDA grant brings Elevate to its current position, awaiting the finishing touches on the construction of the center.

To find more information about Elevate’s vision, connect with us on LinkedIn @ Elevate CCIC, INC., Facebook @ElevateCCIC, Twitter and Instagram @elevate217

Construction Progress

Construction of Center Prompts Excitement

Elevate CCIC. would like to thank all who have contributed to the formation of our new business incubation center. Due to the recent hard work of our contractors, the center is getting closer to our eventual Grand Opening.

Contractors James, Tim and Jack (left to right) are working diligently to finish center.
Cafe style booths will allow entrepreneurs to work in a collaborative environment.

While much is still to be done before the center can officially open, the amount of progress that has been made is astounding. Throughout the last month projects such as the completion of two development areas have drawn interest to those working in the space.

The Unique multi-level work space will spark innovation.

Carlos Ortega, the executive director of Elevate, hopes that the layout will allow entrepreneurs to work in a unique way that does not resemble the traditional office environment. He says, “Elevate is designed to be an agile space where entrepreneurs can co-collaboratively build their brand.”

The decision to build Elevate with an open layout resembles a movement that has been adopted by many organizations in recent years in order to boost productivity and rethink how office communication should work.

Find out more about the construction of Elevate by searching Elevate CCIC on Facebook or LinkedIn and on Instagram or  Twitter @Elevate217

#Veterans, Development, Elevate Programs

Happy New Year 2020

Elevate is busy getting ready for the New Year. As we look forward, we want to thank all our supporters who have made Elevate CCIC, Inc. a reality. 

We are gearing up to be a hub of rural innovation for East Central Illinois. Our projected opening date will be early February 2020. With the development of Elevate, we aim to add to the positive growth already happening in our area.

Elevate is adding to this by continuing to develop relationships with existing entities from around the U.S. 

Our newest network partner is Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation, also known as Rural LISC. Rural LISC is one of the country’s largest organizations supporting projects to revitalize communities and bring greater economic opportunity to residents. They invest in affordable housing, better schools, safer streets, growing businesses and programs that connect people with financial opportunities. 

They provide the capital, strategy, and know-how to local partners to get this done.

Elevate CCIC, Inc. is proud to call Rural LISC our network partner. 

As Elevate CCIC, Inc., we will work with our area residents to create jobs and prepare residents to succeed in those jobs through our partners, supporters, and established institutions in the area. 

Through organizations such as Code Platoon, we aim to bring needed coding classes that work with regional veterans who desire to learn how to code. 

Through Lake Land College, full members of Elevate who are qualified may receive a tuition waiver for a 27-credit hour business development certificate. Also, through Lake Land, Elevate will provide access to Esri data and maps to support members with the tools they need to make data-driven decisions.  

We are proud to call Lake Land College, our partner. 

We are working to advance the entrepreneurial spirit in Coles County by supporting the development of the citizens and area together with our sponsors, collaborators, and partners.

We are grateful for all who have supported the idea and development of Elevate. Elevate is possible because of the continued support of individuals, the community, and innovative organizations.

Thank you all, and Happy New Year.

Uncategorized

Consolidated Communications is providing fiber-optic gigabit-speed internet.

We want to thank Consolidated Communications for being a supporter of Rural Communities and providing fiber-optic gigabit-speed internet access for Elevate CCIC, Inc.

Both Elevate and Consolidated Communications is passionate about making sure your data and private information is safe. 

“Consolidated Communications is a broadband service provider that services mostly rural areas.” Said, Bob Udell, President and COO  

Bob Udell stated, “We provide broadband to consumers, commercial customers, and even connections to wireless towers. We service everyone in the community and leverage these common assists to help rural communities connect to the internet.  We are passionate about living, working, playing, and raising the economic development in these communities.”

Matthew Daneman stated, “Numerous Americans don’t have access to Broadband, and fiber is often looked at to a solution in a lot of communities.”

 Mr. Udell, ” Fiber is the backbone of communications services. We are expanding that network and believe 5G will drive the additional fiber development.  But serving the end-user will take a mix of technologies that will solve connection challenges in rural America. This will raise the economic development prospect of these rural communities.”

Check out the full video here.

Consolidate Communications is very involved within the communities it services, and that is seen within Coles County and Elevate CCIC, Inc. 

When complete, Elevate is going to be a place where members can have secure 24/7 access to the fastest internet around.

We are excited that Consolidated Communications has partnered with Elevate CCIC, Inc. in providing fiber optic gigabit-speed internet for our center and participating in the development of the local economy.

If you do any business online or need consistent secure reliable internet, Elevate is your one stop shop for all your needs. Small and large rooms as well as conference rooms are available to rent.

If you would like more information please contact us today.

Uncategorized

Consider Giving to Elevate CCIC, Inc. today Tuesday December 3rd, 2019

Today is Giving Tuesday…

Elevate is working to create an environment where co-workers, small businesses, and individuals with the entrepreneurial spirit can obtain the resources to help them succeed. In Rural America, we often get left behind, but not anymore, with the support of the community Elevate is already becoming a success. With further support from individuals like you, Elevate will become a place where innovation can prosper, and ideas can become a reality.

Please Consider Donating today to help move Coles County and East Central Illinois forward by supporting us on this Giving Tuesday, 12/3/2019.

Donate Now

Please share this with others.

Let’s work together to build a brighter future.

Thank you.

Development, Elevate Programs

We are Thankful for our Community and Supporters.

Development of Elevate CCIC, INC. (Elevate)

The Development of Elevate has been a community-wide engagement from the beginning. Because of the support of the community, our dream has become a reality. We are well on our way to become a regional hub of entrepreneurship and business innovation. Our space will be a place where ideas can collide, and innovation can prosper.

If you are a Innovator, entrepreneur, remote worker, have an at-home business, or need assistance in starting your business venture, we are your one-stop location for all your needs. Conference rooms will be available to rent as well. Please see the membership plans for more information.

Be sure to stay tuned for our grand opening. Late January 2020.

Phase 1-

We are utilizing unused space provided by Rural King Americas Farm and Home Store in the Cross-County Mall to fully realize our dream of becoming a regional hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. With the help of the community, we won the Illinois Impact Challenge organized by Google.org which is providing the funds to develop our space. We later applied for and received a USDA grant which will provide the equipment for our center. Thank you again to all the community members who have made this possible. 

Before:

During

We are re-purposing the space in the mall for a more inviting feel. With open space to work, private offices, conference rooms to rent, gigabit-speed internet access provided by Consolidated Communications, and open 24/7. When complete there will be a place for everyone at Elevate. We believe this mixture of collaborative zones will increase productivity, whether you work alone or together.

Progress

The development of Elevate has been nonstop since we started. We are working on completing our space by January 2020, and our board is fully engaged in making sure Elevate CCIC, Inc. is here for years to come.

We are developing many connections to local, regional, country, and global partners. We are striving to do our best for those who utilize our space while providing access to resources to those who need it. Our programs such as ClassE, the Lake Land College Initiative, which will offer a tuition waiver for a 27 credit hour Business Development Certificate  for qualified full members of Elevate, and offering services from Code Platoon are just a few of the programs that we are providing in our space. Please see the about section for more information.

Phase 3

We are currently in phase 3, which is fundraising for a three-year operational budget. We are halfway there but still need your help. Please consider donating for giving Tuesday and contribute what you can today.

Donate Now

Follow our blog, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram to stay up to date on the development of Elevate.

We are grateful for our supporters and our community here in Coles County and beyond.

Thank you.