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.
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.