Village President Sheila Chalmers-Currin hosted the 2022 Village of Matteson Economic Development Business Breakfast Wednesday, August 31, at the Matteson Holiday Inn & Conference Center. The Village of Matteson’s motto is “A Home for Business and a Heart for Family. The event was sponsored by Matteson Holiday Inn, Gerald Honda & Toyota, Hawkinson Nissan & Kia, Sutton Ford, and Matteson Auto Mall.
Dignitaries in attendance were: Congresswoman Robin Kelley, State Senator Michael Hastings, State Representative Debbie Meyers-Martin, State Representative Anthony DeLuca, Cook County Commission Donna Miller, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi, Rich Township Supervisor Calvin Jordan, Rich Township Assessor Sam Brown, Rich Township Clerk Sugar Arlene M. “Sugar” Al-Amin, School District 159 Board Member Carolyn Palmer and School District 227 John Thomas. Matteson Board of Trustees in attendance were Dr. Robbie Craig, Andrè C. Satchell, Adam Shorter III, and Paula F. Farr.
Chalmers-Currin was grateful and excited to see the presence of elected officials, business owners, and the community. The business breakfast was an opportunity to discuss the great things happening in the Village of Matteson as a business hub in the Southland.
Chalmers-Currin stated she takes pride in being a mayor of such a progressive community. “I love the very essence of our diversity, sense of engagement, unity, and combined spirit of excellence and all our endeavors. But at the core of our success is our business community. It is well noted that towns with a thriving local business scene are a community with stability, more charitable actions, and better walkable neighborhoods,” says Chalmers-Currin.
Chalmers-Currin noted that e-commerce has become the future that has shaped how businesses operate. Chalmers-Currin thought it was a unique opportunity to recreate a business model that would compensate a new consumer buying trend for online buyers. Chalmers-Currin’s mission is to bring businesses back to the Village of Matteson and meet the demands of the customers in the community. The village received positive accolades with the return of Sam’s Club, the grand opening of Amazon, and Pete’s Fresh Market. “Over the past five years, we have secured over 100 new businesses right here in our town. Many in the media have considered Matteson to be on the move,” says Chalmers-Currin.
Chalmers-Currin mentioned the senior assisted living and hospice development with Alexi Builders.” We want to make sure we support individuals who are growing older that need to have a safe place, says Chalmers-Currin. The groundbreaking ceremony of the Lightways Hospice Inpatient Unit was held on July 20, 2022.
Guest speaker, Congresswoman Robin Kelly, provided the latest legislative updates that were passed to create new investment opportunities in Matteson and the Southland. Kelly talked about the passing of the Bi-Partisan Construction Bill that deals with highways, bridges, and tunnels and the Inflation Reduction Act to lower the cost of medical bills.
Congresswoman Kelly highlighted the issues with broadband in rural areas, including areas Kelly represents, and the need for more money to deal with clean water. “Illinois has more lead pipes than any state in the union, and Chicago has more lead pipes than any city, says Kelly.
The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act was passed for the first time in 30 years. There were four parts of the bill. Kelly’s part of the bill dealt with gun safety to curb trafficking and straw purchasing. “You hear all the time Chicago has the toughest gun laws but look at the crime rate. Many of the guns are coming from Indiana and Wisconsin. Since I’ve been in Congress, almost ten years, the laws in those states have gotten easier, says Kelly. The Act also includes the “boyfriend loophole” that deals with domestic violence, the red flags laws that deal with mental health issues, and hopeful to ban assault weapons. “You cannot buy a handgun until you are 21 but can buy an assault weapon at age 18. I don’t know how many people realize that, says Kelly.
Kelly said President Biden came to a farm in her district. He learned about what needs to be done about double cropping, fertilizing, and procession tools. Kelly noted that most of the fertilizer comes from Ukraine and Russia, which is a big problem for many farmers.
Kelly noted President Biden passing an executive order on student loans. Biden announced he will cancel up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants and will extend payments on most federal student loans through December 31, 2022.
LaVern Murphy, Deputy Director of Economic Development and Marketing, provided economic development update in Matteson. Murphy is challenging businesses to go beyond and think beyond. “We making sure that we equipping ourselves to make sure that the Village of Matteson remains sustainable, businesses continue to reinvest in our community for years to come,” says Murphy.
Guest speaker Kristina Houston, Associate Director of Human Resources of Governors State University, discussed “Becoming An Employer of Choice.” Houston shared ideas on retaining and attracting employees to a business or organization.
Village President Chalmers-Currin closed the business breakfast by stating that the Village of Matteson is on the move. “Every day, I spend time and make sure that we want people to know that the Village of Matteson is a gem, says Chalmers-Currin.”
For more information about the Village of Matteson, go to https://www.villageofmatteson.org.
Tammy Gibson is an author, re-enactor, and black history traveler. Find her on social media @san