Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

DeKalb to offer business classes to residents

Rachel Cormier
Opportunity DeKalb administer Chad Glover describes the benefits of Project Launchpad to the City Council on Nov. 27 at the City Council meeting. Project Launchpad would provide virtual business courses for DeKalb residents. (Rachel Cormier | Northern Star)

DeKALB Residents of DeKalb could learn how to become entrepreneurs and learn essential business skills after the city council approved a new initiative.

Opportunity DeKalb is a non-profit community development corporation created by the Annie Glidden North Revitalization Plan, that implements “revitalization” efforts in the Annie Glidden North neighborhood. The corporation had its $125,000 “Project Launchpad” request approved at the city council meeting on Monday.

Project Launchpad would provide people with an online service that teaches them business fundamentals.

The program would include a virtual 12-week course for beginning entrepreneurs to study budgeting, marketing, bookkeeping, and finance, according to city documents

The courses would be serviced with year-round consulting support for all DeKalb citizens.

“On the entrepreneurship side, it’s about connecting more current and aspiring entrepreneurs to existing resources available to the regional small business development centers,” said Opportunity DeKalb’s administrator Chad Glover. “Score more local service offerings like those of Kishwaukee College and Northern Illinois University to help those entrepreneurs start and succeed with small businesses in our community.”

Just under 25% of the total population of DeKalb resides in the area, and the council has invested its revitalization efforts since the revitalization plan was adopted on Nov. 26, 2018.

The council agreed to provide Opportunity DeKalb with $125,000 to pair with prior funding from local entities and sought out the council for the remaining funds. This funding totaled $250,000 and was the minimum required to apply for a grant by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

The city agreed to use funds allocated from the Community Development Block Grant Budget to support the corporation’s access to the grant.

If the grant is awarded, Opportunity DeKalb has plans to finance a start-up budget for the business academy and additional revitalization projects. 

Second Ward Alderman Barb Larson said she supports the project’s approval based on her experience with the revitalization efforts.

“They’re (Annie Glidden North residents) hard-working, they’re smart, they just didn’t get the opportunities, and this kind of a program is exactly the step up that they need because just throwing money isn’t it,” Larson said.
“You have to come up with a program that makes money fun and that’s what I’m so excited about; so I’m all in, this is great.”

In addition, the first reading of DeKalb’s Annual Budget and Non-Bargaining Unit Pay Plan was approved with a proposed budget of $210.9 million. The budget comprises 29 separate city funds which will apply to the fiscal year beginning Jan. 1, to Dec. 31, 2024.

The second reading of the city’s levy of around $8.1 million was approved after receiving initial approval at the first reading of the Nov. 13 meeting. The levy, which is the total requested property tax dollars, saw a 14% increase from last year’s levy of about $7.1 million, according to the agenda.

While the levy will increase, the tax rate is expected to decrease due to the estimated 25% increase in the community EAV (Equalized Assessed Value). The EAV for 2023 is estimated to be $998 million attributed from the addition of four industrial companies within DeKalb’s economy.

More to Discover