For Immediate Release March 11, 2021

SI Now

A reimagined and reinvigorated economic development initiative will create a regional hub and serve as a unified voice for the 17 southernmost counties. SI Now, a Southern Illinois Success Initiative, involves collaboration among leaders in business and industry, healthcare, higher education, workforce development, transportation, government, non-profit economic development and community coalitions. SI Now’s vision is to create a thriving, economically diverse environment with a growing population, labor force, per capita income and expanding tax base, while elevating an already high quality of life.

“We will have a greater impact on advancing our region’s economy by pooling our resources together towards common goals,” said SIH President and CEO Rex Budde, a member of SI Now’s Steering Committee. “Regional wins create a ripple effect, be it in Carbondale, Harrisburg, Mt. Vernon, Benton, Chester or Anna. Now is the time for Southern Illinois leaders to come together and capitalize on available opportunities.”

SI Now’s current efforts are focused on supporting existing businesses, attracting and expanding businesses, developing workforce education through training and employment growth in high wage sectors.

“Regionalism in economic development shows the total strength of a geographic area. Mt. Vernon is the northern-most county; we not only have our strengths but can also draw on the assets of Carbondale and Marion as well,” said Jefferson County Development Corporation (JCDC) Executive Director and SI Now Steering Committee member Tony Iriti. “If one county succeeds, we all win. The stronger we are as a region helps us compete for projects with other larger jurisdictions. We can draw on amenities and workforce within a one-hour drive time.”

“It’s rewarding to see meaningful collaboration across all of Southern Illinois from individuals who are passionately vested in our future,” said First Southern Bank President and CEO John Dosier, a co-chair of SI Now’s Business Growth and Development Task Force. “Attracting new businesses could mean new jobs and opportunities for upward economic mobility or could simply provide new leisure or recreation opportunities – all of which would improve overall well-being and quality of life.”

As part of its effort to elevate perceptions of Southern Illinois, SI Now is launching a website and social media platforms:

  • SI Now’s website ( serves as a first stop for those interested in locating a business in Southern Illinois or moving here as a resident. The website includes key information featuring assets, incentives and resources and will showcase the best of Southern Illinois, including geographic benefits, educational and workforce development opportunities, transportation assets, healthcare services and quality of life.
  • SI Now’s social media platforms will serve as a place to share the good in Southern Illinois with positive news stories and testimonials. The public is encouraged to include the hashtag #SouthernIllinoisNow on their own positive posts highlighting businesses, community events and life in Southern Illinois.

Join the conversation and stay connected with SI Now on our social media platforms:

  • Facebook, Instagram & LinkedIn: @SouthernIllinoisNow
  • Twitter: @SouthernILNow