Community Pulse: Fostering new opportunities

“The ultimate resource in economic development is people. It is people, not capital or raw materials that develop an economy.”

This sentiment from author Peter Drucker aptly tells the story of the city of Morris. Our community has a history of partnering with dedicated people whose ideas and energy shaped our traditions and continue to foster new opportunities.

Partnerships are prospering with nonprofit organizations hosting a long list of festivals and events in Goold Park and Downtown, as well as with our restaurant and retail community, who creatively promote their products and provide experiences that solidify Morris as a destination. Business partners like the Grundy County Chamber and the Grundy Economic Development Council collaborate with the city to provide a soft landing and resources for businesses of all sizes looking to invest in Morris. Engaged residents partner daily- from sharing happenings and positive experiences on social media, maintaining their properties with pride, and supporting local businesses. The main ingredient in Drucker’s recipe for economic prosperity is abundant supply here.

The people behind many of our spring and summer events are now recognized on the city website. From 5Ks and shopping festivities to races at the Grundy County Speedway and more, there is a list of more than 100 events on the scrolling calendar at Click the event name to be directed to the host’s website or social media page for full details and ways to get involved.

Speaking of events, the 3 French Hens Market is returning to downtown Morris! The monthly market will kick off Saturday, May 13, in the public parking lot on the 400 block of Liberty and Wauponsee streets. Adjacent streets will be closed with intersections remaining open. The Morris Retail Association is especially pleased to welcome the market to its new location, as it brings thousands of shoppers to our community on the second Saturday of each month from May through October.

After the June market wraps, we welcome the first Morris Cruise Night of the season! Remarkably, this group is in its 21st year and continues to be operated entirely by volunteers. We appreciate the cooperation of car show enthusiasts, market patrons and nearby residents and businesses to welcome both great events downtown on the second Saturday from June through October.

Keeping in the theme of great people, the city’s Business & Community Development Commission recently hosted a real estate last month. The comprehensive plan, redevelopment of Route 47, and Route 6 expansion were among the topics discussed with 30 agents attending. The city is working to connect property owners and potential buyers with tools to make our shared vision a reality. To that end, we will host a webinar May 16 where the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will provide information on the Historic Preservation Tax Credit. Property owners in the Downtown historic district are encouraged to participate. Contact me at or 815-941-3685 for details.

“There’s more to Morris” continues to resonate as our tagline because of the many people who are so committed and dedicated to seeing our community prosper.

  • Julie Wilkinson is the business development director for the city of Morris. Community Pulse is a weekly column that provides a dedicated space for Grundy County-area nonprofits, schools and organizations to share news and information about their organization.