State-Funded Matching for Illinois Applicants Will Increase Competitiveness for Federal Grants

federal grant support program

CHICAGO – Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today launched a $15 million Federal Grant Support Program to assist Illinois-based businesses and organizations seeking federal grants that align with the State’s economic development objectives. The state-funded grant match program will encourage more Illinois-based businesses, organizations, and local governments to apply for federal grants while increasing their competitiveness by committing state dollars.

“For far too long, extraordinary Illinois businesses and organizations have struggled to secure federal grants simply because they didn’t have a matching funder. Today, that all changes,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “In partnership with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, my administration’s Federal Grant Support Program won’t just help Illinois businessowners obtain federal funding, but will also advance the economic development of our entire state.”

Competitive federal grants typically require a match, which is the non-federal share of the project costs that a grantee must contribute. Additionally, in cases where matching funds aren’t required, applicants with matching funding often receive additional points during the competitive review processes for federal grants. The State’s Federal Grant Support Program commits matching funds of up to $2 million for entities applying for federal grants that align with Illinois’ economic development goals and priorities. This enables Illinois entities to meet minimum eligibility requirements for federal grants and makes them more competitive during the review process.

“With federal funding widely available in a variety of sectors, DCEO is committed to helping businesses and organizations obtain funding in support of our shared goals,” said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. “Matching programs such as the Federal Support Grant Program will give Illinoisans a critical advantage to secure federal funding and bolster economic development throughout Illinois.”

The grant is open to Illinois entities applying for federal grants in support of projects that are broadly aligned with Illinois’ economic development goals and priorities, including projects that support long-term economic growth, projects focused on reducing the equity gap, efforts to attract more workers and businesses to Illinois, and more.

“Federal agencies play a major role in our region’s economy – whether it is the latest clean energy research, advanced manufacturing, or healthcare innovation, Illinois has it all,” said Sen. Laura Ellman (D-Naperville). “There has never been a better time to access federal grants, and I know this will help push our most innovative projects over the edge.”

Eligible applicants will apply for the match program while they are preparing an application for a federal grant. Successful applicants will receive a letter of commitment for State funding that they can include in their federal grant application. The State’s grant award is contingent upon applicants being selected to receive the federal grant award. Local governments, small businesses, and nonprofit, for-profit, and educational organizations seeking federal grants are eligible to apply for matching grants.

“Our universities and communities can thrive on federal grants, and the impact it has on our companies are enormous,” said Sen. Paul Faraci (D-Champaign). “The opportunities for education, innovation, and economic development are endless.”

Through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), qualified entities can apply for up to $2 million in matching grants. Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until available funds are depleted. Projects located in underserved areas or low-income communities will receive additional points during the review process. To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit the DCEO website. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to for application assistance.

“During our budget process, we prioritize making sure that we are able to bring home every federal dollar possible,” said Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates). “I am very happy to see DCEO put forward this opportunity so our communities can compete in a national arena.”

The State of Illinois is committed to helping Illinois’ businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions maximize available federal dollars. This includes the matching grant program for businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs – designed to spur innovation in cutting edge technologies. Additionally, the State recently announced Innovate Illinois – a public-private partnership to increase collaboration to maximize the State’s efforts to secure funding through the CHIPS and Science Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

“I’m proud that my district has recently benefited from significant federal investment, with the Pullman National Historic Park bringing hundreds of thousands of visitors to the South Side every year,” said Rep. Nicholas K. Smith (D-Chicago). “Federal support can make a difference in every community, and I want to thank Governor Pritzker for making this a priority.”

DuPage County Ranked Healthiest County in Illinois for Third Consecutive Year

Healthiest County

The DuPage County Health Department is pleased to announce for the third consecutive year, DuPage County has been ranked the healthiest county in Illinois according to the 2023 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. The county rankings, developed annually by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, are based on quality-of-life factors such as longevity and overall health status, including physical and mental health.

The county rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot that compares counties within states, demonstrating that where you live influences how well and how long you live.

“Being ranked as the healthiest county in Illinois for three consecutive years is a testament to the outstanding work of our Health Department, healthcare systems, and other providers in the County. Their efforts do not go unnoticed, and we are grateful for their dedication to providing access to healthcare and ensuring our residents can live the healthiest lives possible,” said DuPage County Board Chair Deb Conroy.

The rankings use more than 30 measures to help communities understand how healthy their residents are today (Health Outcomes) and what will impact their health in the future (Health Factors), which are used to measure the current overall health of each county in all 50 states. DuPage County has ranked number one in both categories since 2021 among the 102 counties in Illinois.

“We are grateful to be recognized again, as the healthiest county in Illinois by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.” Said Sam Tornatore, President, DuPage County Board of Health. “We thank our partners with whom we work in collaboration to maintain the health of our residents every day.”

To see the full 2023 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps report, visit

“The measures included in the County Health Rankings only tell a portion of the story, but we know there are many influences affecting how a person experiences health. At the DuPage County Health Department, we want to understand the stories and experiences in addition to the data,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director of the DuPage County Health Department. “To accomplish this, we create meaningful relationships with our community partners to understand the barriers to health for all residents and work in partnership with those organizations to address health inequities. We understand not every resident in DuPage County does not experience optimal health, and so our work must continue.”

The healthiest county ranking is due to both the high-quality healthcare systems and services available to DuPage County residents, and, in part, to the robust county-wide and local-level partnerships. This includes Impact DuPage, a group of organizations, including DCHD, committed to creating a common understanding of community needs, gaps, and priorities that will advance the well-being of the DuPage County community. Impact DuPage has created a best-practice model for community assessment and community collaboration.

Examples of efforts to address these issues through Impact DuPage include the ongoing efforts of:

  • The DuPage County Heroin/Opioid Prevention and Education (HOPE) Taskforce and Prevention Leadership Team, to address substance use and mental health needs of residents.
  • The Behavioral Health Collaborative (BHC) to improve the access and quality of behavioral health services for all DuPage County residents.
  • The Healthy Equity and Access Response Team (HEART), which works to reduce health disparities through increasing health equity among DuPage County residents.
  • The DuPage Early Childhood Collaboration (DECC) to ensure that every child enters kindergarten safe, healthy, ready to succeed, and eager to learn.

For the most up-to-date information on Impact DuPage and additional community coalitions, please visit

DCHD and our many partners across the county remain committed to the health of its residents and values the information provided by the 2023 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps. It is only through efforts, at every level, working together, that we can make DuPage County a healthier place for everyone to live, learn, work, and play.

Glenn Mazade Named Private Sector Co-Chair of Choose DuPage Board

Choose DuPage is pleased to announce Glenn Mazade, senior vice president at Old National Bank, has been named private sector co-chair of the Choose DuPage Economic Development Alliance, joining Chairman of DuPage County Board and Public Sector Co-Chair Dan Cronin. Mazade will serve as elected private sector co-chair for a two-year term.

“There are nearly 90,000 businesses in DuPage County that represent almost 620,000 jobs. Having an organization like Choose DuPage focusing on the retention and expansion of these businesses, while also attracting new businesses, is critical to the success of DuPage County,” said Mazade. “I’m proud to be working alongside public- and private-sector leaders to advance DuPage County as a premier global business location.”

Mazade has been with Old National Bank since 2019. Based in the Westmont office, he focuses on assisting family-owned, closely held businesses and organizations reach their financial goals. In addition to his involvement with Choose DuPage, Mazade serves on the Board of Directors for Metropolitan Family Services and Co-Chairs the Woodridge Neighbors Helping Neighbors Disaster Recovery Organization.

“As public sector co-chair of Choose DuPage I am pleased to work with Glenn Mazade to support economic growth in our region. Glenn has demonstrated his commitment to Choose DuPage and our economic development efforts for many years, including being integrally involved with our Small Business Relief Programs and strategic planning. Glenn’s knowledge and experience will be a significant asset to Choose DuPage and will greatly benefit our business and government partners,” said The Honorable Dan Cronin, chairman of the DuPage County Board and public-sector co-chair of Choose DuPage.

Mazade assumes the position of private-sector co-chair following Hugh Elliott, a principal shareholder at Dugan + Lopatka CPAs. Elliott served as private-sector co-chair for two years from 2020-2022.

In addition to Mazade being named private sector co-chair, Karyn Charvat of PowerForward DuPage has been named private sector vice chair; Mike Roth of Ice Miller LLP has been named secretary; and Suzanne Pittacora of Corterra Solutions has been named treasurer. To view a full list of board members, click here.

Recognition in Sustainability

Sustainable DuPage

On April 21, 2022, Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division hosted a Zoom & Learn as part of an ongoing, Sustainable DuPage program series. In the webinar, we learned how businesses can achieve recognition and accolades for sustainable practices. We also discussed the opportunities that exist and the impact it can have on your business. 


Audrie Hicks Washington, Environmental Protection Specialist,
Energy Star Program Lead
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Region 5

Paul Feith, President
Paul Gregory Media, a Certified B Corporation

Ben Mjolsness, Sustainability Coordinator
City of Naperville

View Speaker Bios

View Webinar

Sustainable DuPage Program Series

In honor of Earth Month 2022 (April), Choose DuPage and the DuPage County Environmental Division have partnered to host a series of sustainability-focused events. Featuring fresh topics and guest speakers every Thursday in April, this series covers topics at the intersection of business, economic development, life, and sustainability, while focusing on the DuPage region. By bringing together local thought-leaders and influential members of the community, we hope to spark new connections and fresh thinking as we all work toward a brighter future—for our planet and for DuPage.

Sustainable DuPage

Illinois Ranks Third in Nation for Corporate Investment

480 projects accounted for 21,000 jobs and $3.5B in investment in 2021

Illinois ranks third in the nation for number of corporate expansion and relocation projects in 2021 in Site Selection’s annual Governor’s Cup report on economic development efforts across the country. The publication noted 480 Illinois projects in 2021 accounting for 21,000 jobs and $3.5B in investment, moving the state up from the number four spot in the previous year’s rankings.

“Companies want to be in Illinois to take advantage of our central location and productive workforce,” said Intersect Illinois CEO Dan Seals. “These rankings also reflect our focus on key industries like electric vehicles and healthcare, where Illinois has particular strengths.”

The issue also named the Chicago metropolitan area as the Top Metro for corporate investment for areas with populations over 1 million for the 9th straight year. The magazine sites food, e-commerce, manufacturing, life sciences and tech as being drivers for nationwide growth and notes that the Chicago region’s diverse economy makes it well-positioned to accommodate projects in these sectors.

“Illinois is the best place to live, work and do business and our state continues to be a national leader when it comes to having the ingredients businesses need to succeed,” said Sylvia I. Garcia, Acting Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity. “Under Governor Pritzker’s leadership, Illinois continues to be a leader in world class talent, strong infrastructure and high quality of life.”

“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection.

Site Selection’s yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” To qualify, projects must meet one or more of these criteria: investment of $1M or more, creation of 20 or more new jobs or 20,000 sq. ft. or more of new space.

INTERSECT ILLINOIS is the statewide economic development organization focused on bringing new jobs and investment to the state. Intersect collaborates with industry, academic and government partners throughout the state. To date, Intersect Illinois has helped bring over 15,800 jobs and $4.7 billion in investment to Illinois.

How Diversity Creates Business Opportunities in DuPage

diversity in business

What makes a city, county or region a good place for a business expansion or business relocation?

Or how about a more basic question: What makes an economy strong?

While you may think that the answer to that second question is obvious, the world in which economies operate has changed drastically, as has our definition of economic strength.

Understanding how that definition has changed—and what makes for a strong economy in the 2020’s—is critical to finding the right place to grow your business.

Why Top Economies Have Shifted from Specialization to Diversity

Let’s start with the definition: What is a strong economy?

If you asked someone a century ago, they would probably point you to a place like Detroit, where the city’s economy was almost entirely driven by the automotive industry.

At the time, they were correct: Globalization wasn’t nearly as sophisticated as it is now, supply chains were simpler, and, in general, markets changed at a slower rate. By specializing in a single industry—or, in the case of many “factory towns” across America, a single business—a region could focus its workforce, recruiting efforts, education and resources on that industry. By doing so, they could outcompete other regions in that space.

Clearly, this is no longer the case. The collapse of Detroit’s automotive industry was shocking. However, after seeing much the same occur in factory town after factory town across America, it isn’t altogether surprising that a region couldn’t afford to be so specialized.

The Detroit automotive industry was robust and, in its heyday, untouchable. But its greatest strength in the 20th century—an acute focus on a single sector—proved to be a fatal flaw in the 21st.

Why is this? Why is extreme specialization no longer the hallmark of a strong economy? And what economic models have arisen to dethrone it?

The short answer is that everything is more connected than it has ever been. Our world economy is no longer divided into distinct regions; it’s globalized. The economy is like a three-dimensional spider web, where every point is connected to every other through complex and layered networks—AKA supply chains—that are often hard to see and harder to unravel. When a disruption occurs along one strand, it’s felt across all the others.

This is why it feels like change is occurring at such a rapid pace. It’s not necessarily that more change is occurring—though it may be—but that we feel every vibration.

The End of the Factory Town

Not surprisingly, the economies that flourish in today’s intricately connected markets are often the opposite of those that dominated yesterday’s siloed economies. While the image of a robust economy in America was once the “factory town”—a place where a single business or small group of businesses dominated the local economy—today’s most successful economies are characterized by their diversity.

What makes these diverse economies so powerful is that they have the flexibility to withstand fluctuations in today’s global economy, where markets experience disruptions at a greater frequency.

When a disruption occurs, more rigid economies tend to succeed or snap, either experiencing a boom period or giving way beneath the pressure. Diverse economies react differently. When a disruption occurs, certain sub-sectors may be negatively impacted; however, others may flourish within the new conditions, and their success will uphold the economy at large.

Rather than watching the market fearfully, hoping it will turn in their favor, diverse economies focus on succeeding within whatever conditions they are given, knowing their flexibility will keep them resilient through whatever change comes their way.

DuPage County: Diverse, Resilient and Ready

One example of an area with the economic diversity and resiliency to succeed in today’s market is DuPage County, Illinois.

Located just west of Chicago, DuPage is home to thousands of businesses from a wide range of industries. And while certain sectors—like healthcare, manufacturing and data centers—play a leading role in the region’s economy, no single industry represents more than 10% of the area’s GDP. No single sector dominates DuPage.

Instead, it’s the diversity of industries—as well as the conditions that help attract, retain and grow businesses—that make DuPage County a resilient economy today with a promising outlook for tomorrow.

There are numerous factors driving the success of DuPage’s diverse economy. There’s the strategic location; DuPage is located at the heart of a global freight gateway, a hub where numerous supply chains intersect at three international airports, the nation’s busiest rail gateway, the largest inland port in North America, and several major interstates.

There’s the high quality of life, with beautiful neighbors alongside culturally rich downtowns and some of the best school systems in the nation.

And there’s the commercial collaboration. DuPage businesses have a proud history of working together to solve shared problems and help one another reach their goals. Since the pandemic, those bonds have only strengthened, as businesses across the region work together, alongside community organizations like Choose DuPage, to solve supply chain challenges.

However, the factor that has most influenced—and has been influenced by—DuPage’s diverse economy is its workforce ecosystem.

Workforce Opportunities in DuPage

DuPage is home to more than 640,000 workers representing a wide range of education levels, skillsets, and industry specialties. There is also a massive talent pool accessible in nearby Chicago and other surrounding areas.

But it’s not only the size or even the diversity of the DuPage workforce that makes it so well-suited for the DuPage economy. It’s the entire ecosystem of talented individuals, national-caliber educational institutions, businesses, and organizations—like Innovation DuPage—that help bridge the gap between talent and employers.

The synergy between the businesses, talent and institutions forms the foundation of DuPage’s resilient, sustainable economy. Its impact can be seen across DuPage’s leading sectors, including:

  • Healthcare and Social Assistance (employing 74,000+ workers)
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services (employing 60,000+)
  • Retail Trade (employing 55,000+)
  • Food Processing & Distribution (employing 11,700+)
  • Administrative and Support, and Waste Management and Remediation Services (employing 54,000+)
  • Manufacturing (employing 54,000+)
  • Data Centers (with a 3.4% annual growth rate, the Chicagoland Region is ranked the #2 metro in the United States for this market)

How to find new business sites in DuPage

Looking for new business sites or business expansion sites in DuPage County, Illinois?

Choose DuPage has a number of resources to help:

View and learn more about some of the top sites in DuPage County on our featured properties page.

Explore an 800-acre West Chicago campus designed for a variety of sectors—including manufacturing, office, data centers and more—on our DuPage Business Center page.

Or, for assistance with site selection, business plans and expansion strategies, submit a Request Information form here.

Prairie Food Co-op Launches Naming Opportunities as Part of it’s Community Investment Program to Fund Storefront

Prairie Food Co-op raised over $1 million from the DuPage community as part of it’s nine-week spring Community Investment Program. To build upon that success, Prairie Food Co-op has added unique Naming Opportunities for local organizations, businesses, and benefactors to leave a lasting legacy as part of it’s fall Community Investment campaign.

“Maybe you’re an avid bicyclist and want to put your name on our bicycle rack. Or you’re a local brewer or wine enthusiast and would love for people to think of you when they enjoy a local brew? Consider putting your name on our Beer and Wine section! Or if you value community education and engagement, a great place for your name would be in our indoor cafe and classroom,” says Outreach Coordinator, Jerry Nash.

Prairie Food Co-op has been organizing since 2012 to open a community-owned, full service grocery store that will focus on selling local, organic, and sustainably produced food to retain and generate wealth within the local economy, employ 35-50 local residents, and spawn 10-12 new food-centric small businesses.

“Prairie Food Co-op will be a bright beautiful grocery store where anyone can shop. In addition to a weekly trip to stock your pantries, Prairie Food Co-op will be a destination for community gatherings, seasonal farmers markets, and educational workshops on healthy food preparation, meal planning, utilizing bulk foods, and more,” says Board President, Kathy Nash.

In late 2020, Prairie Food Co-op signed a 10-year lease with Holladay Properties for a 10,000 square foot building at 109 S. Main Street, Lombard, that will house the first, and only, community owned grocery store in DuPage County.  Construction on the site has begun and is expected to be complete by the end of 2022. 

With over 1500 Owners from all over DuPage County, Prairie Food Co-op invites all community members in the DuPage area to consider Prairie Food Co-op ownership, which is a one-time investment of $200. Ownership earns you a democratic vote in the running of the co-op plus certain perks, discounts, and benefits when the store is open.

“We are proud that over 30% of our Owners pledged more than $1M in our initial campaign, but we are still short of our goal,” said Kathy Nash. Prairie Food Co-op requires $4.4 million to fund the build-out, hire employees, stock shelves, and open the  store. 

To date, a total of $2.4 million has been secured via community investment and a bank loan.  With over half the funds secured for the project, Prairie Food Co-op encourages the community to reach out soon to learn more about the Naming Opportunities and Community Investment Program.

Additional information about Prairie Food Co-op and upcoming events can be found online at