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Posted on: August 7, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Economic Recovery Plan Released by Village Task Force

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For Immediate Release
August 7, 2020


Village of Skokie Economic Recovery Plan Released by Economic Recovery Taskforce 
Business, healthcare, and community leaders assist developing Village-wide recovery plan

Earlier this week, the Skokie Village Board was presented with a comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan from the work completed by the 11-member Skokie Economic Recovery Task Force. The presentation was led by Task Force Chairman Shalom Klein with additional input provided by Skokie Community Development Director Matt Brandmeyer and Economic Development Manager Len Becker. 

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen was one of the first suburban Chicago mayors to establish an Economic Recovery Task Force. From May 12 through July 29, 2020, the Task Force met regularly via Zoom to help guide and assist Village staff, leadership, and the community to develop a thoughtful and actionable Economic Recovery Plan. Recommendations identified focus on priorities deemed essential by Task Force Members, community members, elected officials, as well as through discussions and feedback received from over 250 Skokie businesses and service providers across all segments of the economy.   

Economic Recovery Plan recommendations include facilitating additional technical support and utilization for business-specific programs, advocating for business assistance at the state and federal levels, bolstering marketing initiatives that support Skokie businesses and organizations, reviewing and reshaping local regulations to support businesses in the COVID-19 era, as well as broaden feedback from businesses to proactively identify emerging or new gaps in support. Many of these recommendations are already in action and will evolve in response to unforeseen events both from a public health as well as economic standpoint. One of the most important tenets of the Economic Recovery Plan is being nimble in the COVID-19 era.    

Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen thanked the Task Force volunteers. “We only get one chance to do this and we need to get it right to protect our community’s health and the strong economy we’ve worked so hard to create,” said Mayor Van Dusen. “This is uncharted territory and the Task Force has enthusiastically provided important guidance that will continue during these unprecedented events. Historically, Skokie’s economy has remained strong in the face of economic challenges, and I have every confidence that the Economic Recovery Plan will help lead and frame our recovery efforts,”

In addition to Chairman Shalom Klein, the Task Force is Co-Chaired by Skokie Chamber of Commerce President Howard Meyer. Other members include Pastor Henry Biar, St. Paul Lutheran Church and Clergy Forum; Katie Bulgrin, Culver’s of Skokie; David Drehobl, Georgia Nut Co.; Madeleine England, Kneads & Wants Artisan Bakery; Serge Khalimsky, Westfield Old Orchard; Erica Minchella, Attorney; David Rahija, NorthShore University HealthSystem Skokie Hospital; John Terzis, Oakton Financial and Randy Usen, Byline Bank. An inter-disciplinary team of Village staff are serving as Task Force liaisons. The Economic Recovery Plan can be viewed at


 Contact: Len Becker, Economic Development Manager, 847/933-8471 or

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