GROWTH will be rehabilitating the former President home, Sawyer House, into a Resource Center to provide business development education to support and promote entrepreneurship opportunities and available CDFI small business resources for small businesses wishing to open within Shimer Square.
The Resource Center will also be a hub to promote HUD-certified housing counseling services for Carroll County residents to promote GROWTH's HUD-certified housing counseling resources that promotes homeownership, financial literacy, budgeting, fair housing, money management principles, and foreclosure prevention.
The Resource Center will also provide fair housing information and other resources and tools to help create wealth-building opportunities for residents within Shimer Square and beyond to help them in their future.
The inclusion of a daycare facility at Shimer Square was requested by the community early in the development process. To make this expressed community need a reality, GROWTH applied and was awarded $800,000 in grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for a daycare facility within Shimer Square. After reviewing the overall redevelopment plan, GROWTH shifted from a new construction site to redevelopment the ground floor of Metcalf Hall into a childcare center.
The City of Mount Carroll and GROWTH partnered together and commissioned a market study to determine the feasibility of a daycare center in Shimer Square. This effort was mutually decided to be beneficial to fill a need for families living within a 30-mile radius of Mount Carroll. The study strongly supports the development of a childcare center which resulted in 402 completed phone interviews and 130 online surveys by primary care providers of children ages 0 to 10. A very high majority of the responses found the Shimer Square location to be very or somewhat convenient by the survey respondents and equally high interest in full-day childcare/preschool at Shimer Square. The study also showed the most important elements in choosing a daycare are the quality of staff, price, and location.
Start and Grow Your Business
Shimer Square will offer many opportunities to start and grow your business. Entrepreneurs seeking office or retail space set within the campus setting will benefit from a built-in audience of new Shimer Square residents, families, visitors, new entrepreneurs, and artisans that continue to relocate and start their own business in Mount Carroll. Commercial buildings in Shimer Square have features not found in typical commercial offerings due to the nature of its location. Thoughtful placemaking is incorporated into the full development effort of Shimer Square, offering a perfect location for your business and employees uniquely set within acres of historic trees and land.
Commercial/ Community Redevelopment Sites
Five (5) business incubators will be created that will be designed to support and grow small business, entrepreneurship, and start-ups.