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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