Why Elevate is needed:
Mattoon and surrounding communities are currently losing many entrepreneurs who choose to relocate to larger urban areas due to lack of support services or space for startups. Over the last six years, the county has lost the Small Business Development Center office, the SCORE volunteer organization, and Eastern Illinois University’s Business Outreach Center. As a result of this and other issues plaguing Illinois, the population in Coles County is declining and losing young people to larger cities that supposedly have more to offer.
The loss of business was identified as one of the top five concerns during the city’s recent visioning process called Mattoon in Motion (MIM). This community volunteer organization identified economic and business development as one of its top goals. They began to explore ways to start new businesses, create jobs, and retain talent in the area.
Creation of Elevate will help solve this concern by providing a “hub” that is centrally located and viable for local entrepreneurs and innovators to access the resources they need to turn their ideas into reality.
As Elevate grows, we predict that it will be a driving force that will produce 50% more new patents in our area within the first three years of operation.
We’ve received a number of letters of support for our project.
When completed Elevate CCIC, Inc. will:
- Be a space where all age groups can come together to support each other’s business endeavors.
- Be open 24/7 and can be accessed with a keycard when not manned.
- Be a place where members have access to professionals such as accountants, lawyers, and bankers in the area that can help answer questions they may have.
- Include business support services which have since left this area due to funding cuts by the state.
- Be the new home of Class E students who are working towards becoming the next generation of entrepreneurs in Coles County.
- Be a cool/ safe hangout for entrepreneurs who want a new place to learn.
- Be a place for innovation.
We have researched different business incubators in Illinois and are utilizing what we have learned to make sure Elevate is a comfortable place to get work done.
- A multipurpose facility for gatherings and innovative ideas.
- Space ready for further development and finishing.
- All basic communications in place for small businesses to utilize.
- HVAC, restrooms, electrical will be up and running.
- Drywall in place primed but not finished.
- Fiber optic, gigabit speed internet access.
- Polished concrete floor.
- Completed work-space.
- Finished interior design.
- Glass walls installed for aesthetic.
- Build out complete including; conference rooms/teleconferencing equipment/privacy booths for interaction with clients and conferencing capabilities.
- A community facing co-work space complete and ready for partnerships.
- Business mail boxes and business center available for use.
- Complete installation of furniture elements, coffee/breakfast bar, and presentation screens.
- Partnerships with local support services.
- Classes held for Class E students.
- We will offer a monthly or bi-monthly programming on informational business seminars that will support and help small business development.
- The naming of offices which will reflect the involvement of community partners while supporting the business incubator.
- Civic community engagement working with clubs such as Rotary/ Kiwanis/Exchange/Lions.
- Continued fundraising until the center becomes self-sustaining.
The Proposed location of our space will be located in the Cross County Mall