Left : Main Street , Elizabeth , IL . Above : Apple River Fort State Historic Site . Contibuted by Mindy Dalgarn .
To date , there are 18 participating businesses in the Shop Local Program that encourage community residents to energize Elizabeth by shopping local . the money to repair and maintain the infrastructure – the streets , the sidewalks , the sewers – we just have to be real creative about how we spend our money . We have to think outside the box .” And it ’ s clear that President Dittmar is willing , able , and capable of thinking outside the box . President Dittmar ’ s proactive , creative approach led to Elizabeth ’ s participation in a community MAPPING program in 2013 . The program was driven by its participants and focused on strategic planning . Local residents created a long range vision for the economic growth of Elizabeth that included a detailed action plan .
Energize Elizabeth – Shop Local is a program of the Retail Growth and Development Group and is a direct result of the MAPPING program . To date , there are 18 participating businesses in the Shop Local Program that encourage community residents to energize Elizabeth by shopping local . President Dittmar has also utilized a tool the Illinois General Assembly gave local governments in 1977 called Tax Increment Financing or TIF . The tool grants municipalities the power and authority to tackle issues within their jurisdictions that are essential to the economic well-being of their communities . It is a means by which cities , towns , and villages can achieve a level of community and economic development that would be impossible otherwise . Jacob & Klein Law Firm and The Economic Development Group report that “ TIF is particularly useful to communities where local leaders envision a resurgence of population , a robust local economy , and a town capable of providing the varied public services , security , and quality of life so many young families , workers , business owners , and elderly persons are searching for today .” TIFs also help local governments attract new businesses and expand existing ones . New businesses translate into more jobs , more