ELBURN—The Elburn Economic Development Commission (EDC) received a big thumbs-up from the Elburn Village Board on Monday to move forward with the “Break the Habit, Shop Elburn First” campaign. The board also committed funding to help pay for the commission’s efforts.
Elburn EDC Chair Joe Kryszak, president of JDW Institutional Paper and active Elburn Lions Club member, along with CeCe Rocha, National Bank & Trust representative and active Chamber member, attended the Village Board meeting to discuss their request.
In a letter sent to board members last week, the EDC, created by the village in November 2013, outlined its goals and described some of the activities it wanted to pursue. Among the activities is a marketing effort directed toward Elburn residents, asking them to shop in their village first, as opposed to automatically turning east to head to Randall Road.
“The hurdle that the committee is running up against is not being funded,” Village Administrator Erin Willrett said. “We are requesting $5,000 this fiscal year to bring back the “Break the Habit, Shop Elburn First” campaign.”
Willrett said the money would go to pay for a logo, banners, tote bags, and other items that would raise awareness of the Economic Development Commission’s vision and market Elburn’s business community to its residents.
“No matter what you do, it’s going to cost money,” Kryszak said.
He noted that the cost for the Shop Elburn First campaign is the least of the money that they would need, although he also said that some of what the commission wants to accomplish could be done through donations from local businesses. As an example, he suggested that local businesses could potentially donate the asphalt to pave the existing parking lots.
Kryszak said that signs directing people to the parking lots would also be important.
“When people come through town, and they don’t see parking and there’s no sign to tell them where the parking is located, they won’t stop; they’ll just keep driving,” he said.
Village President Dave Anderson commended the group for the work that it has already done, noting that they have come up with some “good, sound suggestions.”
Trustee Jeff Walter threw in his support of the group and its request.
“I’ve been a proponent of economic development for some time,” he said.
Walter added that the increased business this could create would come back to the village in sales tax dollars.
“Eventually it pays for itself,” he said.
Trustee Pat Schuberg concurred that you have to invest in marketing in order to grow your businesses.
“I’m absolutely behind you guys,” she said.
The board agreed to take half of the money coming to the village from the video gaming machines in town, originally set to go toward improvement of Elburn’s parks, and make it available to the commission for this and other projects. The village currently receives an average of $1,000 per month from the gaming revenue.
Anderson asked Kryszak to come up with details for how much money they will need for the campaign, as well as specifics on where it will be spent.
“You’ve got some hoops to jump through,” Anderson said. “I appreciate the hard work you’ve done. The direction is straight ahead.”
The Economic Development Commission was created last year to assist the village in attracting new economic growth and new businesses, and retaining and revitalizing current businesses within the village.